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Translational Psychiatry



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Genetic components susceptible to complex disease such as schizophrenia include a wide spectrum of variants, including common variants (CVs) and de novo mutations (DNMs). Although CVs and DNMs differ by origin, it remains elusive whether and how they interact at the gene, pathway, and network levels that leads to the disease. In this work, we characterized the genes harboring schizophrenia-associated CVs (CVgenes) and the genes harboring DNMs (DNMgenes) using measures from network, tissue-specific expression profile, and spatiotemporal brain expression profile. We developed an algorithm to link the DNMgenes and CVgenes in spatiotemporal brain co-expression networks. DNMgenes tended to have central roles in the human protein–protein interaction (PPI) network, evidenced in their high degree and high betweenness values. DNMgenes and CVgenes connected with each other significantly more often than with other genes in the networks. However, only CVgenes remained significantly connected after adjusting for their degree. In our gene co-expression PPI network, we found DNMgenes and CVgenes connected in a tissue-specific fashion, and such a pattern was similar to that in GTEx brain but not in other GTEx tissues. Importantly, DNMgene–CVgene subnetworks were enriched with pathways of chromatin remodeling, MHC protein complex binding, and neurotransmitter activities. In summary, our results unveiled that both DNMgenes and CVgenes contributed to a core set of biologically important pathways and networks, and their interactions may attribute to the risk for schizophrenia. Our results also suggested a stronger biological effect of DNMgenes than CVgenes in schizophrenia.


Psychiatry and Psychology

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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