Analysis of a promoter polymorphism in the SMDF neuregulin 1 isoform in schizophrenia

Erika Pedrosa, Karen A. Nolan, Radu Stefanescu, Pnina Hershcovitz, Tomas Novak, Ilja Zukov, Pavla Stopkova, Herbert M. Lachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is a positional candidate gene in schizophrenia (SZ). Two major susceptibility loci in the NRG1 gene approximately one million nucleotides apart have been identified in genetic studies. Several candidate functional allelic variants have been described that might be involved in disease susceptibility. However, the findings are still preliminary. We recently mapped active promoters and other regulatory domains in several SZ and bipolar disorder (BD) candidate genes using ChIP-chip (chromatin immunoprecipitation hybridized to microarrays). One was the promoter for the NRG1 isoform, SMDF, which maps to the 3′ end of the gene complex. Analysis of the SNP database revealed several polymorphisms within the approximate borders of the region immunoprecipitated in our ChIP-chip experiments, one of which is rs7825588. Methods: This SNP was analyzed in patients with SZ and BD and its effect on promoter function was assessed by electromobility gel shift assays and luciferase reporter constructs. Results: A significant increase in homozygosity for the minor allele was found in patients with SZ (genotype distribution χ2 = 7.32, p = 0.03) but not in BD (genotype distribution χ2 = 0.52, p = 0.77). Molecular studies demonstrated modest, but statistically significant allele-specific differences in protein binding and promoter function. Conclusion: The findings suggest that homozygosity for rs725588 could be a risk genotype for SZ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)205-212
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Bipolar disorder
  • NRG1
  • Neuregulin
  • SMDF
  • Schizophrenia
  • rs725588

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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