Support for "disease-Only" Genotypes and Excess of Homozygosity at the CYTH4 Primate-Specific GTTT-Repeat in Schizophrenia

Ehteram Khademi, Elham Alehabib, Ehsan Esmaili Shandiz, Azadeh Ahmadifard, Monavvar Andarva, Javad Jamshidi, Simin Rahimi-Aliabadi, Ramin Pouriran, Farhad Ramezani Nejad, Nader Mansoori, Neda Shahmohammadibeni, Shaghyegh Taghavi, Parasto Shokraeian, Haleh Akhavan-Niaki, Coro Paisán-Ruiz, Hossein Darvish, Mina Ohadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective: The role of short tandem repeats (STRs) in the control of gene expression among species is being increasingly understood following the identification of several instances in which certain STRs occur identically, or expand differentially, in primates versus nonprimates. These STRs may regulate genes that participate in characteristics that are associated with the divergence of primates from sibling orders (e.g., brain higher order functions). The CYTH4 gene contains the longest tetranucleotide STR in its core promoter, at 7-repeats, and links to the evolution of human and nonhuman primates. Allele and genotype distribution of this STR were studied in patients affected by schizophrenia (SCZ) and controls. Methods: High-resolution data were obtained on the allele and genotype distribution of the CYTH4 STR and a novel C > T single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at its immediate upstream sequence in 255 patients with SCZ and 249 controls. Each sample was sequenced twice using the fluorescent dye termination method. Results: Novel alleles were detected at the long extreme of the GTTT-repeat, at 10- and 11-repeats, in the SCZ cases and controls. Excess of homozygosity was observed for the entire range of alleles across the GTTT-repeat and the C > T SNP in the SCZ patients in comparison with the controls (Yates corrected p < 0.011). Three genotypes consisting of the 11-repeat allele (i.e., 11/11, 10/11, and 7/11) were detected only in the SCZ patients (i.e., disease-only genotypes), and contributed to 2.3% of the SCZ genotypes (Mid p exact <0.007). The frequency of the 11-repeat allele was estimated at 0.02 and 0.006 in the SCZ patients and controls, respectively (Mid p exact <0.006). Conclusion: This indicates that STR genotypes that are absent in the control group may be risk factors for SCZ. Future studies are warranted to test the significance of our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-490
Number of pages6
JournalGenetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • CYTH4
  • exceptionally long
  • primate-specific
  • schizophrenia
  • short tandem repeat


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