The superior frontal gyrus (SFG), an area of the brain frequently found to have reduced gray matter in patients with schizophrenia, is involved in self-awareness and emotion, which are impaired in schizophrenia. However, no genome-wide association studies of SFG volume have investigated in patients with schizophrenia. To identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with SFG volumes, we demonstrated a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of gray matter volumes in the right or left SFG of 158 patients with schizophrenia and 378 healthy subjects. We attempted to bioinformatically ascertain the potential effects of the top hit polymorphism on the expression levels of genes at the genome-wide region. We found associations between five variants on 1p36.12 and the right SFG volume at a widely used benchmark for genome-wide significance (P<5.0 × 10(-8)). The strongest association was observed at rs4654899, an intronic SNP in the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4 gamma, 3 (EIF4G3) gene on 1p36.12 (P=7.5 × 10(-9)). No SNP with genome-wide significance was found in the volume of the left SFG (P>5.0 × 10(-8)); however, the rs4654899 polymorphism was identified as the locus with the second strongest association with the volume of the left SFG (P=1.5 × 10(-6)). In silico analyses revealed a proxy SNP of rs4654899 had effect on gene expression of two genes, HP1BP3 lying 3' to EIF4G3 (P=7.8 × 10(-6)) and CAPN14 at 2p (P=6.3 × 10(-6)), which are expressed in moderate-to-high levels throughout the adult human SFG. These results contribute to understand genetic architecture of a brain structure possibly linked to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Biological Psychiatry