The serotonin transporter, called SLC6A4, SERT or 5-HTT, modulates neurotransmission by removal of serotonin from the synapse of serotonergic neurons, facilitating serotonin reuptake into the presynaptic terminus. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors block the action of the serotonin transporter and are used to treat depression and other neuropsychiatric disorders. Three polymorphisms in the 5-HTT gene have been implicated in treatment response and neuropsychiatric disorders. A 44-bp promoter ins/del polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) produces primarily long and/or short alleles due to either 14 (short) or 16 (long) repeats of variably conserved 20-23 bp units. Also implicated, a 17-18 bp variable number tandem repeat found in intron2 (StIn2) is expressed as triallelic content with 9, 10, or 12 repeats (StIn2.9, StIn2.10 or StIn2.12). Finally, a single nucleotide polymorphism rs25531 located within the promoter polymorphic-linked region alters the function of the long promoter allele. We developed a PCR-based fragment analysis assay, which is analyzed on an ABI sequencer, whereby we are able to detect all three genotypes simultaneously. Using this technique, we identified novel sequences, which demonstrate promoter repeat regions containing (1) a 17 repeat with rs25531 A/G polymorphism, (2) two with 18-repeat units, (3) one with 20-repeat units and (4) a 24-repeat sequence. The novel repeats were confirmed by direct sequencing of gel-purified amplicons.
Avula, R., Rand, A., Black, J. L., & O’Kane, D. J. (2011). Simultaneous genotyping of multiple polymorphisms in human serotonin transporter gene and detection of novel allelic variants. Translational Psychiatry, 1. https://doi.org/10.1038/tp.2011.34