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Mol Psychiatry. 2002;7(1):82-5.

Association between anorexia nervosa and the hsKCa3 gene: a family-based and case control study.

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The Danek Gertner Institute of Human Genetics, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.


Familial and twin studies have suggested that anorexia nervosa (AN) is a multifactorial disorder with a substantial genetic contribution. The hSKCa3 potassium channel gene, which contains polymorphic CAG repeats in the coding region and is involved in the regulation of neuronal activity, may be a candidate gene for AN because alleles with longer repeats have been found to be associated with mental disorders. Forty Israeli AN family trios were genotyped for the hSKCa3 CAG repeat polymorphism using the haplotype relative risk (HRR) method. The distribution of alleles transmitted to the patients was found to be significantly different from that of the non-transmitted parental alleles, with the longer alleles being over-represented in the patients (Wilcoxon rank test, P = 0.008). The transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) revealed that longer (>19) repeat alleles were preferentially transmitted to AN patients (McNemar's chi(2) = 10.31, P = 0.0013). These results were corroborated by comparing the distribution of alleles between patients and healthy controls (Mann-Whitney test, P = 0.005). Our study suggests that the longer repeat alleles of the hSKCa3 gene may contribute to the genetic susceptibility to AN.

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