Background: Community samples suggest that approximately 1 in 20 children and adults exhibit clinically significant anger, hostility, and aggression. Individuals with dysregulated emotional control have a greater lifetime burden of psychiatric morbidity, severe impairment in role functioning, and premature mortality due to cardiovascular disease.
Methods: With publically available data secured from dbGaP, we conducted a genome-wide association study of proneness to anger using the Spielberger State-Trait Anger Scale in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study (n = 8,747).
Results: Subjects were, on average, 54 (range 45-64) years old at baseline enrollment, 47% (n = 4,117) were male, and all were of European descent by self-report. The mean Angry Temperament and Angry Reaction scores were 5.8 ± 1.8 and 7.6 ± 2.2. We observed a nominally significant finding (p = 2.9E-08, λ = 1.027 - corrected pgc = 2.2E-07, λ = 1.0015) on chromosome 6q21 in the gene coding for the non-receptor protein-tyrosine kinase, Fyn.
Conclusions: Fyn interacts with NDMA receptors and inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-gated channels to regulate calcium influx and intracellular release in the post-synaptic density. These results suggest that signaling pathways regulating intracellular calcium homeostasis, which are relevant to memory, learning, and neuronal survival, may in part underlie the expression of Angry Temperament.