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1.  Exome Sequencing in 53 Sporadic Cases of Schizophrenia Identifies 18 Putative Candidate Genes 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112745.
Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a severe, debilitating mental illness which has a significant genetic component. The identification of genetic factors related to SCZ has been challenging and these factors remain largely unknown. To evaluate the contribution of de novo variants (DNVs) to SCZ, we sequenced the exomes of 53 individuals with sporadic SCZ and of their non-affected parents. We identified 49 DNVs, 18 of which were predicted to alter gene function, including 13 damaging missense mutations, 2 conserved splice site mutations, 2 nonsense mutations, and 1 frameshift deletion. The average number of exonic DNV per proband was 0.88, which corresponds to an exonic point mutation rate of 1.7×10−8 per nucleotide per generation. The non-synonymous-to-synonymous mutation ratio of 2.06 did not differ from neutral expectations. Overall, this study provides a list of 18 putative candidate genes for sporadic SCZ, and when combined with the results of similar reports, identifies a second proband carrying a non-synonymous DNV in the RGS12 gene.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112745
PMCID: PMC4242613  PMID: 25420024
2.  Linkage analysis of plasma dopamine β-hydroxylase activity in families of patients with schizophrenia 
Human genetics  2011;130(5):635-643.
Dopamine β-hydroxylase (DβH) catalyzes the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine. DβH enters the plasma after vesicular release from sympathetic neurons and the adrenal medulla. Plasma DβH activity (pDβH) varies widely among individuals, and genetic inheritance regulates that variation. Linkage studies suggested strong linkage of pDβH to ABO on 9q34, and positive evidence for linkage to the complement fixation locus on 19p13.2-13.3. Subsequent association studies strongly supported DBH, which maps adjacent to ABO, as the locus regulating a large proportion of the heritable variation in pDβH. Prior studies have suggested that variation in pDβH, or genetic variants at DβH, associate with differences in expression of psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia and other idiopathic or drug-induced brain disorders, suggesting that DBH might be a genetic modifier of psychotic symptoms. As a first step toward investigating that hypothesis, we performed linkage analysis on pDβH in patients with schizophrenia and their relatives. The results strongly confirm linkage of markers at DBH to pDβH under several models (maximum multipoint LOD score, 6.33), but find no evidence to support linkage anywhere on chromosome 19. Accounting for the contributions to the linkage signal of three SNPs at DBH, rs1611115, rs1611122, and rs6271 reduced but did not eliminate the linkage peak, whereas accounting for all SNPs near DBH eliminated the signal entirely. Analysis of markers genome-wide uncovered positive evidence for linkage between markers at chromosome 20p12 (multi-point LOD = 3.1 at 27.2 cM). The present results provide the first direct evidence for linkage between DBH and pDβH, suggest that rs1611115, rs1611122, rs6271 and additional unidentified variants at or near DBH contribute to the genetic regulation of pDβH, and suggest that a locus near 20p12 also influences pDβH.
doi:10.1007/s00439-011-0989-6
PMCID: PMC3193571  PMID: 21509519

Results 1-2 (2)