Genetic studies of familial schizophrenia in Finland have observed significant associations with a group of biologically related genes, DISC1, NDE1, NDEL1, PDE4B and PDE4D, the ‘DISC1 network’. Here, we use gene expression and psychoactive medication use data to study their biological consequences and potential treatment implications. Gene expression levels were determined in 64 individuals from 18 families, while prescription medication information has been collected over a 10-year period for 931 affected individuals. We demonstrate that the NDE1 SNP rs2242549 associates with significant changes in gene expression for 2908 probes (2542 genes), of which 794 probes (719 genes) were replicable. A significant number of the genes altered were predicted targets of microRNA-484 (p = 3.0 × 10−8), located on a non-coding exon of NDE1. Variants within the NDE1 locus also displayed significant genotype by gender interaction to early cessation of psychoactive medications metabolized by CYP2C19. Furthermore, we demonstrate that miR-484 can affect the expression of CYP2C19 in a cell culture system. Thus, variation at the NDE1 locus may alter risk of mental illness, in part through modification of miR-484, and such modification alters treatment response to specific psychoactive medications, leading to the potential for use of this locus in targeting treatment.
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