Impact of the AHI1 Gene on the Vulnerability to Schizophrenia: A Case-Control Association Study

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BackgroundThe Abelson helper integration-1 (AHI1) gene is required for both cerebellar and cortical development in humans. While the accelerated evolution of AHI1 in the human lineage indicates a role in cognitive (dys)function, a linkage scan in large pedigrees identified AHI1 as a positional candidate for schizophrenia. To further investigate the contribution of AHI1 to the susceptibility of schizophrenia, we evaluated the effect of AHI1 variation on the vulnerability to psychosis in two samples from Spain and Germany.Methodology/Principal Findings29 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) located in a genomic region including the AHI1 gene were genotyped in two samples from Spain (280 patients with psychotic disorders; 348 controls) and Germany (247 patients with schizophrenic disorders; 360 controls). Allelic, genotypic and haplotype frequencies were compared between cases and controls in both samples separately, as well as in the combined sample. The effect of genotype on several psychopathological measures (BPRS, KGV, PANSS) assessed in a Spanish subsample was also evaluated. We found several significant associations in the Spanish sample. Particularly, rs7750586 and rs911507, both located upstream of the AHI1 coding region, were found to be associated with schizophrenia in the analysis of genotypic (p = 0.0033, and 0.031, respectively) and allelic frequencies (p = 0.001 in both cases). Moreover, several other risk and protective haplotypes were detected (0.006