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Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2009 Mar 5;150B(2):219-25. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.30791.

Methionine sulfoxide reductase: a novel schizophrenia candidate gene.

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Department of Psychiatry, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, USA.


Methionine sulfoxide reductase (MSRA) is an antioxidant enzyme implicated in protection against oxidative stress and protein maintenance. We have previously reported the association of marker D8S542, located within the MSRA gene, with schizophrenia in the Central Valley of Costa Rica (CVCR). By performing fine mapping analysis, we have now identified a potential three-marker at risk haplotype within MSRA in the same CVCR sample, with a global P-value slightly above nominal significance (P = 0.0526). By sequencing the MSRA gene in individuals carrying this haplotype, we identified a novel 4-base pair deletion 1,792 bases upstream of the MSRA transcription start site. This deletion was significantly under-transmitted to schizophrenia patients in the CVCR sample (P = 0.0292) using FBAT, and this was replicated in a large independent sample of 321 schizophrenia families from the Hispanic population (P = 0.0367). These findings suggest a protective effect of the deletion against schizophrenia. Further, MSRA mRNA levels were significantly lower in lymphoblastoid cell lines of individuals homozygous for the deletion compared to carriers of the normal allele (P = 0.0135), although significance was only evident when genotypes were collapsed. This suggests that the deleted sequence may play a role in regulating MSRA expression. In conclusion, this work points towards MSRA as a novel schizophrenia candidate gene. Further studies into the mechanisms by which MSRA is involved in schizophrenia pathophysiology may shed light into the biological underpinnings of this disorder.

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