Association study of CREB1 with Major Depressive Disorder and related phenotypes. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) has been implicated in behavioral models of anxiety and depression, antidepressant response in humans, and suicide. One group reported a female-specific association of the CREB1 gene in early-onset Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), while another found no evidence of association with this phenotype. In this study, we sought to examine the evidence for association of the CREB1 gene to MDD and related phenotypes. We used multivariate structural equation modeling to identify and select twin pairs that scored at the extremes of a latent genetic risk factor shared by MDD, neuroticism, and several anxiety disorders from the Virginia Twin Registry. Using one member from each of these pairs, the resulting sample of 589 cases (including 473 subjects with lifetime MDD) and 539 controls were entered into a 2-stage association study in which genetic markers were screened in stage 1, the positive results of which were tested for replication in stage 2. Eight SNP markers selected to capture the major allelic variation across the haplotype block containing CREB1 were analyzed for differences between cases and controls. Several markers showed criterion differences between cases and controls in the stage 1 sample with some evidence of sex specific effects. However, none of these markers were significant in stage 2 in either sex individually or combined. Our data suggests that common variations in the CREB1 gene do not appear to increase susceptibility for MDD or related phenotypes.

published proceedings

  • Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet

author list (cited authors)

  • Hettema, J. M., An, S., van den Oord, E., Neale, M. C., Kendler, K. S., & Chen, X.

citation count

  • 14

complete list of authors

  • Hettema, John M||An, Seon-Sook||van den Oord, Edwin JCG||Neale, Michael C||Kendler, Kenneth S||Chen, Xiangning

publication date

  • December 2009