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Biol Psychiatry. 2004 Oct 1;56(7):483-9.

Association of mitochondrial complex I subunit gene NDUFV2 at 18p11 with bipolar disorder in Japanese and the National Institute of Mental Health pedigrees.

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Laboratories for Molecular Dynamics of Mental Disorders, Brain Science Institute, RIKEN, Wako, Saitama, Japan.



Linkage with 18p11 is one of the replicated findings in molecular genetics of bipolar disorder. Because mitochondrial dysfunction has been suggested in bipolar disorder, NDUFV2 at 18p11, encoding a subunit of the complex I, reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH)ubiquinone oxidoreductase, is a candidate gene for this disorder. We previously reported that a polymorphism in the upstream region of NDUFV2, -602G> A, was associated with bipolar disorder in Japanese subjects; however, functional significance of -602G> A was not known.


We screened the further upstream region of NDUFV2. We performed a case-control study in Japanese patients with bipolar disorder and control subjects and a transmission disequilibrium test in 104 parent and proband trios of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Genetics Initiative pedigrees. We also performed the promoter assay to examine functional consequence of the -602G> A polymorphism.


The -602G> A polymorphism was found to alter the promoter activity. We found that the other haplotype block surrounding -3542G> A was associated with bipolar disorder. The association of the haplotypes consisting of -602G> A and -3542G> A polymorphisms with bipolar disorder was seen both in Japanese case-control samples and NIMH trios.


Together these findings indicate that the polymorphisms in the promoter region of NDUFV2 are a genetic risk factor for bipolar disorder by affecting promoter activity.

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