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Amin, Najaf; Allebrandt, Karla V.; Spek, Ashley van der; Müller-Myhsok, Bertram; Hek, Karin; Teder-Laving, Maris; Hayward, Caroline; Esko, Tõnu; Mill, Josine G. van; Mbarek, Hamdi; Watson, Nathaniel F.; Melville, Scott A.; Del Greco, Fabiola M.; Byrne, Enda M.; Oole, Edwin; Kolcic, Ivana; Chen, Ting-hsu; Evans, Daniel S.; Coresh, Josef; Vogelzangs, Nicole; Karjalainen, Juha; Willemsen, Gonneke; Gharib, Sina A.; Zgaga, Lina; Mihailov, Evelin; Stone, Katie L.; Campbell, Harry; Brouwer, Rutger Ww; Demirkan, Ayse; Isaacs, Aaron; Dogas, Zoran; Marciante, Kristin D.; Campbell, Susan; Borovecki, Fran; Luik, Annemarie I.; Li, Man; Hottenga, Jouke Jan; Huffman, Jennifer E.; Hout, Mirjam C. G. N. van den; Cummings, Steven R.; Aulchenko, Yuru S.; Gehrman, Philip R.; Uitterlinden, Andre G.; Wichmann, Heinz-Erich; Müller-Nurasyid, Martina; Fehrmann, Rudolf S. N.; Montgomery, Grant W.; Hofman, Albert; Kao, Wen Hong Linda; Oostra, Ben A.; Wright, Alan F.; Vink, Jacqueline M.; Wilson, James F.; Pramstaller, Peter P.; Hicks, Andrew A.; Polasek, Ozren; Punjabi, Naresh M.; Redline, Susan; Psaty, Bruce M.; Heath, Andrew C.; Merrow, Martha; Tranah, Gregory J.; Gottlieb, Daniel J.; Boomsma, Dorret I.; Martin, Nicholas G.; Rudan, Igor; Tiemeier, Henning; IJcken, Wilfred F. J. van; Penninx, Brenda W.; Metspalu, Andres; Meitinger, Thomas; Franke, Lude; Roenneberg, Till and Duijn, Cornelia M. van (2016): Genetic variants in RBFOX3 are associated with sleep latency. In: European Journal of Human Genetics, Vol. 24, No. 10: pp. 1488-1495

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Time to fall asleep (sleep latency) is a major determinant of sleep quality. Chronic, long sleep latency is a major characteristic of sleep-onset insomnia and/or delayed sleep phase syndrome. In this study we aimed to discover common polymorphisms that contribute to the genetics of sleep latency. We performed a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) including 2 572 737 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) established in seven European cohorts including 4242 individuals. We found a cluster of three highly correlated variants (rs9900428, rs9907432 and rs7211029) in the RNA-binding protein fox-1 homolog 3 gene (RBFOX3) associated with sleep latency (P-values = 5.77 x 10(-08), 6.59 x 10(-08) and 9.17 x 10(-08)). These SNPs were replicated in up to 12 independent populations including 30 377 individuals (P-values = 1.5 x 10(-02), 7.0 x 10(-03) and 2.5 x 10(-03);combined meta-analysis P-values = 5.5 x 10(-07), 5.4 x 10(-07) and 1.0 x 10(-07)). A functional prediction of RBFOX3 based on co-expression with other genes shows that this gene is predominantly expressed in brain (P-value = 1.4 x 10(-316)) and the central nervous system (P-value = 7.5 x 10(-321)). The predicted function of RBFOX3 based on co-expression analysis with other genes shows that this gene is significantly involved in the release cycle of neurotransmitters including gamma-aminobutyric acid and various monoamines (P-values<2.9x10(-11)) that are crucial in triggering the onset of sleep. To conclude, in this first large-scale GWAS of sleep latency we report a novel association of variants in RBFOX3 gene. Further, a functional prediction of RBFOX3 supports the involvement of RBFOX3 with sleep latency.

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