Schizophrenia susceptibility gene locus at Xp22.3


Corresponding author: Jeff Milunsky, M.D., Center for Human Genetics, Boston University School of Medicine, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA. Tel.: +1-617-638-7083; Fax: +1-617-638-7092; e-mail:


Multiple genetic loci have been implicated in the search for schizophrenia susceptibility genes, none having been proven as causal. Genetic heterogeneity is probable in the polygenic etiology of schizophrenia. We report on two unrelated Caucasian women with paranoid schizophrenia (meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) criteria) who have an Xp22.3 overlapping deletion characterized by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Patient 1 was previously reported by us (Wyandt HE, Bugeau-Michaud L, Skare JC, Milunsky A. Partial duplication of Xp: a case report and review of previously reported cases. Amer J Med Genet 1991: 40: 280–283) to have a de novo partial duplication of Xp. At that time, she was a 24-year-old woman with short stature, irregular menses, other abnormalities suggestive of Turner syndrome, and paranoid schizophrenia. Recently, FISH analysis demonstrated that she has an inverted duplication (X)(p22.1p11.2) and a microscopic deletion (X)(p22.2p22.3) between DXS1233 and DXS7108 spanning approximately 16–18 cM. Patient 2 is a 14-year-old girl with short stature, learning disabilities, and paranoid schizophrenia. High-resolution chromosome analysis revealed a de novo deletion involving Xp22. FISH analysis showed that the deletion (X)(p22.2p22.3) spanned 10–12 cM between AFMB290XG5 and DXS1060. Given that deletions of Xp22 are not common events, the occurrence of two unrelated schizophrenia patients with an overlapping deletion of this region would be extraordinarily rare. Hence, the deletion within Xp22.3 almost certainly contains a gene involved in the pathogenesis of paranoid schizophrenia.