Sequence variation in DOCK9 and heterogeneity in bipolar disorder

Sevilla D. Detera-Wadleigh, Chun Yu Liu, Manjula Maheshwari, Imer Cardona, Winston Corona, Nirmala Akula, C. J.M. Steele, Judith A. Badner, Mukta Kundu, Layla Kassem, James B. Potash, Richard Gibbs, Elliot S. Gershon, Francis Joseph McMahon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Linkage of bipolar disorder to a broad region on chromosome 13q has been supported in several studies including a meta-analysis on genome scans. Subsequent reports have shown that variations in the DAOA (G72) locus on 13q33 display association with bipolar disorder but these may not account for all of the linkage evidence in the region. OBJECTIVE: To identify additional susceptibility loci on 13q32-q33 by linkage disequilibrium mapping and explore the impact of phenotypic heterogeneity on association. METHODS: In the initial phase, 98 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) located on 13q32-q33 were genotyped on 285 probands with bipolar disorder and their parents were drawn from families in the NIMH Genetics Initiative consortium for bipolar disorder (NIMH1-4) and two other series. Fine scale mapping using one family series (NIMH1-2) as the test sample was targeted on a gene that displayed the highest evidence of association. A secondary analysis of familial component phenotypes of bipolar disorder was conducted. RESULTS: Three of seven SNPs in DOCK9, a gene that encodes an activator of the Rho-GTPase Cdc42, showed significant excess allelic transmission (P=0.0477-0.00067). Fine scale mapping on DOCK9 yielded evidence of association at nine SNPs in the gene (P=0.02-0.006). Follow-up tests detected excess transmission of the same allele of rs1340 in two out of three other sets of families. The association signals were largely attributable to maternally transmitted alleles (rs1927568: P=0.000083; odds ratio=3.778). A secondary analysis of familial component phenotypes of bipolar disorder detected significant association across multiple DOCK9 markers for racing thoughts, psychosis, delusion during mania and course of illness indicators. CONCLUSION: These results suggest that DOCK9 contributes to both risk and increased illness severity in bipolar disorder. We found evidence for the effect of phenotypic heterogeneity on association. To our knowledge this is the first report to implicate DOCK9 or the Rho-GTPase pathway in the etiology of bipolar disorder.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-286
Number of pages13
JournalPsychiatric genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007


  • Allele
  • Association
  • Cdc42
  • Phenotypes
  • Transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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