Allele specific analysis of the ADRBK2 gene in lymphoblastoid cells from bipolar disorder patients

J Psychiatr Res. 2010 Mar;44(4):201-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2009.08.010. Epub 2009 Sep 18.


G-protein coupled receptor kinase-3 (GRK3), translated from the gene, ADRBK2 has been implicated as a candidate molecule for bipolar disorder through multiple, converging lines of evidence. In some individuals, the ADRBK2 gene harbors the A-haplotype, a collection of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) previously associated with an increased risk for bipolar disorder. Because the A-haplotype encompasses the ADRBK2 promoter, we hypothesized that it may alter the regulation of gene expression. Using histone H3 acetylation to infer promoter activity in lymphoblastoid cells from patients with bipolar disorder, we examined the A-haplotype within its genomic context and determined that at least four of its SNPs are present in transcriptionally active portions of the promoter. However, using chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by allele-specific PCR in samples heterozygous for the A-haplotype, we found no evidence of altered levels of acetylated histone H3 at the affected allele compared to the common allele. Similarly, using a transcribed SNP to discriminate expressed ADRBK2 mRNA strands by allele of origin; we found that the A-haplotype did not confer an allelic-expression imbalance. Our data suggest that while the A-haplotype is situated in active regulatory sequence, the risk-associated SNPs do not appear to affect ADRBK2 gene regulation at the level of histone H3 acetylation nor do they confer measurable changes in transcription in lymphoblastoid cells. However, tissue-specific mechanisms by which the A-haplotype could affect ADRBK2 in the central nervous system cannot be excluded.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics*
  • Bipolar Disorder / pathology*
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromatin / metabolism
  • Chromatin Immunoprecipitation / methods
  • Fetus
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 3 / genetics*
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 3 / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Histones / genetics
  • Histones / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics


  • Chromatin
  • Histones
  • G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 3
  • GRK3 protein, human