Sci Rep 2017 10 3;7(1):12586. Epub 2017 Oct 3.
Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and proteomic studies have provided convincing evidence implicating alterations in immune/inflammatory processes in schizophrenia. However, despite the convergence of evidence, direct links between the genetic and proteomic findings are still lacking for schizophrenia. We investigated associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the custom-made PsychArray and the expression levels of 190 multiplex immunoassay profiled serum proteins in 149 schizophrenia patients and 198 matched controls. We identified associations between 81 SNPs and 29 proteins, primarily involved in immune/inflammation responses. Significant SNPxDiagnosis interactions were identified for eight serum proteins including Factor-VII[rs555212], Alpha-1-Antitrypsin[rs11846959], Interferon-Gamma Induced Protein 10[rs4256246] and von-Willebrand-Factor[rs12829220] in the control group; Chromogranin-A[rs9658644], Cystatin-C[rs2424577] and Vitamin K-Dependent Protein S[rs6123] in the schizophrenia group; Interleukin-6 receptor[rs7553796] in both the control and schizophrenia groups. These results suggested that the effect of these SNPs on expression of the respective proteins varies with diagnosis. The combination of patient-specific genetic information with blood biomarker data opens a novel approach to investigate disease mechanisms in schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders. Our findings not only suggest that blood protein expression is influenced by polymorphisms in the corresponding gene, but also that the effect of certain SNPs on expression of proteins can vary with diagnosis.