The PHF21B gene is associated with major depression and modulates the stress response

M.-L. Wong, M. Arcos-Burgos, S. Liu, J.I. Vélez, C. Yu, B.T. Baune, M.C. Jawahar, V. Arolt, U. Dannlowski, A. Chuah, G.A. Huttley, R. Fogarty, M.D. Lewis, S.R. Bornstein, J. Licinio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Major depressive disorder (MDD) affects around 350 million people worldwide; however, the underlying genetic basis remains largely unknown. In this study, we took into account that MDD is a gene-environment disorder, in which stress is a critical component, and used whole-genome screening of functional variants to investigate the â missing heritability' in MDD. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) using single- A nd multi-locus linear mixed-effect models were performed in a Los Angeles Mexican-American cohort (196 controls, 203 MDD) and in a replication European-ancestry cohort (499 controls, 473 MDD). Our analyses took into consideration the stress levels in the control populations. The Mexican-American controls, comprised primarily of recent immigrants, had high levels of stress due to acculturation issues and the European-ancestry controls with high stress levels were given higher weights in our analysis. We identified 44 common and rare functional variants associated with mild to moderate MDD in the Mexican-American cohort (genome-wide false discovery rate, FDR,
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1025
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2017


Dive into the research topics of 'The PHF21B gene is associated with major depression and modulates the stress response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this