Analysis of the effects of depression associated polymorphisms on the activity of the BICC1 promoter in amygdala neurones

S. Davidson, L. Shanley, P. Cowie, M. Lear, P. McGuffin, J. P Quinn, P. Barrett, A. MacKenzie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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The Bicaudal C Homolog 1 (BICC1) gene, which encodes an RNA binding protein, has been identified by genome wide association studies (GWAS) as a candidate gene associated with major depressive disorder (MDD). We explored the hypothesis that MDD associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) affected the ability of cis-regulatory elements within intron 3 of the BICC1 gene to modulate the activity of the BICC1 promoter region. We initially established that the BICC1 promoter drove BICC1 mRNA expression in amygdala, hippocampus and hypothalamus. Intriguingly, we provide evidence that MDD associated polymorphisms alter the ability of the BICC1 promoter to respond to PKA signalling within amygdala neurones. Considering the known role of amygdala PKA pathways in fear learning and mood these observations suggest a possible mechanism through which allelic changes in the regulation of the BICC1 gene in amygdala neurones may contribute to mood disorders. Our findings also suggest a novel direction for the identification of novel drug targets and the design of future personalised therapeutics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-374
Number of pages9
JournalThe Pharmacogenomics Journal
Issue number4
Early online date6 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


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