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Mol Psychiatry. 2011 Jan;16(1):97-107. doi: 10.1038/mp.2009.102. Epub 2009 Sep 29.

First genome-wide association scan on neurophysiological endophenotypes points to trans-regulation effects on SLC2A3 in dyslexic children.

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Max-Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Munich, Germany.


Dyslexia is one of the most common learning disorders affecting about 5% of all school-aged children. It has been shown that event-related potential measurements reveal differences between dyslexic children and age-matched controls. This holds particularly true for mismatch negativity (MMN), which reflects automatic speech deviance processing and is altered in dyslexic children. We performed a whole-genome association analysis in 200 dyslexic children, focusing on MMN measurements. We identified rs4234898, a marker located on chromosome 4q32.1, to be significantly associated with the late MMN component. This association could be replicated in an independent second sample of 186 dyslexic children, reaching genome-wide significance in the combined sample (P = 5.14e-08). We also found an association between the late MMN component and a two-marker haplotype of rs4234898 and rs11100040, one of its neighboring single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). In the combined sample, this marker combination withstands correction for multiple testing (P = 6.71e-08). Both SNPs lie in a region devoid of any protein-coding genes; however, they both show significant association with mRNA-expression levels of SLC2A3 on chromosome 12, the predominant facilitative glucose transporter in neurons. Our results suggest a possible trans-regulation effect on SLC2A3, which might lead to glucose deficits in dyslexic children and could explain their attenuated MMN in passive listening tasks.

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