The corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 2 (CRHR2) gene encodes CRHR2, contributing to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress response and to hyperglycemia and insulin resistance. CRHR2-/- mice are hypersensitive to stress, and the CRHR2 locus has been linked to type 2 diabetes and depression. While CRHR2 variants confer risk for mood disorders, MDD, and type 2 diabetes, they have not been investigated in familial T2D and MDD. In 212 Italian families with type 2 diabetes and depression, we tested 17 CRHR2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), using two-point parametric-linkage and linkage-disequilibrium (i.e., association) analysis (models: dominant-complete-penetrance-D1, dominant-incomplete-penetrance-D2, recessive-complete-penetrance-R1, recessive-incomplete-penetrance-R2). We detected novel linkage/linkage-disequilibrium/association to/with depression (3 SNPs/D1, 2 SNPs/D2, 3 SNPs/R1, 3 SNPs/R2) and type 2 diabetes (3 SNPs/D1, 2 SNPs/D2, 2 SNPs/R1, 1 SNP/R2). All detected risk variants are novel. Two depression-risk variants within one linkage-disequilibrium block replicate each other. Two independent novel SNPs were comorbid while the most significant conferred either depression- or type 2 diabetes-risk. Although the families were primarily ascertained for type 2 diabetes, depression-risk variants showed higher significance than type 2 diabetes-risk variants, implying CRHR2 has a stronger role in depression-risk than type 2 diabetes-risk. In silico analysis predicted variants' dysfunction. CRHR2 is for the first time linked to/in linkage-disequilibrium/association with depression-type 2 diabetes comorbidity and may underlie the shared genetic pathogenesis via pleiotropy.
Amin, Mutaz; Ott, Jurg; Gordon, Derek; Wu, Rongling; Postolache, Teodor T; Vergare, Michael; and Gragnoli, Claudia, "Comorbidity of Novel CRHR2 Gene Variants in Type 2 Diabetes and Depression" (2022). Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior Faculty Papers. Paper 70.
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