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Mol Psychiatry. 2009 Sep;14(9):885-93. doi: 10.1038/mp.2008.30. Epub 2008 Mar 11.

Family-based association testing strongly implicates DRD2 as a risk gene for schizophrenia in Han Chinese from Taiwan.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Medical Genetics Research Center, SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA. glatts@upstate.edu

Abstract

The gene that codes for dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2 on chromosome 11q23) has long been a prime functional and positional candidate risk gene for schizophrenia. Collectively, prior case-control studies found a reliable effect of the Ser311Cys DRD2 polymorphism (rs1801028) on risk for schizophrenia, but few other polymorphisms in the gene had ever been evaluated and no adequately powered family-based association study has been performed to date. Our objective was to test 21 haplotype-tagging and all three known nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in DRD2 for association with schizophrenia in a family-based study of 2408 Han Chinese, including 1214 affected individuals from 616 families. We did not find a significant effect of rs1801028, but we did find significant evidence for association of schizophrenia with two multi-marker haplotypes spanning blocks of strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) and nine individual SNPs (Ps<0.05). Importantly, two SNPs (rs1079727 and rs2283265) and both multi-marker haplotypes spanning entire LD blocks (including one that contained rs1801028) remained significant after correcting for multiple testing. These results further add to the body of data implicating DRD2 as a schizophrenia risk gene; however, a causal variant(s) in DRD2 remains to be elucidated by further fine mapping of the gene, with particular attention given to the area surrounding the third through fifth exons.

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