Analysis of miR-137 expression and rs1625579 in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex

Academic Article

Abstract

  • MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNAs that act as potent regulators of gene expression. A recent GWAS reported the rs1625579 SNP, located downstream of miR-137, as the strongest new association with schizophrenia [Ripke S, Sanders AR, Kendler KS, Levinson DF, Sklar P, Holmans PA, etal. Genome-wide association study identifies five new schizophrenia loci. Nat Genet 2011;43:969-76.]. Prior to this GWAS finding, a schizophrenia imaging-genetic study found miR-137 target genes significantly enriched for association with activation in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) [Potkin SG, Macciardi F, Guffanti G, Fallon JH, Wang Q, Turner JA, etal. Identifying gene regulatory networks in schizophrenia. Neuroimage 2010;53:839-47.].We investigated the expression levels of miR-137 and three candidate target genes (ZNF804A, CACNA1C, TCF4) in the DLPFC of postmortem brain tissue from 2 independent cohorts: (1) 26 subjects (10 control (CTR), 7 schizophrenia (SZ), 9 bipolar disorder (BD)) collected at the UCI brain bank; and (2) 99 subjects (33 CTR, 35 SZ, 31 BD) obtained from the Stanley Medical Research Institute (SMRI). MiR-137 expression in the DLPFC did not differ between diagnoses. We also explored the relationship between rs1625579 genotypes and miR-137 expression. Significantly lower miR-137 expression levels were observed in the homozygous TT subjects compared to TG and GG subjects in the control group (30% decrease, p-value=0.03). Moreover, reduced miR-137 levels in TT subjects corresponded to increased levels of the miR-137 target gene TCF4. The miR-137 expression pattern in 9 brain regions was significant for regional effect (ANOVA p-value=1.83E-12), with amygdala and hippocampus having the highest miR-137 expression level. In conclusion, decreased miR-137 expression is associated with the SZ risk allele of rs1625579, and potential regulation of TCF4, another SZ candidate gene. This study offers additional support for involvement of miR-137 and downstream targets as mechanisms of risk for psychiatric disorders. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
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    Author List

  • Guella I; Sequeira A; Rollins B; Morgan L; Torri F; van Erp TGM; Myers RM; Barchas JD; Schatzberg AF; Watson SJ
  • Start Page

  • 1215
  • End Page

  • 1221
  • Volume

  • 47
  • Issue

  • 9