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Mol Psychiatry. 2006 Dec;11(12):1126-38. Epub 2006 Aug 22.

Evidence implicating BRD1 with brain development and susceptibility to both schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder.

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  • 1Institute of Human Genetics, University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark.


Linkage studies suggest that chromosome 22q12-13 may contain one or more shared susceptibility genes for schizophrenia (SZ) and bipolar affective disorder (BPD). In a Faeroese sample, we previously reported association between microsatellite markers located at 22q13.31-qtel and both disorders. The present study reports an association analysis across five genes (including 14 single nucleotide and two microsatellite polymorphisms) in this interval using a case-control sample of 162 BPD, 103 SZ patients and 200 controls. The bromodomain-containing 1 gene (BRD1), which encodes a putative regulator of transcription showed association with both disorders with minimal P-values of 0.0046 and 0.00001 for single marker and overall haplotype analysis, respectively. A specific BRD1 2-marker 'risk' haplotype showed a frequency of approximately 10% in the combined case group versus approximately 1% in controls (P-value 2.8 x 10(-7)). Expression analysis of BRD1 mRNA revealed widespread expression in mammalian brain tissue, which was substantiated by immunohistochemical detection of BRD1 protein in the nucleus, perikaryal cytosol and proximal dendrites of the neurons in the adult rat, rabbit and human CNS. Quantitative mRNA analysis in developing fetal pig brain revealed spatiotemporal differences with high expression at early embryonic stages, with intense nuclear and cytosolar immunohistochemical staining of the neuroepithelial layer and early neuroblasts, whilst more mature neurons at later embryonic stages had less nuclear staining. The results implicate BRD1 with SZ and BPD susceptibility and provide evidence that suggests a role for BRD1 in neurodevelopment.

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