Linkage evidence of schizophrenia to loci near neuregulin 1 gene on chromosome 8p21 in Taiwanese families



Positive linkage of schizophrenia to chromosome 8p22-21 loci had been reported in the Caucasian samples. This study was designed to replicate this finding by using eleven microsatellite markers on chromosome 8p22-21 in 52 Taiwanese schizophrenic families with at least two affected siblings. Two phenotype models (narrow: DSM-IV schizophrenia only; and broad: including schizophrenia, schizoaffective, and other non-affective psychotic disorders) were used to define the disease phenotype. Maximum non-parametric linkage scores (NPL score) of 2.45 (P = 0.008) and 1.89 (P = 0.02) were obtained for the marker D8S1222 under the broad and narrow models, respectively. Positive linkage was found across about a 4-cM region. The marker D8S1222 was about 400 kbp distal to the exon 1 of glial growth factor 2 (GGF2), an isoform of Neuregulin 1 gene (NRG1), which has been highly suggested to be a candidate gene for schizophrenia. The results provide suggestive linkage evidence of schizophrenia to loci near NRG1 on chromosome 8p21 in an ethnically distinct Taiwanese sample. Further exploration of the candidate gene and nearby chromosome regions is warranted. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.