Copy number variants for schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders in Oceanic Palau: Risk and transmission in extended pedigrees

Nadine Melhem, Frank Middleton, Kathryn McFadden, Lambertus Klei, Stephen V. Faraone, Sophia Vinogradov, Josepha Tiobech, Victor Yano, Stevenson Kuartei, Kathryn Roeder, William Byerley, Bernie Devlin, Marina Myles-Worsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: We report on copy number variants (CNVs) found in Palauan subjects ascertained for schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders in extended pedigrees in Palau. We compare CNVs found in this Oceanic population with those seen in other samples, typically of European ancestry. Assessing CNVs in Palauan extended pedigrees yields insight into the evolution of risk CNVs, such as how they arise, are transmitted, and are lost from populations by stochastic or selective processes, none of which are easily measured from case-control samples. Methods: DNA samples from 197 subjects affected with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders, 185 of their relatives, and 159 control subjects were successfully characterized for CNVs using Affymetrix Genomewide Human SNP Array 5.0. Results: Copy number variants thought to be associated with risk for schizophrenia and related disorders also occur in affected individuals in Palau, specifically 15q11.2 and 1q21.1 deletions, partial duplication of IL1RAPL1 (Xp21.3), and chromosome X duplications (Klinefelter's syndrome). Partial duplication within A2BP1 appears to convey an eightfold increased risk in male subjects (95% confidence interval,.884.4) but not female subjects (odds ratio =.4, 95% confidence interval,.034.9). Affected-only linkage analysis using this variant yields a logarithm of the odds score of 3.5. Conclusions: This study reveals CNVs that confer risk to schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders in Palau, most of which have been previously observed in samples of European ancestry. Only a few of these CNVs show evidence that they have existed for many generations, consistent with risk variants diminishing reproductive success.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1115-1121
Number of pages7
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • A2BP1
  • IL1RAPL1
  • Palau
  • copy number variants (CNVs)
  • psychotic disorders
  • schizophrenia

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