Journal of Neural Transmission

, 115:1339 | Cite as

Association between polymorphisms in the vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein A (VAPA) gene on chromosome 18p and bipolar disorder

  • Falk W. Lohoff
  • Andrew E. Weller
  • Paul J. Bloch
  • Aleksandra H. Nall
  • Thomas N. Ferraro
  • Wade H. Berrettini
Biological Psychiatry - Original Article


Linkage studies in bipolar disorder (BPD) suggest that a susceptibility locus exists on chromosome 18p11. The vesicle-associated membrane protein-associated protein A (VAPA) gene maps to this region. VAPA interacts with presynaptic proteins and is necessary for vesicular neurotransmission. Dysregulation of synaptic neurotransmission might contribute to the pathophysiology of BPD. In this study, we hypothesize that genetic variations in the VAPA gene contribute to BPD. We tested this hypothesis by genotyping 6 SNPs (rs494015; rs29193; rs29162; rs29145; rs29067; rs29066) in BPD patients (n = 570) and healthy controls (n = 730). Genotype and allele frequencies were compared between groups using Chi square contingency analysis. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) between markers was calculated and estimated haplotype frequencies were compared between groups. Single marker analysis revealed an association of rs29067 and rs29066 with BPD; however, after permutation correction, only rs29066 showed a trend towards an allelic association (P = 0.066). Haplotype analysis did not show any significant association with disease after permutation correction. Our results provide suggestive evidence of an association between SNPs in the 3′UTR of the VAPA gene and BPD. Interestingly, these SNPs are in close proximity to the microsatellite marker D18S464, which showed significant signals in previous linkage studies of BPD. Additional studies are necessary to confirm and elucidate the role of VAPA as a susceptibility gene for BPD on chromosome 18p.


Linkage Association Polymorphism VAMP VAP33 v-SNARE 



This work was supported by the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania. Financial support is gratefully acknowledged from National Institutes of Health grants MH59553, MH63876 (to W H.B.) and K08 MH080372 (to F W.L.), grants from the National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (to W H.B. and F W.L.), a grant from the Tzedakah Foundation (to W H.B.), the Daland Fellowship Award by the American Philosophical Society (to F W.L.), a grant from Philip and Marcia Cohen (to W H.B.), the McCabe Foundation (to F W.L) and the APIRE/AstraZeneca Young Minds in Psychiatry Award (to F W.L.). We thank Candice Schwebel for technical assistance. Most importantly, we thank the families who have participated in and contributed to these studies. Data and biomaterials utilized in this study were collected as part of ten projects that participated in the national institute of mental health (NIMH) Bipolar Disorder Genetics Initiative. From 1999 to 2003, the Principal Investigators and Co-Investigators were: Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN, R01 MH59545, John Nurnberger, M.D., Ph.D., Marvin Miller, M.D., Elizabeth Bowman, M.D., N. Leela Rau, M.D, P. Ryan Moe, M.D., Nalini Samavedy, M.D., Rif El-Mallakh, M.D, (at University of Louisville), Husseini Manji, M.D. (at Wayne State University), Debra A. Blitz, M.D (at Wayne State University), Eric T. Meyer, M.S., Carrie Smiley, R.N., Tatiana Foroud, Ph.D., Leah Flury, M.S., Danielle M. Dick, Ph.D., Howard Edenberg, Ph.D.; Washington University, St. Louis, MO, R01 MH059534, John Rice, Ph.D., Theodore Reich, M.D., Allison Goate, Ph.D., Laura Bierut, M.D.; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, R01 MH59533, Melvin McInnis, M.D., J. Raymond DePaulo, Jr., M.D., Dean F. MacKinnon, M.D., Francis M. Mondimore, M.D., James B. Potash, M.D., Peter P. Zandi, Ph.D, Dimitrios Avramopoulos, Jennifer Payne; University of Pennsylvania, PA, R01 MH59553, Wade Berrettini, M.D., Ph.D.; University of California at Irvine, CA, R01 MH60068, William Byerley, M.D. and Mark Vawter, M.D.; University of Iowa, IA, R01 MH059548, William Coryell, M.D., Raymond Crowe, M.D.; University of Chicago, IL, R01 MH059535, Elliot Gershon, M.D., Judith Badner, Ph.D., Francis McMahon, M.D., Chunyu Liu, Ph.D., Alan Sanders, M.D., Maria Caserta, Steven Dinwiddie, M.D., Tu Nguyen, Donna Harakal; University of California at San Diego, CA, R01 MH59567, John Kelsoe, M.D., Rebecca McKinney, B.A.; Rush University, IL, R01 MH059556, William Scheftner, M.D., Howard M. Kravitz, D.O., M.P H., Diana Marta, B S., Annette Vaughn-Brown, M.S N., R.N., Laurie Bederow, M.A.; NIMH Intramural Research Program, Bethesda, MD, 1Z01MH02810-01, Francis J. McMahon, M.D., Layla Kassem, PsyD., Sevilla Derta-Wadleigh, Ph.D., Lisa Austin, Ph.D., Dennis L. Murphy, M.D.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Falk W. Lohoff
    • 1
  • Andrew E. Weller
    • 1
  • Paul J. Bloch
    • 1
  • Aleksandra H. Nall
    • 1
  • Thomas N. Ferraro
    • 1
  • Wade H. Berrettini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry, Translational Research LaboratoriesUniversity of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Center for Neurobiology and BehaviorPhiladelphiaUSA

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