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Mol Psychiatry. 2007 Sep;12(9):833-41. Epub 2007 Apr 17.

The discoidin domain receptor 1 as a novel susceptibility gene for schizophrenia.

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Ctra. de l'Institut Pere Mata s/n, University Psychiatric Hospital, Pere Mata Institute, Reus, Tarragona, Spain.


Evidence suggests that myelin alterations could predispose to schizophrenia. Reduced expression of several myelin genes has been observed in schizophrenia patients. Recently, we identified the discoidin domain receptor 1 (DDR1; located at human chromosome 6p21.3) as a myelin gene in the mouse model and in a human oligodendroglial cell line. In the present study we screened for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the DNA from 100 schizophrenia patients. We identified a novel mutation within exon 10 that produces the amino-acid substitution N502S in the a-d isoforms, and M475V in the e isoform. However the frequency of the mutation (2%) was similar in schizophrenia patients and in control subjects. In a case-control assessment with 389 schizophrenic patients and 615 controls, we identified one SNP (SNP9, rs1049623) associated with schizophrenia (odds ratio=1.44, 95% confidence interval: 1.15-1.79, adjusted P=0.0016). This association was confirmed in haplotype analysis; the SNPs 9-10-11 (rs1049623, rs2267641 and rs2239518) haplotype remaining significant even after adjustment for multiple testing (adjusted P=0.0136). Of note was a strong gender dependence in the association, that is, statistical significance restricted to men (adjusted P-value=0.0002). Regression analysis of DDR1 mRNA expression in peripheral blood lymphocytes from schizophrenia patients showed that the presence of the G allele significantly decreased the relative number of mRNA copies in a dose-dependent manner (P=0.003). These data suggest that the risk haplotype tags a cis-acting variant involved in the transcription regulation system of the gene. In conclusion, we propose the DDR1 as a new susceptibility gene for schizophrenia.

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