Association of the gene encoding neurogranin with schizophrenia in males
The neurogranin (NRGN) gene produces a postsynaptic brain-specific protein that regulates calmodulin-Ca2+availability in neurons. Acting downstream of the NMDA receptor and upstream of calcineurin and other proteins implicated in schizophrenia, NRGN is a good candidate for association studies in schizophrenia. NRGN expression is regulated during development and is modulated by thyroid hormones and retinoids, molecules essential for the proper development of the central nervous system. Given the genetic complexity of schizophrenia and the potential genetic heterogeneity in different populations, we studied a possible association of NRGN with schizophrenia in 73 Azorean proband-parent triads and in two independent case-control samples from the Portuguese-mainland (244 schizophrenic and 210 controls) and Brazil (69 schizophrenic and 85 mentally healthy individuals). Genotype distribution showed association of the rs7113041 SNP with schizophrenia in males of Portuguese origin, which was confirmed by the analysis of the proband-parent triads. This evidence, implicating NRGN in schizophrenia, introduces another player into the glutamatergic hypothesis of schizophrenia.