The aim of this study was to determine if three biomarkers for suicide attempts previously identified and replicated in a genome-wide association (GWAS) study of bipolar disorder (BD) suicide attempters also predicted suicide attempts in patients prospectively diagnosed with schizophrenia (SCZ) or schizoaffective disorder (SAD). 162 genetically-verified Caucasian patients with SCZ or SAD were phenotyped for presence (45.7%) or absence of a lifetime suicide attempt. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped or partially imputed from a GWAS dataset. After controlling for genetic architecture and gender, we replicated rs300774 (p = 0.012), near ACP1 (acid phosphatase 1), the top predictor of suicide attempts in the BD study. The result of Willour et al. (2012) was replicated in males (p = 0.046) but not in females (p = 0.205). The other two SNPs, rs7296262, and rs10437629, were not associated with suicide attempts in this study. rs300774 could be a cis-eQTL for ACP1, with minor allele carriers having lower expression levels (p = 0.002). This SNP also functioned as a trans-eQTL for genes related to cholesterol biosynthesis and the wnt-β-catenin pathway (p ≤ 0.0001). Further, co-expression analysis of candidate genes in brain suggested ACP1 is important to the regulation of a number of brain mechanisms linked to suicide, including cholesterol synthesis, β-catenin-mediated signaling pathway, serotonin, GABA, and the stress response via ARHGAP35 (p190rhogap), a repressor of glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1) transcription. This study provides an additional validation of rs300774 as a potential transdiagnostic biomarker for suicide attempts and evidence that ACP1 may have an important role in regulation of the multiple systems associated with suicide.
Keywords: ACP1; Cholesterol biosynthesis; GABA; Schizophrenia; Stress response; Suicide attempts.
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