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Schizophrenia susceptibility alleles are enriched for alleles that affect gene expression in adult human brain

Richards, Alexander, Jones, Lesley ORCID:, Escott-Price, Valentina ORCID:, Kirov, George ORCID:, Gejman, P. V., Levinson, D. F., Sanders, A. R., Molecular Genetics of Schizophrenia Collaboration (MGS), International Schizophrenia Consortium (ISC), Purcell, S., Visscher, P. M., Craddock, Nicholas John ORCID:, Owen, Michael John ORCID:, Holmans, Peter Alan ORCID: and O'Donovan, Michael Conlon ORCID: 2012. Schizophrenia susceptibility alleles are enriched for alleles that affect gene expression in adult human brain. Molecular Psychiatry 17 (2) , pp. 193-201. 10.1038/mp.2011.11

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It is widely thought that alleles that influence susceptibility to common diseases, including schizophrenia, will frequently do so through effects on gene expression. As only a small proportion of the genetic variance for schizophrenia has been attributed to specific loci, this remains an unproven hypothesis. The International Schizophrenia Consortium (ISC) recently reported a substantial polygenic contribution to that disorder, and that schizophrenia risk alleles are enriched among single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) selected for marginal evidence for association (P<0.5) from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). It follows that if schizophrenia susceptibility alleles are enriched for those that affect gene expression, those marginally associated SNPs, which are also expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs), should carry more true association signals compared with SNPs that are not marginally associated. To test this, we identified marginally associated (P<0.5) SNPs from two of the largest available schizophrenia GWAS data sets. We assigned eQTL status to those SNPs based upon an eQTL data set derived from adult human brain. Using the polygenic score method of analysis reported by the ISC, we observed and replicated the observation that higher probability cis-eQTLs predicted schizophrenia better than those with a lower probability for being a cis-eQTL. Our data support the hypothesis that alleles conferring risk of schizophrenia are enriched among those that affect gene expression. Moreover, our data show that notwithstanding the likely developmental origin of schizophrenia, studies of adult brain tissue can, in principle, allow relevant susceptibility eQTLs to be identified.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Advanced Research Computing @ Cardiff (ARCCA)
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: eQTL; genetics; GWAS; polygenic score; polymorphism; schizophrenia
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 1359-4184
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2023 02:56

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