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Objective To identify genetic variants associated with obsessive-compulsive (OC) traits and test for sharing of genetic risks between OC traits and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Methods We conducted a genome-wide association analysis of OC traits using the Toronto Obsessive-Compulsive Scale (TOCS) in 5018 unrelated Caucasian children and adolescents from the community (Spit for Science sample). We tested the hypothesis that genetic variants associated with OC traits from the community would be associated with clinical OCD using a meta-analysis of three OCD case-controls samples (cases=3384, controls=8363). Shared genetic risk was examined between OC traits and OCD in the respective samples using polygenic risk score and genetic correlation analyses. Results A locus tagged by rs7856850 in an intron of PTPRD (protein tyrosine phosphatase δ) was significantly associated with OC traits at the genome-wide significance level ( p =2.48×10−8). The rs7856850 locus was also associated with OCD in a meta-analysis of three independent OCD case/control genome-wide datasets ( p =0.0069). Polygenic risk scores derived from OC traits were significantly associated with OCD in a sample of childhood-onset OCD and vice versa ( p ’s<0.01). OC traits were highly but not significantly genetically correlated with OCD ( r g =0.83, p =0.07). Conclusions We report the first validated genome-wide significant variant for OC traits. OC traits measured in the community sample shared genetic risk with OCD case/control status. Our results demonstrate the importance of the type of measure used to measure traits as well as the feasibility and power of using trait-based approaches in community samples for genetic discovery.

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