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J Psychiatr Res. 2013 Sep;47(9):1215-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.05.021. Epub 2013 Jun 17.

Analysis of miR-137 expression and rs1625579 in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

Author information

1
Functional Genomics Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA.

Abstract

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that act as potent regulators of gene expression. A recent GWAS reported the rs1625579 SNP, located downstream of miR-137, as the strongest new association with schizophrenia [Ripke S, Sanders AR, Kendler KS, Levinson DF, Sklar P, Holmans PA, et al. Genome-wide association study identifies five new schizophrenia loci. Nat Genet 2011;43:969-76.]. Prior to this GWAS finding, a schizophrenia imaging-genetic study found miR-137 target genes significantly enriched for association with activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) [Potkin SG, Macciardi F, Guffanti G, Fallon JH, Wang Q, Turner JA, et al. Identifying gene regulatory networks in schizophrenia. Neuroimage 2010;53:839-47.]. We investigated the expression levels of miR-137 and three candidate target genes (ZNF804A, CACNA1C, TCF4) in the DLPFC of postmortem brain tissue from 2 independent cohorts: (1) 26 subjects (10 control (CTR), 7 schizophrenia (SZ), 9 bipolar disorder (BD)) collected at the UCI brain bank; and (2) 99 subjects (33 CTR, 35 SZ, 31 BD) obtained from the Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI). MiR-137 expression in the DLPFC did not differ between diagnoses. We also explored the relationship between rs1625579 genotypes and miR-137 expression. Significantly lower miR-137 expression levels were observed in the homozygous TT subjects compared to TG and GG subjects in the control group (30% decrease, p-value = 0.03). Moreover, reduced miR-137 levels in TT subjects corresponded to increased levels of the miR-137 target gene TCF4. The miR-137 expression pattern in 9 brain regions was significant for regional effect (ANOVA p-value = 1.83E-12), with amygdala and hippocampus having the highest miR-137 expression level. In conclusion, decreased miR-137 expression is associated with the SZ risk allele of rs1625579, and potential regulation of TCF4, another SZ candidate gene. This study offers additional support for involvement of miR-137 and downstream targets as mechanisms of risk for psychiatric disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Bipolar disorder; Gene expression; Schizophrenia; TCF4; miR-137; rs1625579

PMID:
23786914
PMCID:
PMC3753093
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.05.021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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