Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder with an estimated heritability of 48%. Variation in the gene of the nuclear transcription factor "cAMP-responsive element modulator" (CREM) might contribute to its pathogenesis. CREM knock-out mice exhibit significantly less anxiety behavior than wild-type mice and the alternative CREM gene product "inducible cAMP early repressor" (ICER) plays a pivotal role in the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is disturbed in panic disorder. We characterized the genomic organization of the human CREM gene and performed a systematic mutation screening by means of single stranded conformational analysis (SSCA) in a sample of 40 German patients with panic disorder (DSM-III-R). Four novel single nucleotide polymorphisms in CREM promoters P 1 and P 4, one trinucleotide (ATT)-repeat polymorphism in CREM promoter P 2 - generating the ICER isoform - and a rare amino acid substitution in CREM exon glut 2 were identified. Association analysis in an extended sample of German patients (n = 88) revealed a significant excess of the shorter CREM P 2 promoter eight-repeat trinucleotide allele and of genotypes containing the eight-repeat trinucleotide allele in panic disorder (P = 0.02), in particular in panic disorder without agoraphobia (P = 0.001). A replication study in independent Italian (n = 76) and Spanish (n = 62) samples, however, failed to confirm this observation. This suggests that the CREM P 2 promoter trinucleotide polymorphism is not a major susceptibility factor in the pathogenesis of panic disorder. Functional analysis of the observed CREM P 2 promoter polymorphism as well as studies in independent panic disorder samples are necessary.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||American Journal of Medical Genetics - Neuropsychiatric Genetics|
|Publication status||Published - 15 Feb 2003|
- Panic disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology