Integration of whole-exome sequencing and structural neuroimaging analysis in major depressive disorder: a joint study

Eun Young Oh, Kyu Man Han, Aram Kim, Youbin Kang, Woo Suk Tae, Mi Ryung Han, Byung Joo Ham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a common mental illness worldwide and is triggered by an intricate interplay between environmental and genetic factors. Although there are several studies on common variants in MDD, studies on rare variants are relatively limited. In addition, few studies have examined the genetic contributions to neurostructural alterations in MDD using whole-exome sequencing (WES). We performed WES in 367 patients with MDD and 161 healthy controls (HCs) to detect germline and copy number variations in the Korean population. Gene-based rare variants were analyzed to investigate the association between the genes and individuals, followed by neuroimaging-genetic analysis to explore the neural mechanisms underlying the genetic impact in 234 patients with MDD and 135 HCs using diffusion tensor imaging data. We identified 40 MDD-related genes and observed 95 recurrent regions of copy number variations. We also discovered a novel gene, FRMPD3, carrying rare variants that influence MDD. In addition, the single nucleotide polymorphism rs771995197 in the MUC6 gene was significantly associated with the integrity of widespread white matter tracts. Moreover, we identified 918 rare exonic missense variants in genes associated with MDD susceptibility. We postulate that rare variants of FRMPD3 may contribute significantly to MDD, with a mild penetration effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number141
JournalTranslational psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Biological Psychiatry


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