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Linkage, association and mutational analysis of the dopamine D3 receptor gene in schizophrenia

Asherson, P., Mant, R., Holmans, Peter Alan ORCID:, Williams, Julie ORCID:, Cardno, A., Murphy, K., Jones, L., Collier, D., McGuffin, P. and Owen, Michael John ORCID: 1996. Linkage, association and mutational analysis of the dopamine D3 receptor gene in schizophrenia. Molecular Psychiatry 1 (2) , pp. 125-132.

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This study follows the observation of an association between homozygosity of an Mscl polymorphism in exon 1 and schizophrenia, which gives rise to a glycine to serine substitution and may alter the functional properties of the receptor. Alternatively the polymorphism may not itself be of functional significance but may be in linkage disequilibrium with another genetic variant in the coding or regulatory regions. To examine the second possibility we have screened all six exons of DRD3 by single-stranded conformational polymorphism analysis (SSCP) in 36 cases and 36 controls. Our findings suggest that the gene is highly conserved since we found no other mutations which alter protein structure. However we did detect a 5-bp deletion in the 3' intronic sequence flanking exon 5 which occurred in 7-8% of subjects within both case and control samples. A single bp substitution (g to a) in exon 3, which does not alter an amino acid was found in one affected individual. In addition we carried out a linkage study of 24 families multiply affected with schizophrenia and a non-parametric linkage study of 90 affected sibling pairs. These studies give no support for either major or moderate gene effects on schizophrenia susceptibility. Finally we have extended our association sample and observe a non-significant excess of homozygotes for the Mscl polymorphism in the sample overall (chi 2 = 2.09, 1 d.f., P = 0.15). The excess of homozygotes is specific to males (chi 2 = 4.617, 1 d.f., P = 0.032) and not females (chi 2 = 0.243, 1 d.f., NS). When these data are added to our previous published data a highly significant excess of homozygotes is observed in males (chi 2 = 13.766, 1 d.f., P = 0.00021) but not females (chi 2 = 0.606, 1 d.f., NS). In conclusion the accumulated data suggest strongly that genetic variation at the DRD3 locus increases susceptibility of schizophrenia, at least in males. At present the Mscl polymorphism in exon 1 of the gene remains a candidate for bringing about functional change in the receptor but this has not been formally tested. Other coding region polymorphisms have not been detected but it remains possible that variation within the promoter may alter receptor function.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics (CNGG)
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 1359-4184
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2022 09:41

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