Genomewide association studies of suicide attempts in US soldiers

Suicide is a global public health problem with particular resonance for the US military. Genetic risk factors for suicidality are of interest as indicators of susceptibility and potential targets for intervention. We utilized population-based nonclinical cohorts of US military personnel (discovery: N‚Äâ=‚Äâ473 cases and N‚Äâ=‚Äâ9778 control subjects; replication: N‚Äâ=‚Äâ135 cases and N‚Äâ=‚Äâ6879 control subjects) and a clinical case-control sample of recent suicide attempters (N‚Äâ=‚Äâ51 cases and N‚Äâ=‚Äâ112 control subjects) to conduct GWAS of suicide attempts (SA). Genomewide association was evaluated within each ancestral group (European-, African-, Latino-American) and study using logistic regression models. Meta-analysis of the European ancestry discovery samples revealed a genomewide significant locus in association with SA near MRAP2 (melanocortin 2 receptor accessory protein 2) and CEP162 (centrosomal protein 162); 12 genomewide significant SNPs in the region; peak SNP rs12524136-T, OR‚Äâ=‚Äâ2.88, p‚Äâ=‚Äâ5.24E-10. These findings were not replicated in the European ancestry subsamples of the replication or suicide attempters samples. However, the association of the peak SNP remained significant in a meta-analysis of all studies and ancestral subgroups (OR‚Äâ=‚Äâ2.18, 95%CI 1.70, 2.80). Polygenic risk score (PRS) analyses showed some association of SA with bipolar disorder. The association with SNPs encompassing MRAP2, a gene expressed in brain and adrenal cortex and involved in neural control of energy homeostasis, points to this locus as a plausible susceptibility gene for suicidality that should be further studied. Larger sample sizes will be needed to confirm and extend these findings.