Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sparse whole-genome sequencing identifies two loci for major depressive disorder

Gene sequencing has recently revealed two regions associated with major depressive disorder on one of the 23 pairs of chromosomes. A key finding is that it lies near the gene SIRT1. This gene is important for the energy-producing parts of mitochondria. This moves the focus from neuron function to metabolism in looking at depression, which could lead to better diagnosis and treatment in the future. 

Whole genome sequencing of 5,303 Chinese women with major depressive disorder lead to the finding near the gene SIRT1. Both key findings were found on chromosome 10. Besides being found near SIRT1 there was another spot of note near an intron of the LHPP gene.

I think this is a pretty important finding, maybe moving from a neuron function view of depression to one of metabolism might relieve some of the stigma surrounding depression. It could also lead to a more accurate diagnosis of the disorder.   
The study can be found here, and a short summary can be found here.

Figure 1 | Two loci associated with MDD in the
CONVERGE sample. b, Association
at the SIRT1 region on chromosome 10 at 69.6
megabases (Mb). c, Association at the LHPP gene
on chromosome 10 at position 126.2 Mb. For
b and c The 2log10(P value) of imputed SNPs
associated with MDD is shown on the left y axis.
The recombination rates expressed in
centimorgans (cM) per Mb (NCBI Build GRCh37;
light blue lines), are shown on the right y axis.
Position in Mb is on the x axis. Linkage
disequilibrium of each SNP with the top SNP,
displayed as a large purple diamond, is indicated by
its colour.

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