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Mol Psychiatry. 2008 Nov;13(11):1060-8. Epub 2007 Sep 25.

An association screen of myelin-related genes implicates the chromosome 22q11 PIK4CA gene in schizophrenia.

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Complex Genetics Section, DBG-Department of Medical Genetics, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


Several lines of evidence, including expression analyses, brain imaging and genetic studies suggest that the integrity of myelin is disturbed in schizophrenia patients. In this study, we first reconstructed a pathway of 138 myelin-related genes, all involved in myelin structure, composition, development or maintenance. Then we performed a two-stage association analysis on these 138 genes using 771 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Analysis of our data from 310 cases vs 880 controls demonstrated association of 10 SNPs from six genes. Specifically, we observed highly significant P-values for association in PIK4CA (observed P=6.1 x 10(-6)). These findings remained significant after Bonferroni correction for 771 tests. The PIK4CA gene is located in the chromosome 22q11 deletion syndrome region, which is of particular interest because it has been implicated in schizophrenia. We also report weak association of SNPs in PIK3C2G, FGF1, FGFR1, ARHGEF10 and PSAP (observed P<or=0.01). Our approach--of screening genes involved in a particular pathway for association--resulted in identification of several, mostly novel, genes associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia in the Dutch population.

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