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Genetic association studies of schizophrenia using the 8p21-22 genes: prepronociceptin (PNOC), neuronal nicotinic cholinergic receptor alpha polypeptide 2 (CHRNA2) and arylamine N-acetyltransferase 1 (NAT1)


Schizophrenia is a common, genetically heterogeneous disorder with a lifetime prevalence of approximately 1% in the general population. Linkage studies of affected families have now strongly implicated a susceptibility locus on chromosome 8p21-22. Tests of allelic association with markers on 8p21-22 should be able to localise any quantitative trait nucleotides (QTN’s) or susceptibility mutations to within a few hundred kilobases. Three brain expressed candidate susceptibility genes, prepronociceptin (PNOC), neuronal cholinergic receptor, nicotinic, alpha polypeptide 2 (CHRNA2) and arylamine N-acetyltransferase 1 (NAT1) have been mapped to chromosome 8p21-22. A case-control, allelic association study was performed using a novel highly polymorphic dinucleotide repeat, D8S2611 near the PNOC gene, two previously characterised dinucleotide repeats, D8S131 and D8S131P at the CHRNA2 locus and an RFLP at the 3′UTR of the arylamine N-acetyltransferase 1 (NAT1) gene. No differences were found in allele frequencies between the patient and control groups. DNA variations or mutations at or near the three genes under study are unlikely to increase susceptibility to schizophrenia in our population sample.


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We would like to thank the UK HGMP Resource Center for providing the PAC library. The research was funded by the Neuroscience Research Charitable Trust.

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Correspondence to Hugh MD Gurling.

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Blaveri, E., Kalsi, G., Lawrence, J. et al. Genetic association studies of schizophrenia using the 8p21-22 genes: prepronociceptin (PNOC), neuronal nicotinic cholinergic receptor alpha polypeptide 2 (CHRNA2) and arylamine N-acetyltransferase 1 (NAT1). Eur J Hum Genet 9, 469–472 (2001).

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  • polymorphism
  • D8S2611
  • neuropeptides
  • neuronal acetylcholine receptor
  • candidate gene
  • schizophrenia


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