Reciprocal Duplication of the Williams-Beuren Syndrome Deletion on Chromosome 7q11.23 Is Associated With Schizophrenia

Biol Psychiatry. 2014 Mar 1;75(5):371-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2013.05.040. Epub 2013 Jul 17.

Abstract

Background: Several copy number variants (CNVs) have been implicated as susceptibility factors for schizophrenia (SZ). Some of these same CNVs also increase risk for autism spectrum disorders, suggesting an etiologic overlap between these conditions. Recently, de novo duplications of a region on chromosome 7q11.23 were associated with autism spectrum disorders. The reciprocal deletion of this region causes Williams-Beuren syndrome.

Methods: We assayed an Ashkenazi Jewish cohort of 554 SZ cases and 1014 controls for genome-wide CNV. An excess of large rare and de novo CNVs were observed, including a 1.4 Mb duplication on chromosome 7q11.23 identified in two unrelated patients. To test whether this 7q11.23 duplication is also associated with SZ, we obtained data for 14,387 SZ cases and 28,139 controls from seven additional studies with high-resolution genome-wide CNV detection. We performed a meta-analysis, correcting for study population of origin, to assess whether the duplication is associated with SZ.

Results: We found duplications at 7q11.23 in 11 of 14,387 SZ cases with only 1 in 28,139 control subjects (unadjusted odds ratio 21.52, 95% confidence interval: 3.13-922.6, p value 5.5 × 10(-5); adjusted odds ratio 10.8, 95% confidence interval: 1.46-79.62, p value .007). Of three SZ duplication carriers with detailed retrospective data, all showed social anxiety and language delay premorbid to SZ onset, consistent with both human studies and animal models of the 7q11.23 duplication.

Conclusions: We have identified a new CNV associated with SZ. Reciprocal duplication of the Williams-Beuren syndrome deletion at chromosome 7q11.23 confers an approximately tenfold increase in risk for SZ.

Keywords: 7q11.23 duplication syndrome; Autism; Williams-Beuren syndrome; psychiatric genetics; schizophrenia; schizophrenia genetics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 7 / genetics*
  • DNA Copy Number Variations / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Schizophrenia / complications
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*
  • Williams Syndrome / complications
  • Williams Syndrome / genetics*

Grant support