Association and linkage analysis of RGS4 polymorphisms with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in Brazil


H. Vallada, Instituto de Psiquiatria do Hospital das Clínicas, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, CEP: 05403-010, Sao Paulo-SP, Brazil. E-mail:


Linkage and association studies in five independently ascertained samples have suggested that polymorphisms of the regulator of G-protein signaling 4 (RGS4) may confer risk for schizophrenia (SCZ). Suggestive evidence for association with bipolar disorder (BD) has also been presented. However, the associated alleles and haplotypes have differed among the samples. Data from other independent samples may clarify the putative associations. Hence, we investigated an independent, ethnically diverse Brazilian population comprising patients with SCZ (n = 271) or BD1 (n = 306), who were contrasted with 576 community-based controls. Parents of 49 SCZ cases and 44 BD cases were available for transmission disequilibrium tests (TDTs). Four RGS4 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) 1, 4, 7 and 18 putatively associated with SCZ were investigated. In the SCZ samples, significant case–control differences were not observed for individual SNPs or haplotypes, though the TDT suggested transmission distortion similar to that observed in the initial report. For the BD sample, case–control comparisons revealed no significant differences for individual SNPs, but an omnibus test suggested differences in the overall distribution of haplotypes bearing all four SNPs (SNP-EM Omnibus likelihood ratio test; P = 0.003). The TDT revealed over-transmission of allele A at SNP7 (P = 0.016), as well as haplotypes incorporating this allele. However, global tests incorporating all haplotypes yielded only suggestive trends for association (P = 0.19). In conclusion, association with SCZ was not detected in the present analyses. The failure to detect an association may be related to inadequate power or to confounds related to ethnic admixture. Suggestive associations with BD detected here require further investigation in a larger sample.