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Enrichment of self-domestication and neural crest function loci in the heritability of neurodevelopmental disorders

Hum Genet. 2023 Mar 17. doi: 10.1007/s00439-023-02541-5. Online ahead of print.


Self-domestication could contribute to shaping the biology of human brain and consequently the predisposition to neurodevelopmental disorders. Leveraging genome-wide data from the Psychiatric Genomics Consortium, we tested the enrichment of self-domestication and neural crest function loci with respect to the heritability of autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia (SCZ in East Asian and European ancestries, EAS and EUR, respectively), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and Tourette’s syndrome (TS). Considering only self-domestication and neural-crest-function annotations in the linkage disequilibrium score regression (LDSC) model, our partitioned heritability analysis revealed statistically significant enrichments across all disorders investigated. The estimates of the heritability enrichments for self-domestication loci were similar across neurodevelopmental disorders, ranging from 0.902 (EAS SCZ, p = 4.55 × 10-20) to 1.577 (TS, p = 5.85 × 10-5). Conversely, a wider spectrum of heritability enrichment estimates was present for neural crest function with the highest enrichment observed for TS (enrichment = 3.453, p = 2.88 × 10-3) and the lowest for EAS SCZ (enrichment = 1.971, p = 3.81 × 10-3). Although these estimates appear to be strong, the enrichments for self-domestication and neural crest function were null once we included additional annotations related to different genomic features. This indicates that the effect of self-domestication on the polygenic architecture of neurodevelopmental disorders is not independent of other functions of human genome.

PMID:36930228 | DOI:10.1007/s00439-023-02541-5

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