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Gene expression elucidates functional impact of polygenic risk for schizophrenia publication in Nature Neuroscience

September 28, 2016

Gene expression elucidates functional impact of polygenic risk for schizophrenia publication in Nature Neuroscience

Gene expression elucidates functional impact of polygenic risk for schizophrenia   – New work by the CommonMind Consortium – See Synapse for raw and processed data, and analysis results: www.synapse.org/cmc
 
Abstract: Over 100 genetic loci harbor schizophrenia-associated variants, yet how these variants confer liability is uncertain. The CommonMind Consortium sequenced RNA from dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of people with schizophrenia (N = 258) and control subjects (N = 279), creating a resource of gene expression and its genetic regulation. Using this resource, ~20% of schizophrenia loci have variants that could contribute to altered gene expression and liability. In five loci, only a single gene was involved: FURINTSNARE1CNTN4CLCN3 or SNAP91. Altering expression of FURINTSNARE1or CNTN4 changed neurodevelopment in zebrafish; knockdown of FURIN in human neural progenitor cells yielded abnormal migration. Of 693 genes showing significant case-versus-control differential expression, their fold changes were ≤ 1.33, and an independent cohort yielded similar results. Gene co-expression implicates a network relevant for schizophrenia. Our findings show that schizophrenia is polygenic and highlight the utility of this resource for mechanistic interpretations of genetic liability for brain diseases.