Association of Sult4A1 SNPs with psychopathology and cognition in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder

Schizophr Res. 2008 Dec;106(2-3):258-64. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2008.08.029. Epub 2008 Sep 27.


A number of genes located on chromosome 22q11-13, including catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), are potential schizophrenia susceptibility genes. Recently, the sulfotransferase-4A1 (Sult4A1) locus within chromosome 22q13 was reported to be linked to schizophrenia in a family TDT study. Sult4A1 is related to metabolism of monoamines, particularly dopamine and norepinephrine, both of which have been implicated in the pathophysiology of the psychopathology and cognitive dysfunction components of schizophrenia. An available, prospectively collected data base was interrogated to determine how three Sult4A1 SNPs: rs138060, rs138097, and rs138110, previously shown to be associated with schizophrenia might be associated with psychopathology, cognition, and quality of life in a sample of 86 Caucasian patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The majority of patients met criteria for treatment resistant schizophrenia and had been drug-free for one week or longer at the time of evaluation. The major findings were: 1) patients heterozygous (T/G) for rs138060 had significantly worse Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) Total and anxiety/depression sub-scale scores, and higher Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS) Total scores than G/G homozygous patients; and 2) patients heterozygous (A/G) for rs138097 demonstrated significantly worse performance on neuropsychological testing, specifically on tests of executive function and working memory, compared to patients homozygous for the G and A alleles. RS138110 was unrelated to psychopathology and cognition. These results provide the first evidence of how genetic variation in Sult4A1 may be related to clinical symptoms and cognitive function in schizophrenia, and permit future studies to attempt to replicate these potentially important findings.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase / genetics
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis
  • Psychotic Disorders / genetics*
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Sulfotransferases / genetics*


  • Catechol O-Methyltransferase
  • SULT4A1 protein, human
  • Sulfotransferases