A genome-wide scan in 60 bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) affected sib-pairs (ASPs) identified linkage on chromosome 21 at 21q22 (D21S1446, NPL = 1.42, P = 0.08), a BPAD susceptibility locus supported by multiple studies. Although this linkage only approaches significance, the peak marker is located 12 Kb upstream of S100B, a neurotrophic factor implicated in the pathology of psychiatric disorders, including BPAD and schizophrenia. We hypothesized that the linkage signal at 21q22 may result from pathogenic disease variants within S100B and performed an association analysis of this gene in a collection of 125 BPAD type I trios. S100B single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs2839350 (P = 0.022) and rs3788266 (P = 0.031) were significantly associated with BPAD. Since variants within S100B have also been associated with schizophrenia susceptibility, we reanalyzed the data in trios with a history of psychosis, a phenotype in common between the two disorders. SNPs rs2339350 (P = 0.016) and rs3788266 (P = 0.009) were more significantly associated in the psychotic subset. Increased significance was also obtained at the haplotype level. Interestingly, SNP rs3788266 is located within a consensus-binding site for Six-family transcription factors suggesting that this variant may directly affect S100B gene expression. Fine-mapping analyses of 21q22 have previously identified transient receptor potential gene melastatin 2 (TRPM2), which is 2 Mb upstream of S100B, as a possible BPAD susceptibility gene at 21q22. We also performed a family-based association analysis of TRPM2 which did not reveal any evidence for association of this gene with BPAD. Overall, our findings suggest that variants within the S100B gene predispose to a psychotic subtype of BPAD, possibly via alteration of gene expression. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.