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Hum Mol Genet. 1997 Apr;6(4):577-82.

A functional polymorphism in the promoter region of the dopamine D2 receptor gene is associated with schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Medical Genetics, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Japan.


An excess dopaminergic activity may be implicated in the etiology of schizophrenia. Our objective was to identify nucleotide variants in the 5' region of the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) and to clarify their effects on schizophrenia. We identified two polymorphisms, the A-241G and -141C Ins/Del, by examination of 259 bp in the 5'-flanking region and 249 bp of exon 1 of DRD2. Reporter constructs containing the -141C Del allele cloned into a luciferase reporter plasmid drove 21% (Y-79 cells) and 43% (293 cells) expression compared with the -141C Ins allele. In a case-control study, the -141C Del allele frequency was significantly lower in 260 schizophrenic patients than in 312 controls (OR = 0.60, 95%CI 0.44-0.81, P < 0.001). No significant association was found between the A-241G polymorphism and in vitro luciferase activity, or in allele frequency between the patients versus controls. These findings show that the -141C Ins/Del may be a functional polymorphism in the 5'-promoter region of DRD2 and may affect the susceptibility to schizophrenia.

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