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Teasing Out the Effects of Latitude and Birth Date on Allergy

PLoS Medicine
Public Library of Science
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0020375
  • Synopsis
  • Allergy/Immunology
  • Epidemiology/Public Health
  • Asthma
  • Immunology And Allergy
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Biology
  • Ecology
  • Geography
  • Medicine


PLME0210_928-933.indd PLoS Medicine | 0928 Synopses of Research Articles Open access, freely available online October 2005 | Volume 2 | Issue 10 | e360 | e329 Schizophrenia and bipolar disease are complex diseases, with multiple genes and environmental factors thought to be responsible for their manifestation. Many reports have implicated changes in certain regions of the human genome in schizophrenia. An area on Chromosome 1 has been associated with the disease in different studies and populations. Linda Brzustowicz and colleagues had previously described association of several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within a gene called CAPON (for carboxyl-terminal PDZ ligand of neuronal nitric oxide synthase) with schizophrenia in a set of Canadian families. A separate study in a Chinese population found an association between schizophrenia and a separate group of SNPs within CAPON. CAPON is an attractive candidate for a “schizophrenia gene”: CAPON was fi rst identifi ed as a protein binding to neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), and indirect evidence suggests that it might be linked to the regulation of glutamate neurotransmission. However, so far, no coding sequence mutations in CAPON have been found in patients with schizophrenia. Brzustowicz and colleagues now report results from a study of CAPON expression in postmortem brain samples from patients with schizophrenia, from patients with bipolar disorder, and from control individuals without psychiatric illness. Initially screening a human fetal brain cDNA library for potential alternative splice forms of CAPON, they found, in addition to the predicted full- length transcript, a shorter isoform that consists of the last two exons of the gene. They also confi rmed that both long and short versions of the protein are present in human brain. (The short isoform would still be able to bind nNOS and possibly disrupt its interaction with other protein

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