Identification of a Naturally Occurring Polymorphism in the Promoter Region of the Norepinephrine Transporter and Analysis in Major Depression
The complete coding region of the norepinephrine transporter (NET) gene was systematically screened for genetic variants in 137 unrelated individuals (including 46 probands with bipolar affective disorder and 45 schizophrenic probands, as well as 46 blood donors) using single-strand conformation analysis. We identified 13 DNA sequence variants, among them five missense substitutions. The missense substitutions Val69Ile, Thr99Ile, Val245Ile, Val449Ile, and Gly478Ser are located at putative transmembrane domains (TMD) 1, 2, 4, 9, and 10, respectively. The Thr99Ile substitution is at the 5th position of the putative leucine-zipper in TMD2. In a case-control study distribution of missense substitutions was found to be similar in 103 patients with bipolar affective disorder, in 228 schizophrenia patients and in 187 controls, indicating that presence of these variants is not causally related to major psychiatric diseases. The detection of a highly polymorphic silent 1287G/A polymorphism was utilized to demonstrate biallelic expression of the NET in adult human brain.