Functional promoter VNTR for MAOA: Identification of two novel alleles and analyses of association with neuroticism, depression and anxiety

T. C. Eley, E. Tahir, A. Angleitner, E. Fombonne, M. Galsworthy, R. Plomin, R. Riemann, F. Spinath, I. Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Associations have been reported between a 30bp repeat polymorphism in the promoter region of MAOA and depressive disorders (e.g. Furlong et al., Am. J. Med. Genet., 1999), and panic disorder (Deckert et al., Hum. Molec. Genet., 1999). Analysis of the functionality of this marker revealed that alleles with 3.5 and 4 copies of the repeat are transcribed more efficiently than those with 3 or 5 (Sabol et al., Hum. Genet., 1998). We typed this marker in two independent samples. First, from a sample of 2085 adults, each assessed for neuroticism by two peers, we selected 57 individuals from the top 5% of scores, and 62 individuals from the bottom 5%. Using selected extreme low subjects rather than unselected controls gives roughly twice the power of a standard case-control design. Second, we are collecting DNA from adolescents diagnosed with anxiety or depressive disorders, and currently have 40 individuals in this sample, for the majority of which we also have parents. Exploratory analyses indicate higher prevalence of alleles with 3.5 and 4 repeats in the high neuroticism sample, particularly in males, although the differences do not reach statistical significance. Preliminary analyses of the family data do not indicate association between MAOA and anxiety and depressive disorders in adolescents, but sample collection is ongoing. On the basis of size analysis we have identified two novel alleles for the MAOA marker: 2.5 and 4.5 repeats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-562
Number of pages2
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Volume96
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 7 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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