About Psynomics

Evidence that a single nucleotide polymorphism in the promoter of the G protein receptor kinase 3 gene is associated with bipolar disorder


In a genome-wide linkage survey, we have previously shown evidence suggesting that the chromosome 22q12 region contains a susceptibility locus for bipolar disorder (BPD). Two independent family sets yielded lod scores suggestive of linkage at markers in this region near the gene G protein receptor kinase 3 (GRK3). GRK3 is an excellent candidate risk gene for BPD since GRK3 is expressed widely in the brain, and since GRKs play key roles in the homologous desensitization of G protein-coupled receptor signaling. We have also previously shown GRK3 expression to be induced by amphetamine in an animal model of mania using microarray-based expression profiling. To identify possible functional mutations in GRK3, we sequenced the putative promoter region, all 21 exons, and intronic sequence flanking each exon, in 14-22 individuals with BPD. We found six sequence variants in the 5'-UTR/promoter region, but no coding or obvious splice variants. Transmission disequilibrium analyses of one set of 153 families indicated that two of the 5'-UTR/promoter variants are associated with BPD in families of northern European Caucasian ancestry. A supportive trend towards association to one of these two variants (P-5) was then subsequently obtained in an independent sample of 237 families. In the combined sample, the P-5 variant had an estimated allele frequency of 3% in bipolar subjects, and displayed a transmission to non-transmission ratio of 26 : 7.7 (chi(2)=9.6, one-sided P value=0.0019). Altogether, these data support the hypothesis that a dysregulation in GRK3 expression alters signaling desensitization, and thereby predisposes to the development of BPD.

Further evidence for association of GRK3 to bipolar disorder suggests a second disease mutation


OBJECTIVES: Two genome-wide linkage surveys suggest chromosome 22q12 may contain a susceptibility locus for bipolar disorder (BPD) in the immediate region of the gene G protein receptor kinase-3 (GRK3). We previously published evidence that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the promoter region of GRK3, designated P5, was associated with BPD. This SNP, however, was too rare (allele frequency 0.007) to explain the evidence for linkage. METHODS: To identify other SNPs or haplotypes associated with illness, we have now sequenced an additional 28-kb genomic segment of GRK3 and tested an additional 35 SNPs for association with BPD in 181 Caucasian nuclear families. RESULTS: Transmission disequilibrium test analyses identified two closely related disease-associated haplotypes defined by four SNPs located upstream of the promoter region: transmission to nontransmission ratios=54:22 and 20:9, odds ratios=2.50 and 2.36, and P values=0.0009 and 0.05. The best P value remained significant after correction for multiple testing. These two haplotypes were found on an entirely different set of chromosomes from the previously identified SNP P5. They had a combined frequency of approximately 0.10 and, therefore, a much greater population attributable risk for disease than the previously identified P5 haplotype. CONCLUSIONS: These data provide evidence that at least two distinct haplotypes, and possibly two or more different underlying mutations, in GRK3 might be associated with BPD. These new findings add support for the hypothesis that a dysregulation in GRK3 expression alters signaling desensitization and thereby predisposes to the development of BPD.

A genome survey indicates a possible susceptibility locus for bipolar disorder on chromosome 22


Bipolar disorder or manic depressive illness is a major psychiatric disorder that is characterized by fluctuation between two abnormal mood states. Mania is accompanied by symptoms of euphoria, irritability, or excitation, whereas depression is associated with low mood and decreased motivation and energy. The etiology is currently unknown; however, numerous family, twin, and adoption studies have argued for a substantial genetic contribution. We have conducted a genome survey of bipolar disorder using 443 microsatellite markers in a set of 20 families from the general North American population to identify possible susceptibility loci. A maximum logarithm of odds score of 3.8 was obtained at D22S278 on 22q. Positive scores were found spanning a region of nearly 32 centimorgans (cM) on 22q, with a possible secondary peak at D22S419. Six other chromosomal regions yielded suggestive evidence for linkage: 3p21, 3q27, 5p15, 10q, 13q31-q34, and 21q22. The regions on 22q, 13q, and 10q have been implicated in studies of schizophrenia, suggesting the possible presence of susceptibility genes common to both disorders.