Single nucleotide polymorphisms in theREG-CTNNA2region of chromosome 2 andNEIL3associated with impulsivity in a Native American sample

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Impulsivity is a multi-faceted construct that, while characterized by a set of correlated dimensions, is centered around a core definition that involves acting suddenly in an unplanned manner without consideration for the consequences of such behavior. Several psychiatric disorders include impulsivity as a criterion, and thus it has been suggested that it may link a number of different behavioral disorders, including substance abuse. Native Americans (NA) experience some of the highest rates of substance abuse of all the US ethnic groups. The described analyses used data from a low-coverage whole genome sequence scan to conduct a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of an impulsivity phenotype in an American Indian community sample (n = 658). Demographic and clinical information were obtained using a semi-structured interview. Impulsivity was assessed using a scale derived from the Maudsley personality inventory that combines both novelty seeking and lack of planning items. The impulsivity score was tested for association with each variant adjusted for demographic variables, and corrected for ancestry and kinship, using emmax. Simulations were conducted to calculate empirical P-values. Genome-wide significant findings were observed for a variant 50-kb upstream from catenin cadherin-associated protein, alpha 2 (CTNNA2), a neuronal-specific catenin, in the REG gene cluster. A meta-analysis of GWAS had previously identified common variants in CTNNA2 as being associated with excitement seeking. A second locus upstream of nei endonuclease VIII-like 3 (NEIL3) on chromosome 4 also achieved genome-wide significance. The association between sequence variants in these regions suggests their potential roles in the genetic regulation of this phenotype in this population.

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