Novel association approach for determining the genetic predisposition to schizophrenia: case-control resource and testing of a candidate gene.

We have developed a two-tiered approach to elucidating the genetic predisposition to schizophrenia. The approach first involves the examination of candidate genes in a subset of schizophrenic individuals to identify DNA sequence variations of likely functional significance, i.e., that produce either structural alterations in the protein or affect the level of gene expression. Once identified, the prevalence of the aberrant allele is examined in a large group of unrelated schizophrenic cases and controls to assess whether a true disease association exists. Herein, we describe the establishment of a DNA bank on nearly 200 unrelated schizophrenic cases defined by DSM-III-R criteria and on over 300 unrelated, ethnically similar controls. Characteristics of the study sample are described. The study approach then is illustrated by testing known mutations in the phenylalanine hydroxylase gene, responsible for the autosomal recessive disease of phenylketonuria, in the case-control sample to determine if carriership of a mutant allele is associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia. Using PCR amplification of specific alleles (PASA), we screened 190 schizophrenic cases and 336 controls for two common point mutations in the phenylalanine hydroxylase gene. Two carriers were found among the controls, while none of the cases was shown to carry a mutant allele. Thus, carriership of either of two common mutations in the phenylalanine hydroxylase gene does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of schizophrenia. As additional candidate genes are tested in this case-control resource, adjustment for multiple comparisons will become crucial in order to reduce the chance of false positive findings.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
AuthorsJ L Sobell, L L Heston, S S Sommer
JournalAmerican journal of medical genetics (Am J Med Genet) Vol. 48 Issue 1 Pg. 28-35 (May 1 1993) ISSN: 0148-7299 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID8357034 (Publication Type: Case Reports, Journal Article, Multicenter Study, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides
  • DNA
  • Phenylalanine Hydroxylase
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alleles
  • Base Sequence
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • DNA (analysis, chemistry)
  • Female
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Genetic Variation
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Oligodeoxyribonucleotides (chemistry)
  • Phenylalanine Hydroxylase (genetics)
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia (ethnology, genetics)
  • Sex Factors

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