A reappraisal of the association between Dysbindin (DTNBP1) and schizophrenia in a large combined case-control and family-based sample of German ancestry

Jana Strohmaier, Josef Frank, Jens R. Wendland, Johannes Schumacher, Rami Abou Jamra, Jens Treutlein, Vanessa Nieratschker, René Breuer, Manuel Mattheisen, Stefan Herms, Thomas W. Mühleisen, Wolfgang Maier, Markus M. Nöthen, Sven Cichon, Marcella Rietschel, Thomas G. Schulze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Background: Dysbindin (DTNBP1) is a widely studied candidate gene for schizophrenia (SCZ); however, inconsistent results across studies triggered skepticism towards the validity of the findings. In this HapMap-based study, we reappraised the association between Dysbindin and SCZ in a large sample of German ethnicity. Method: Six hundred thirty-four cases with DSM-IV SCZ, 776 controls, and 180 parent-offspring trios were genotyped for 38 Dysbindin SNPs. We also studied two phenotypically-defined subsamples: 147 patients with a positive family history of SCZ (FH-SCZ+) and SCZ patients characterized for cognitive performance with Trail-Making Tests A and B (TMT-A: n=219; TMT-B: n=247). Given previous evidence of gene-gene interactions in SCZ involving the COMT gene, we also assessed epistatic interactions between Dysbindin markers and 14 SNPs in COMT. Results: No association was detected between Dysbindin markers and SCZ, or in the FH-SCZ+ subgroup. Only one marker (rs1047631, previously reported to be part of a risk haplotype), showed a nominally significant association with performance on TMT-A and TMT-B; these findings did not remain significant after correction for multiple comparisons. Similarly, no pair-wise epistatic interactions between Dysbindin and COMT markers remained significant after correction for 504 pair-wise comparisons. Conclusions: Our results, based on one of the largest samples of European Caucasians and using narrowly-defined criteria for SCZ, do not support the etiological involvement of Dysbindin markers in SCZ. Larger samples may be needed in order to unravel Dysbindin's possible role in the genetic basis of proposed intermediate phenotypes of SCZ or to detect epistatic interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-105
Number of pages8
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - May 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognitive function
  • COMT
  • Endophenotype
  • Epistasis
  • Polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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