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Analyses of rare and common alleles in parent-proband trios implicate rare missense variants in SLC6A1 in schizophrenia and confirm the involvement of loss of function intolerant and neurodevelopmental disorder genes.

By Elliott Rees, Jun Han, Joanne Morgan, Noa Carrera, Valentina Escott-Price, Andrew J. Pocklington, Madeleine Duffield, Lynsey Hall, Sophie E. Legge, Antonio F. Pardiñas, Alexander L Richards, Julian Roth, Tatyana Lezheiko, Nikolay Kondratyev, Vera Golimbet, Mara Parellada, Javier González-Peñas, Celso Arango, GROUP Investigators, Micha Gawlik, George Kirov, James T. R. Walters, Peter A Holmans, Michael C O’Donovan, Michael J. Owen

Posted 18 Apr 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/607549

Schizophrenia is a highly polygenic disorder with important contributions coming from both common and rare risk alleles, the latter including CNVs and rare coding variants (RCVs), sometimes occurring as de novo variants (DNVs). We performed DNV analysis in whole exome-sequencing data obtained from a new sample of 613 schizophrenia trios, and combined this with published data for a total of 3,444 trios. Loss-of-function (LoF) DNVs were significantly enriched among 3,488 LoF intolerant genes in our new trio data (rate ratio (RR) (95% CI) = 2.23 (1.31, 3.79); p = 2.2 x 10-3), supporting previous findings. In the full dataset, genes associated with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD; n=160) were significantly enriched for LoF DNVs (RR (95% CI) = 3.32 (2.0, 5.21); p = 7.4 x 10-6). Within this set of NDD genes, SLC6A1, encoding a gamma-aminobutyric acid transporter, was associated with missense-damaging DNVs (p = 5.2 x 10-5). Using data from a subset of 1,122 trios for which we had genome-wide common variant data, schizophrenia polygenic risk was significantly over-transmitted to probands (p = 2.6 x 10-60), as was bipolar common variant polygenic risk (p = 5.7 x 10-17). We defined carriers of candidate schizophrenia-related DNVs as those with LoF or deletion DNVs in LoF intolerant or NDD genes. These individuals had significantly less over-transmission of common risk alleles than non-carriers (p = 3.5 x 10-4), providing robust support for the hypothesis that this set of DNVs is enriched for those related to schizophrenia.

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