Many mental disorders represent the extremes of the normal distribution of traits, which are related to multiple cognitive and emotional dimensions. By performing whole-exome sequencing of healthy, young subjects with extremely high versus extremely low aversive memory performance, we identified TROVE2 as a gene implicated in emotional memory in health and disease. TROVE2 encodes Ro60, a broadly expressed RNA-binding protein implicated in the regulation of inflammatory gene expression and autoimmunity. A regulatory TROVE2 variant was linked to higher emotional memory capacity and higher emotional memory-related brain activation in healthy subjects. In addition, TROVE2 was associated with traumatic memory and the frequency of post-traumatic stress disorder in genocide survivors.
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This work was funded by the University of Basel, the Swiss National Science Foundation (grants 163434, 147570 and 159740 to D.J.-F.d.Q. and A.P.), the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) under grant agreement 602450 (IMAGEMEND; grant to A.P. and D.J.-F.d.Q.), the Novartis Foundation for medical-biological Research (grant 15C219 to A.P.), and by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; grants to I.-T.K. and T.El.). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish or preparation of the manuscript.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Heck, A., Milnik, A., Vukojevic, V. et al. Exome sequencing of healthy phenotypic extremes links TROVE2 to emotional memory and PTSD. Nat Hum Behav 1, 0081 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41562-017-0081
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2020)
Translational Psychiatry (2020)