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A genetic polymorphism in the promoter region of DRD4 associated with expression and schizophrenia.

Okuyama Y., Ishiguro H., Toru M., Arinami T.

The human dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) is an important candidate gene for schizophrenia. We identified a novel -521C>T polymorphism in the 5'-promoter region of DRD4. A transient expression method revealed that the T allele of this polymorphism reduces the transcriptional efficiency by 40% compared with the C allele. This polymorphism is of interest because of reported elevation of D4-like sites and DRD4 mRNA in the postmortem schizophrenic brain. The C allele frequency was significantly higher in 252 Japanese schizophrenics (0.48) than in 269 Japanese controls (0.41) (p = 0. 02) [odds ratio = 1.35 (95% confidence interval 1.05 - 1.72)]. Although the association is weak and should be considered tentative until other studies replicate it, this polymorphism provides a tool with the potential to examine whether DRD4 is related to susceptibility to and neuroleptic response in schizophrenia.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 258:292-295(1999) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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