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Nat Commun. 2013;4:2739. doi: 10.1038/ncomms3739.

Genome-wide association study implicates NDST3 in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

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1] Division of Research, Department of Psychiatry, The Zucker Hillside Hospital Division of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Glen Oaks, New York 11004, USA [2] Center for Psychiatric Neuroscience, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York 11030, USA [3] Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York 10461, USA [4] Department of Psychiatry, Hofstra University School of Medicine, Hempstead, New York 11550, USA [5] Department of Molecular Medicine, Hofstra University School of Medicine, Hempstead, New York 11550, USA [6].


Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are major psychiatric disorders with high heritability and overlapping genetic variance. Here we perform a genome-wide association study in an ethnically homogeneous cohort of 904 schizophrenia cases and 1,640 controls drawn from the Ashkenazi Jewish population. We identify a novel genome-wide significant risk locus at chromosome 4q26, demonstrating the potential advantages of this founder population for gene discovery. The top single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; rs11098403) demonstrates consistent effects across 11 replication and extension cohorts, totalling 23, 191 samples across multiple ethnicities, regardless of diagnosis (schizophrenia or bipolar disorder), resulting in Pmeta=9.49 × 10(-12) (odds ratio (OR)=1.13, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.08-1.17) across both disorders and Pmeta=2.67 × 10(-8) (OR=1.15, 95% CI: 1.08-1.21) for schizophrenia alone. In addition, this intergenic SNP significantly predicts postmortem cerebellar gene expression of NDST3, which encodes an enzyme critical to heparan sulphate metabolism. Heparan sulphate binding is critical to neurite outgrowth, axon formation and synaptic processes thought to be aberrant in these disorders.

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