Pathway-wide association study identifies five shared pathways associated with schizophrenia in three ancestral distinct populations
Web of Science
AuthorLiu, C; Bousman, CA; Pantelis, C; Skafidas, E; Zhang, D; Yue, W; Everall, IP
Source TitleTranslational Psychiatry
University of Melbourne Author/sEverall, Ian; Bousman, Chad; Pantelis, Christos; Skafidas, Efstratios; Liu, Chenxing
AffiliationElectrical and Electronic Engineering
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsLiu, C., Bousman, C. A., Pantelis, C., Skafidas, E., Zhang, D., Yue, W. & Everall, I. P. (2017). Pathway-wide association study identifies five shared pathways associated with schizophrenia in three ancestral distinct populations. TRANSLATIONAL PSYCHIATRY, 7 (2), https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2017.8.
Access StatusOpen Access
Genome-wide association studies have confirmed the polygenic nature of schizophrenia and suggest that there are hundreds or thousands of alleles associated with increased liability for the disorder. However, the generalizability of any one allelic marker of liability is remarkably low and has bred the notion that schizophrenia may be better conceptualized as a pathway(s) disorder. Here, we empirically tested this notion by conducting a pathway-wide association study (PWAS) encompassing 255 experimentally validated Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways among 5033 individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and 5332 unrelated healthy controls across three distinct ethnic populations; European-American (EA), African-American (AA) and Han Chinese (CH). We identified 103, 74 and 87 pathways associated with schizophrenia liability in the EA, CH and AA populations, respectively. About half of these pathways were uniquely associated with schizophrenia liability in each of the three populations. Five pathways (serotonergic synapse, ubiquitin mediated proteolysis, hedgehog signaling, adipocytokine signaling and renin secretion) were shared across all three populations and the single-nucleotide polymorphism sets representing these five pathways were enriched for single-nucleotide polymorphisms with regulatory function. Our findings provide empirical support for schizophrenia as a pathway disorder and suggest schizophrenia is not only a polygenic but likely also a poly-pathway disorder characterized by both genetic and pathway heterogeneity.
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