Association between golli-MBP and schizophrenia in the Jewish Ashkenazi population: are regulatory regions involved?

Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2009 Aug;12(7):885-94. doi: 10.1017/S1461145708009887. Epub 2009 Jan 21.


Multiple studies have reported oligodendrocyte and myelin abnormalities, as well as dysregulation of their related genes, in brains of schizophrenia patients. One of these genes is the myelin-basic-protein (MBP) gene, which encodes two families of proteins: classic-MBPs and golli-MBPs. While the classic-MBPs are predominantly located in the myelin sheaths of the nervous system, the golli proteins are more widely expressed and are found in both the immune and the nervous systems. In the present study we performed a case-control association analysis of golli-MBP in two separate Jewish Ashkenazi cohorts (cohort I: 120 patients, 236 controls; cohort II: 379 patients, 380 controls). In addition we performed an expression analysis of golli-MBP mRNA in post-mortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortex samples of schizophrenia patients, and matched controls. In the first cohort we observed association between six (out of 26 genotyped) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the disease (p<0.05). Of these, three are from one linkage disequilibrium (LD) block which contains a CTCF binding region. Haplotype analysis revealed significant 'risk'/'protective' haplotypes (strongest p=0.005, each) for schizophrenia. The three SNPs (rs12458282, rs2008323, rs721286) were then genotyped in the second cohort. The combined results showed strong effects, both in the single marker and in haplotype analyses (strongest OR 1.77, p=0.0005; OR 1.61, p=0.00001, respectively). Sequencing the CTCF binding region revealed three SNPs in complete LD with the associated haplotypes, located in close proximity to the CTCF binding site. Expression analysis found no significant differences in golli-MBP mRNA levels. These findings suggest that golli-MBP is a possible susceptibility gene for schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autopsy
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Jews / genetics*
  • Jews / psychology*
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelin Basic Protein / genetics*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / chemistry
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / ethnology
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Young Adult


  • MBP protein, human
  • Myelin Basic Protein
  • RNA, Messenger