The D-amino acid oxidase (DAO) signaling pathway has been implicated in schizophrenia pathogenesis. This may be mediated through modulation of NMDA function by DAO, which is in turn activated by DAO activator (DAOA, formerly G72). Chumakov et al. (2002); PNAS 99: 13675-13680, identifying the novel schizophrenia susceptibility gene DAOA/G30 and a number of independent studies have since reported evidence of association between the DAOA and DAO genes and schizophrenia. However, at least two studies have failed to replicate the epistatic interaction between these loci described in the original report and there have been differences in the associated alleles/haplotypes reported at each locus. In this study, we performed association and epistasis analyses of the DAOA/G30 and DAO loci in a sample of 373 cases with DSM-IV schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder and 812 controls from the Republic of Ireland. Corrected for the number of tests performed, we found evidence for association between markers at both genes and schizophrenia: DAOA/G30 (P = 0.005, OR = 1.34 (1.09, 1.65)) and DAO (P = 0.003, OR = 1.43 (1.12, 1.84). The data suggest that evidence for association at DAO (marker rs2111902) is more consistent than previously realized, particularly in Caucasian schizophrenia populations. We identified evidence for epistatic interaction between the associated SNPs at DAOA and DAO genes in contributing to schizophrenia risk (OR = 9.3 (1.4, 60.5). Based on these data, more systematic investigation of genes involved in DAO signaling is required.
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