Genome-wide association-, replication-, and neuroimaging study implicates homer1 in the etiology of major depression

Marcella Rietschel, Manuel Mattheisen, Josef Frank, Jens Treutlein, Franziska Degenhardt, René Breuer, Michael Steffens, Daniela Mier, Christine Esslinger, Henrik Walter, Peter Kirsch, Susanne Erk, Knut Schnell, Stefan Herms, H. Erich Wichmann, Stefan Schreiber, Karl Heinz Jöckel, Jana Strohmaier, Darina Roeske, Britta HaenischMagdalena Gross, Susanne Hoefels, Susanne Lucae, Elisabeth B. Binder, Thomas F. Wienker, Thomas G. Schulze, Christine Schmäl, Andreas Zimmer, Dilafruz Juraeva, Benedikt Brors, Thomas Bettecken, Andreas Meyer-Lindenberg, Bertram Müller-Myhsok, Wolfgang Maier, Markus M. Nöthen, Sven Cichon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Background: Genome-wide association studies are a powerful tool for unravelling the genetic background of complex disorders such as major depression. Methods: We conducted a genome-wide association study of 604 patients with major depression and 1364 population based control subjects. The top hundred findings were followed up in a replication sample of 409 patients and 541 control subjects. Results: Two SNPs showed nominally significant association in both the genome-wide association study and the replication samples: 1) rs9943849 (pcombined = 3.24E-6) located upstream of the carboxypeptidase M (CPM) gene and 2) rs7713917 (pcombined = 1.48E-6), located in a putative regulatory region of HOMER1. Further evidence for HOMER1 was obtained through gene-wide analysis while conditioning on the genotypes of rs7713917 (pcombined = 4.12E-3). Homer1 knockout mice display behavioral traits that are paradigmatic of depression, and transcriptional variants of Homer1 result in the dysregulation of cortical-limbic circuitry. This is consistent with the findings of our subsequent human imaging genetics study, which revealed that variation in single nucleotide polymorphism rs7713917 had a significant influence on prefrontal activity during executive cognition and anticipation of reward. Conclusion: Our findings, combined with evidence from preclinical and animal studies, suggest that HOMER1 plays a role in the etiology of major depression and that the genetic variation affects depression via the dysregulation of cognitive and motivational processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)578-585
Number of pages8
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 15 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Carboxypeptidase M
  • CPM
  • gene-wide
  • HOMER1
  • major depression
  • neuroimaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry


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