The heritability of schizophrenia has been reported to be as high as ~80%, but the contribution of genetic variants identified to this heritability remains to be estimated. Long non-coding RNAs (LncRNAs) are involved in multiple processes critical to normal cellular function and dysfunction of lncRNA MIAT may contribute to the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. However, the genetic evidence of lncRNAs involved in schizophrenia has not been documented. Here, we conducted a two-stage association analysis on 8 tag SNPs that cover the whole MIAT locus in two independent Han Chinese schizophrenia case-control cohorts (discovery sample from Shanxi Province: 1093 patients with paranoid schizophrenia and 1180 control subjects; replication cohort from Jilin Province: 1255 cases and 1209 healthy controls). In discovery stage, significant genetic association with paranoid schizophrenia was observed for rs1894720 (χ(2)=74.20, P=7.1E-18), of which minor allele (T) had an OR of 1.70 (95% CI=1.50-1.91). This association was confirmed in the replication cohort (χ(2)=22.66, P=1.9E-06, OR=1.32, 95%CI 1.18-1.49). Besides, a weak genotypic association was detected for rs4274 (χ(2)=4.96, df=2, P=0.03); the AA carriers showed increased disease risk (OR=1.30, 95%CI=1.03-1.64). No significant association was found between any haplotype and paranoid schizophrenia. The present studies showed that lncRNA MIAT was a novel susceptibility gene for paranoid schizophrenia in the Chinese Han population. Considering that most lncRNAs locate in non-coding regions, our result may explain why most susceptibility loci for schizophrenia identified by genome wide association studies were out of coding regions.
Keywords: Association study; Long non-coding RNAs; MIAT; Paranoid schizophrenia.
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