New insights into tardive dyskinesia genetics: Implementation of whole-exome sequencing approach

Anna Alkelai*, Lior Greenbaum, Erin L. Heinzen, Evan H. Baugh, Alexander Teitelbaum, Xiaolin Zhu, Rael D. Strous, Pavel Tatarskyy, Clement C. Zai, Arun K. Tiwari, Maria Tampakeras, Natalie Freeman, Daniel J. Müller, Aristotle N. Voineskos, Jeffrey A. Lieberman, Shannon L. Delaney, Herbert Y. Meltzer, Gary Remington, James L. Kennedy, Ann E. PulverEmma P. Peabody, Deborah L. Levy, Bernard Lerer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is an adverse movement disorder induced by chronic treatment with antipsychotics drugs. The contribution of common genetic variants to TD susceptibility has been investigated in recent years, but with limited success. The aim of the current study was to investigate the potential contribution of rare variants to TD vulnerability. In order to identify TD risk genes, we performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) and gene-based collapsing analysis focusing on rare (allele frequency < 1%) and putatively deleterious variants (qualifying variants). 82 Jewish schizophrenia patients chronically treated with antipsychotics were included and classified as having severe TD or lack of any abnormal movements based on a rigorous definition of the TD phenotype. First, we performed a case-control, exome-wide collapsing analysis comparing 39 schizophrenia patients with severe TD to 3118 unrelated population controls. Then, we checked the potential top candidate genes among 43 patients without any TD manifestations. All the genes that were found to harbor one or more qualifying variants in patients without any TD features were excluded from the final list of candidate genes. Only one gene, regulating synaptic membrane exocytosis 2 (RIMS2), showed significant enrichment of qualifying variants in TD patients compared with unrelated population controls after correcting for multiple testing (Fisher's exact test p = 5.32E−08, logistic regression p = 2.50E−08). Enrichment was caused by a single variant (rs567070433) due to a frameshift in an alternative transcript of RIMS2. None of the TD negative patients had qualifying variants in this gene. In a validation cohort of 140 schizophrenia patients assessed for TD, the variant was also not detected in any individual. Some potentially suggestive TD genes were detected in the TD cohort and warrant follow-up in future studies. No significant enrichment in previously reported TD candidate genes was identified. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first WES study of TD, demonstrating the potential role of rare loss-of-function variant enrichment in this pharmacogenetic phenotype.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109659
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
StatePublished - 30 Aug 2019


FundersFunder number
Ministry of Research and Innovation of Ontario
Tanenbaum Centre for Pharmacogenetics
National Institute of Mental HealthU01MH105670
National Institute of Mental Health


    • Collapsing
    • RIMS2
    • Tardive dyskinesia
    • WES


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