• Associations between neurodevelopmental genes, neuroanatomy, and ultra high risk symptoms of psychosis in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome

      Thompson, Carlie A.; Karelis, Jason; Middleton, Frank A.; Gentile, Karen; Coman, Ioana L.; Radoeva, Petya D.; Mehta, Rashi; Fremont, Wanda P.; Antshel, Kevin M.; Faraone, Stephen V.; et al. (Wiley, 2017-01-31)
      22q11.2 deletion syndrome is a neurogenetic disorder resulting in the deletion of over 40 genes. Up to 40% of individuals with 22q11.2DS develop schizophrenia, though little is known about the underlying mechanisms. We hypothesized that allelic variation in functional polymorphisms in seven genes unique to the deleted region would affect lobar brain volumes, which would predict risk for psychosis in youth with 22q11.2DS. Participants included 56 individuals (30 males) with 22q11.2DS. Anatomic MR images were collected and processed using Freesurfer. Participants were genotyped for 10 SNPs in the COMT, DGCR8, GNB1L, PIK4CA, PRODH, RTN4R, and ZDHHC8 genes. All subjects were assessed for ultra high risk symptoms of psychosis. Allelic variation of the rs701428 SNP of RTN4R was significantly associated with volumetric differences in gray matter of the lingual gyrus and cuneus of the occipital lobe. Moreover, occipital gray matter volumes were robustly associated with ultra high risk symptoms of psychosis in the presence of the G allele of rs701428. Our results suggest that RTN4R, a relatively under-studied gene at the 22q11 locus, constitutes a susceptibility gene for psychosis in individuals with this syndrome through its alteration of the architecture of the brain. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    • Deletion at the SLC1A1 glutamate transporter gene co-segregates with schizophrenia and bipolar schizoaffective disorder in a 5-generation family

      Myles-Worsley, Marina; Tiobech, Josepha; Browning, Sharon R.; Korn, Jeremy; Goodman, Sarah; Gentile, Karen; Melhem, Nadine; Byerley, William; Faraone, Stephen V.; Middleton, Frank A. (Wiley, 2013-01-22)
      Growing evidence for genetic overlap between schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BPD) suggests that causal variants of large effect on disease risk may cross traditional diagnostic boundaries. Extended multigenerational families with both SCZ and BPD cases can be a valuable resource for discovery of shared biological pathways because they can reveal the natural evolution of the underlying genetic disruptions and their phenotypic expression. We investigated a deletion at the SLC1A1 glutamate transporter gene originally identified as a copy number variant exclusively carried by members of a 5-generation Palauan family. Using an expanded sample of 21 family members, quantitative PCR confirmed the deletion in all seven individuals with psychosis, three “obligate-carrier” parents and one unaffected sibling, while four marry-in parents were non-carriers. Linkage analysis under an autosomal dominant model generated a LOD-score of 3.64, confirming co-segregation of the deletion with psychosis. For more precise localization, we determined the approximate deletion end points using alignment of next-generation sequencing data for one affected deletion-carrier and then designed PCR amplicons to span the entire deletion locus. These probes established that the deletion spans 84,298 bp, thus eliminating the entire promoter, the transcription start site, and the first 59 amino acids of the protein, including the first transmembrane Na2+/dicarboxylate symporter domain, one of the domains that perform the glutamate transport action. Discovery of this functionally relevant SLC1A1 mutation and its co-segregation with psychosis in an extended multigenerational pedigree provides further support for the important role played by glutamatergic transmission in the pathophysiology of psychotic disorders. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.