Serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) is one of the most promising candidate genes for psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BP). Two functional polymorphisms, 5HTTLPR and 5HTTVNTR, have been a focus for genetic association analyses; however, no conclusive results have been obtained. We conducted, 1) a mutation search of SLC6A4, 2) LD mapping to select 'tagging' markers (10 SNPs and 5HTTVNTR, while 5HTTLPR was treated as an independent marker because of its allelic form), and 3) association analysis of these 'tagging' markers and independent markers (5HTTLPR and Asn605Lys) with SCZ and BP in Japanese patients. In this mutation search, a nonsynonymous SNP, Asn605Lys, was detected. No associations of 'tagging' markers and independent markers with such conditions were found. These results indicate that SLC6A4 might not play a major role in SCZ and BP in Japanese patients, a finding that agrees with both the common disease-common variant hypothesis and common disease-rare variant hypothesis.
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