Two recent association studies have implicated the neuregulin-1 gene (NRG1) at chromosome 8p21 - 22 as a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia. Stefansson et al identified three 'at-risk' haplotypes (HapA, B and C) which spanned the NRG1 locus and shared a common core haplotype. Subsequently, they demonstrated evidence that the core haplotype was associated with schizophrenia in an independent Scottish sample. To confirm and refine this haplotype we investigated the NRG1 locus in an independent Irish case - control sample. We did not find the core haplotype to be associated in our sample. However, we identified a refined 2-marker haplotype (HapB(IRE)) that shared common alleles with one of the Icelandic 'at-risk' haplotypes and is in significant excess in the Irish cases (19.4%) vs controls (12.3%) ( P = 0.013). This refined 'at-risk' haplotype is also in significant excess in the Scottish case sample (17.0% vs 13.5%; P = 0.036). Interestingly, this refined 'at-risk' haplotype is positioned close to an EST cluster of unknown function (Hs. 97362) within intron 1 of NRG1.
- risk haplotype
- linkage disequilibrium