The Consortium on the Genetics of Schizophrenia Family Study (COGS-1) has previously reported our efforts to characterize the genetic architecture of 12 primary endophenotypes for schizophrenia. We now report the characterization of 13 additional measures derived from the same endophenotype test paradigms in the COGS-1 families. Nine of the measures were found to discriminate between schizophrenia patients and controls, were significantly heritable (31 to 62%), and were sufficiently independent of previously assessed endophenotypes, demonstrating utility as additional endophenotypes. Genotyping via a custom array of 1536 SNPs from 94 candidate genes identified associations for CTNNA2, ERBB4, GRID1, GRID2, GRIK3, GRIK4, GRIN2B, NOS1AP, NRG1, and RELN across multiple endophenotypes. An experiment-wide p value of 0.003 suggested that the associations across all SNPs and endophenotypes collectively exceeded chance. Linkage analyses performed using a genome-wide SNP array further identified significant or suggestive linkage for six of the candidate endophenotypes, with several genes of interest located beneath the linkage peaks (e.g., CSMD1, DISC1, DLGAP2, GRIK2, GRIN3A, and SLC6A3). While the partial convergence of the association and linkage likely reflects differences in density of gene coverage provided by the distinct genotyping platforms, it is also likely an indication of the differential contribution of rare and common variants for some genes and methodological differences in detection ability. Still, many of the genes implicated by COGS through endophenotypes have been identified by independent studies of common, rare, and de novo variation in schizophrenia, all converging on a functional genetic network related to glutamatergic neurotransmission that warrants further investigation.
Keywords: Association; Endophenotype; Genetics; Heritability; Linkage; Schizophrenia.
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