What is the role of the COMT gene in schizophrenia?

Updated: Mar 16, 2018
  • Author: Frances R Frankenburg, MD; Chief Editor: Glen L Xiong, MD  more...
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Answer

The COMT gene codes for the postsynaptic intracellular enzyme COMT, which is involved in the methylation and degradation of the catecholamine neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. The several allelic variants of COMT affect its activity. The valine-valine variant degrades dopamine faster than the valine-methionine variant does; subjects with 2 copies of the methionine allele were less likely to develop psychotic symptoms with cannabis use than were other cannabis-using subjects without that variant. [19]


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