Several genome-wide linkage studies have suggested linkage between markers on the long arm of chromosome 22 and schizophrenia. It has also been reported that 22q11.2 deletions increase the risk of schizophrenia. Therefore, 22q is a candidate region for schizophrenia. To search for genetic susceptibility loci for schizophrenia on 22q, we conducted a three-stage case-control association study in Japanese individuals. In the first stage, we examined 13 microsatellite markers on 22q in 766 individuals (340 patients with schizophrenia and 426 control individuals) and found a potential association of AFM262VH5 (D22S283) with schizophrenia. In the second stage, we performed fine mapping of the myosin heavy chain 9, non-muscle (MYH9) gene, where AFM262VH5 is located, using 25 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We obtained potential associations between three SNPs in MYH9 and schizophrenia in 1193 individuals (595 patients and 598 controls), which included the individuals analyzed in the first stage. In the third stage, however, we could not replicate these associations in 4694 independent individuals (2288 patients and 2406 controls). Our results suggest that MYH9 does not confer increased susceptibility to schizophrenia in the Japanese population, although we could not exclude possible contributions of other genes on 22q to the pathogenesis of schizophrenia.
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