BACKGROUND: Sequencing studies have pointed to the involvement in schizophrenia of rare coding variants in neuronally expressed genes, including activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein (ARC) and N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) complexes; however, larger samples are required to reveal novel genes and specific biological mechanisms.
METHODS: We sequenced 187 genes, selected for prior evidence of association with schizophrenia, in a new dataset of 5207 cases and 4991 controls. Included among these genes were members of ARC and NMDAR postsynaptic protein complexes, as well as voltage-gated sodium and calcium channels. We performed a rare variant meta-analysis with published sequencing data for a total of 11,319 cases, 15,854 controls, and 1136 trios.
RESULTS: While no individual gene was significantly associated with schizophrenia after genome-wide correction for multiple testing, we strengthen the evidence that rare exonic variants in the ARC (p = 4.0 x 10(-4)) and NMDAR (p = 1.7 x 10(-5)) synaptic complexes are risk factors for schizophrenia. In addition, we found that loss-of-function variants and missense variants at paralog-conserved sites were enriched in voltage-gated sodium channels, particularly the alpha subunits (p = 8.6 x 10(-4)).
CONCLUSIONS: In one of the largest sequencing studies of schizophrenia to date, we provide novel evidence that multiple voltage-gated sodium channels are involved in schizophrenia pathogenesis and confirm the involvement of ARC and NMDAR postsynaptic complexes.
- Voltage-gated sodium channels
- DE-NOVO MUTATIONS
- GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION
- OF-FUNCTION VARIANTS