Schizophrenia-associated somatic copy-number variants from 12,834 cases reveal recurrent NRXN1 and ABCB11 disruptions

Cell Genom. 2023 Jul 6;3(8):100356. doi: 10.1016/j.xgen.2023.100356. eCollection 2023 Aug 9.


While germline copy-number variants (CNVs) contribute to schizophrenia (SCZ) risk, the contribution of somatic CNVs (sCNVs)-present in some but not all cells-remains unknown. We identified sCNVs using blood-derived genotype arrays from 12,834 SCZ cases and 11,648 controls, filtering sCNVs at loci recurrently mutated in clonal blood disorders. Likely early-developmental sCNVs were more common in cases (0.91%) than controls (0.51%, p = 2.68e-4), with recurrent somatic deletions of exons 1-5 of the NRXN1 gene in five SCZ cases. Hi-C maps revealed ectopic, allele-specific loops forming between a potential cryptic promoter and non-coding cis-regulatory elements upon 5' deletions in NRXN1. We also observed recurrent intragenic deletions of ABCB11, encoding a transporter implicated in anti-psychotic response, in five treatment-resistant SCZ cases and showed that ABCB11 is specifically enriched in neurons forming mesocortical and mesolimbic dopaminergic projections. Our results indicate potential roles of sCNVs in SCZ risk.

Keywords: ABCB11; NRXN1; genomics; mosaicism; schizophrenia; somatic; structural variants; treatment resistance.