Genome-wide study of association and interaction with maternal cytomegalovirus infection suggests new schizophrenia loci
Genetic and environmental components as well as their interaction contribute to the risk of schizophrenia, making it highly relevant to include environmental factors in genetic studies of schizophrenia. This study comprises genome-wide association (GWA) and follow-up analyses of all individuals born in Denmark since 1981 and diagnosed with schizophrenia as well as controls from the same birth cohort. Furthermore, we present the first genome-wide interaction survey of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and maternal cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection. The GWA analysis included 888 cases and 882 controls, and the follow-up investigation of the top GWA results was performed in independent Danish (1396 cases and 1803 controls) and German-Dutch (1169 cases, 3714 controls) samples. The SNPs most strongly associated in the single-marker analysis of the combined Danish samples were rs4757144 in ARNTL (P=3.78 × 10−6) and rs8057927 in CDH13 (P=1.39 × 10−5). Both genes have previously been linked to schizophrenia or other psychiatric disorders. The strongest associated SNP in the combined analysis, including Danish and German-Dutch samples, was rs12922317 in RUNDC2A (P=9.04 × 10−7). A region-based analysis summarizing independent signals in segments of 100 kb identified a new region-based genome-wide significant locus overlapping the gene ZEB1 (P=7.0 × 10−7). This signal was replicated in the follow-up analysis (P=2.3 × 10−2). Significant interaction with maternal CMV infection was found for rs7902091 (PSNP × CMV=7.3 × 10−7) in CTNNA3, a gene not previously implicated in schizophrenia, stressing the importance of including environmental factors in genetic studies.