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Gene expression imputation across multiple brain regions provides insights into schizophrenia risk.

Nat Genet. 2019 Apr;51(4):659-674. doi: 10.1038/s41588-019-0364-4. Epub 2019 Mar 25.

Authors/Editors: Huckins LM, Dobbyn A, Ruderfer DM, Hoffman G, Wang W, Pardiñas AF, Rajagopal VM, Als TD, T Nguyen H, Girdhar K, Boocock J, Roussos P, Fromer M, Kramer R, Domenici E, Gamazon ER, Purcell S; CommonMind Consortium, The Schizophrenia Working Group of the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium [i.a. Mueller-Myhsok B ], iPSYCH-GEMS Schizophrenia Working Group, Demontis D, Børglum AD, Walters JTR, O'Donovan MC, Sullivan P, Owen MJ, Devlin B, Sieberts SK, Cox NJ, Im HK, Sklar P, Stahl EA.
Publication Date: 2019



Transcriptomic imputation approaches combine eQTL reference panels with large-scale genotype data in order to test associations between disease and gene expression. These genic associations could elucidate signals in complex genome-wide association study (GWAS) loci and may disentangle the role of different tissues in disease development. We used the largest eQTL reference panel for the dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) to create a set of gene expression predictors and demonstrate their utility. We applied DLPFC and 12 GTEx-brain predictors to 40,299 schizophrenia cases and 65,264 matched controls for a large transcriptomic imputation study of schizophrenia. We identified 413 genic associations across 13 brain regions. Stepwise conditioning identified 67 non-MHC genes, of which 14 did not fall within previous GWAS loci. We identified 36 significantly enriched pathways, including hexosaminidase-A deficiency, and multiple porphyric disorder pathways. We investigated developmental expression patterns among the 67 non-MHC genes and identified specific groups of pre- and postnatal expression.

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