Genes regulated by BCL11B during T‐cell development are enriched for de novo mutations found in schizophrenia patients
Ó Broin, Pilib
Morris, Derek W.
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Fahey, Laura, Donohoe, Gary, Broin, Pilib Ó., & Morris, Derek W. (2020). Genes regulated by BCL11B during T-cell development are enriched for de novo mutations found in schizophrenia patients. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics, 183(6), 370-379. doi:https://doi.org/10.1002/ajmg.b.32811
While abnormal neurodevelopment contributes to schizophrenia (SCZ) risk, there is also evidence to support a role for immune dysfunction in SCZ.BCL11B, associated with SCZ in genome-wide association study (GWAS), is a transcription factor that regulates the differentiation and development of cells in the central nervous and immune systems. Here, we use functional genomics data from studies ofBCL11Bto investigate the contribution of neuronal and immune processes to SCZ pathophysiology. We identified the gene targets of BCL11B in brain striatal cells (n = 223 genes), double negative 4 (DN4) developing T cells (n = 114 genes) and double positive (DP) developing T cells (n = 518 genes) using an integrated analysis of RNA-seq and ChIP-seq data. No gene-set was enriched for genes containing common variants associated with SCZ but the DP gene-set was enriched for genes containing missense de novo mutations (DNMs;p= .001) using data from 3,447 SCZ trios. Post hoc analysis revealed the enrichment to be stronger for DP genes negatively regulated by BCL11B. Biological processes enriched for genes negatively regulated by BCL11B in DP gene-set included immune system development and cytokine signaling. These analyses, leveraging a GWAS-identified SCZ risk gene and data on gene expression and transcription factor binding, indicate that DNMs in immune pathways contribute to SCZ risk.