Association evidence of schizophrenia with distal genomic region of NOTCH4 in Taiwanese families


*Hai-Gwo Hwu MD, Department of Psychiatry, National Taiwan University Hospital, No. 7 Chung San South Road, Taipei 100, Taiwan. E-mail:


Evidence for association with schizophrenia has been reported for NOTCH4, although results have been inconsistent. Previous studies have focused on polymorphisms in the 5′ promoter region and first exon of NOTCH4. Our aim was to test the association of the entire genomic region of NOTCH4 in 218 families with at least two siblings affected by schizophrenia in Taiwan. We genotyped seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of this gene, with average intermarker distances of 5.3 kb. Intermarker linkage disequilibrium (LD) was calculated using gold software, and single-locus and haplotype association analyses were performed using transmit software. We found that the T allele of SNP rs2071285 (P= 0.035) and the G allele of SNP rs204993 (P= 0.0097) were significantly preferentially transmitted to the affected individuals in the single-locus association analysis. The two SNPs were in high LD (D′ > 0.8). Trend for overtransmission was shown for the T-G haplotype of the two SNPs to affected individuals (P= 0.053), with the A-A haplotype significantly undertransmitted (P= 0.034). The associated region distributed across the distal portion of the NOTCH4 gene and overlapped with the genomic region of the G-protein signaling modulator 3 and pre-B-cell leukemia transcription factor 2. In summary, we found modest association evidence between schizophrenia and the distal genomic region of NOTCH4 in this Taiwanese family sample. Further replication for association with the distal genomic region of NOTCH4 is warranted.