Recent evidence suggests a potential role for the p11 gene in conferring risk to depressive disorders. p11 has been shown to influence serotonergic transmission, and its expression was found to be reduced in a mouse model of depression, as well as in post-mortem brain tissue from major depressive disorder (MDD) cases. In the present study, we tested for rare variants in p11 by resequencing promoter, exonic and flanking intronic regions in 176 MDD cases and 176 matched controls. We also assessed common variation by genotyping eight single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), seven tag SNPs and one found through resequencing, in 641 cases and 650 controls. Resequencing revealed nine novel rare variants, including a missense mutation (Asp60Glu) observed in one case and one control, and four variants that occurred only in cases and not controls. The number of rare variants in cases did not exceed that expected by chance for the length of sequence analyzed, and also was not significantly greater than that observed in controls. Resequencing also identified two known SNPs, one (rs4845720) of which was significantly more frequent in cases than controls in the resequenced sample (3.1% vs. 0.9%, P = 0.03), though not in the larger sample (3% vs. 2%, P = 0.15). None of the tag SNPs showed any evidence of association. Our results do not support a major role for either common or rare p11 SNPs with MDD. Several limitations of the study are discussed. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.