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Hum Mol Genet. 2005 Jul 15;14(14):1947-54. Epub 2005 May 25.

Haplotypes at the dystrobrevin binding protein 1 (DTNBP1) gene locus mediate risk for schizophrenia through reduced DTNBP1 expression.

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  • 1Department of Psychological Medicine, School of Medicine, Cardiff University, Heath Park, UK.


The DTNBP1 gene, encoding dysbindin, is now generally considered to be a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia. However, the confidence with which this hypothesis can be held has to be tempered by the poor reproducibility between studies in terms of the exact nature of the associated haplotypes, by the failure so far to identify any specific susceptibility variants and by the absence of any demonstrated function associated with any of the risk haplotypes. In the present study, we show that a defined schizophrenia risk haplotype tags one or more cis-acting variants that results in a relative reduction in DTNBP1 mRNA expression in human cerebral cortex. Subsidiary analyses suggest that risk haplotypes identified in other sample groups of white European ancestry also index lower DTNBP1 expression, whereas putative 'protective' haplotypes index high DTNBP1 expression. Our data indicate that variation in the DTNBP1 gene confers susceptibility to schizophrenia through reduced expression, and that this, therefore, represents a primary aetiological mechanism in the disorder.

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