Association analyses of the DAOA/G30 and d-amino-acid oxidase genes in schizophrenia: Further evidence for a role in schizophrenia
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A number of linkage studies have previously implicated the region of chromosome 13q34 in schizophrenia. Chumakov and colleagues (2002) identified a gene complex called G72 (now termed D-amino acid oxidase activator: DAOA)/G30 in this region and performed association analyses of the DAOA/G30 as well as the D-amino-acid oxidase (DAAO) gene with schizophrenia. DAAO oxidizes D-serine, a potent activator of the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) type glutamate receptor in the human brain whereas the DAOA protein is considered an activator of DAAO. The interaction of these two genes has thus been implicated in the NMDA receptor regulation pathway in schizophrenia. To date, several studies have shown a relatively consistent positive association between schizophrenia and DAOA/G30, but not with DAAO. The aim of our study was to further evaluate the contributions of these genes to the susceptibility to schizophrenia using two different sample sets. Our sample consisted of 168 matched case-control pairs as well as a family-based sample (n=113) for transmission disequilibrium test. Significant associations between the DAOA/G30 M-7 and M-18 polymorphisms and schizophrenia were observed in our case-control sample whereas no associations were observed for DAAO markers. We also observed significant or suggestive transmission disequilibrium for DAOA/G30 M-7, M-23, and M-24 to probands with schizophrenia in our family-based sample. Subsequent analysis of haplotypes made up of four DAOA/G30 markers, one marker selected from each of two linkage disequilibrium blocks that were observed in our sample as well as both ends (M-7 and M-25), were also associated with schizophrenia. Our data provide further evidence that the DAOA/G30 locus may play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Although no direct link to genetic polymorphism in these genes and NMDA receptor function has been revealed, the present findings support previous reports implicating DAOA/G30 as susceptibility genes for schizophrenia. Further research is warranted to determine the functional variation underlying these findings and to relate this to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
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