Most genome-wide significant susceptibility loci for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder reported to date cross-traditional diagnostic boundaries
Recent findings from genetic epidemiology and from genome-wide association studies point strongly to a partial overlap in the genes that contribute susceptibility to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder (BD). Previous data have also directly implicated one of the best supported schizophrenia-associated loci, zinc finger binding protein 804A (ZNF804A), as showing trans-disorder effects, and the same is true for one of the best supported bipolar loci, calcium channel, voltage-dependent, L type, alpha 1C subunit (CACNA1C) which has also been associated with schizophrenia. We have undertaken a cross-phenotype study based upon the remaining variants that show genome-wide evidence for association in large schizophrenia and BD meta-analyses. These comprise in schizophrenia, SNPs in or in the vicinity of transcription factor 4 (TCF4), neurogranin (NRGN) and an extended region covering the MHC locus on chromosome 6. For BD, the strongly supported variants are in the vicinity of ankyrin 3, node of Ranvier (ANK3) and polybromo-1 (PBRM1). Using data sets entirely independent of their original discoveries, we observed strong evidence that the PBRM1 locus is also associated with schizophrenia (P = 0.00015) and nominally significant evidence (P < 0.05) that the NRGN and the extended MHC region are associated with BD. Moreover, considering this highly restricted set of loci as a group, the evidence for trans-disorder effects is compelling (P = 4.7 × 10−5). Including earlier reported data for trans-disorder effects for ZNF804A and CACNA1C, six out of eight of the most robustly associated loci for either disorder show trans-disorder effects.