Genome scan of Arab Israeli families maps a schizophrenia susceptibility gene to chromosome 6q23 and supports a locus at chromosome 10q24
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Schizophrenia is a complex neuropsychiatric disorder to which an as-yet-unknown number of genes contribute, interacting with each other and the environment. Linkage analyses have implicated several chromosomal regions as harboring schizophrenia susceptibility loci although rarely at levels commensurate with proposed thresholds for genome-wide significance. We systematically recruited Arab Israeli families multiply affected with schizophrenia from the catchment area of a Regional Mental Health Center. Clinical diagnoses were established by semistructured interviews and all other available sources of information under narrow, core and broad categories. Using 350 microsatellite markers, spaced at an average of 10.3 cM, we performed an autosomal scan in 155 subjects from 21 families. Linkage analysis employed affects only, multipoint, nonparametric (model-free) and also parametric (dominant and recessive) approaches. We detected significant evidence for a schizophrenia susceptibility gene at chromosome 6q23 with a nonparametric LOD score (NPL) of 4.60 (P=0.000004) under the broad diagnostic category and a parametric LOD score of 3.33 (dominant model). Under the core diagnostic category the NPL was 4.29 (P=0.00001) and the LOD score 4.16 (dominant model). We also detected suggestive evidence for linkage at chromosome 10q24 under the broad diagnostic category (NPL 3.24, P=0.0008; heterogeneity LOD score, dominant model 2.65, alpha=0.82). Additionally, NPL scores >2.0 were observed at chromosome 2q37, 4p15-16, 7p22, 9q21-22 and 14q11.1-11.2. The linkage we detected at chromosome 6q23 fulfills the criteria for genome-wide significance and is located approximately midway between loci suggested by a previous significant report at chromosome 6q25 and findings located more centromerically at 6q21-22.
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