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Rare disruptive variants in the DISC1 Interactome and Regulome: association with cognitive ability and schizophrenia

By Shaolei Teng, Pippa A. Thomson, Shane E McCarthy, Melissa Kramer, Stephanie Muller, Jayon Lihm, Stewart Morris, Dinesh Soares, William Hennah, Sarah Harris, Luiz Miguel Camargo, Vladislav Malkov, Andrew M McIntosh, J. Kirsty Millar, Douglas Blackwood, Kathryn L Evans, Ian J Deary, David J Porteous, W Richard McCombie

Posted 27 Oct 2016
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/083816 (published DOI: 10.1038/mp.2017.115)

Schizophrenia (SCZ), bipolar disorder (BD) and recurrent major depressive disorder (rMDD) are common psychiatric illnesses. All have been associated with lower cognitive ability, and show evidence of genetic overlap and substantial evidence of pleiotropy with cognitive function and neuroticism. Disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) protein directly interacts with a large set of proteins (DISC1 Interactome) that are involved in brain development and signaling. Modulation of DISC1 expression alters the expression of a circumscribed set of genes (DISC1 Regulome) that are also implicated in brain biology and disorder. Here, we report targeted sequencing of 59 DISC1 Interactome genes and 154 Regulome genes in 654 psychiatric patients and 889 cognitively-phenotyped control subjects, on whom we previously reported evidence for trait association from complete sequencing of the DISC1 locus. Burden analyses of rare and singleton variants predicted to be damaging were performed for psychiatric disorders, cognitive variables and personality traits. The DISC1 Interactome and Regulome showed differential association across the phenotypes tested. After family-wise error correction across all traits (FWERacross), an increased burden of singleton disruptive variants in the Regulome was associated with SCZ (FWERacross P=0.0339). The burden of singleton disruptive variants in the DISC1 Interactome was associated with low cognitive ability at age 11 (FWERacross P=0.0043). These results suggest that variants in the DISC1 Interactome effect the risk of psychiatric illness through altered expression of schizophrenia-associated genes. The biological impact of rare variants highlighted here merit further study.

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