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Association between the SAT-1 Gene and Suicidal Behavior in Mexican Population

Carlos Alfonso Tovilla-Zárate, María Lilia López-Narváez, Thelma Beatriz González-Castro, Isela Juárez-Rojop, Sherezada Pool-García, Alma Genis, Jorge Ble-Castillo, Ana Fresán and Humberto Nicolini

Objective: The gene coding for spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase 1 (SAT-1) participates in the metabolic pathways of polyamines as a rate-limiting enzyme; this gene is involved in regulating polyamine levels and it has been considered a candidate gene for suicidal behavior. The aim of this study was to determine the association between SAT-1 polymorphism A-1537C (rs6526342) and suicidal behavior, in a sample of suicide attempt patients in the Mexican population.

Methods: To observe the association between rs6526342 and suicidal behavior, we evaluated 169 unrelated suicide attempters and compared them to 218 non-suicidal individuals. Patients were evaluated by a trained psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. SAT-1 rs6526342 genotypes were analyzed using the polymerase chain reaction end-point method.

Results: No significant association was observed between cases and comparison group for allele frequency (p=0.40, df=1, p=0.69). However, a significant association between rs6526342 and suicidal behavior was observed in the male group for allele distribution (χ2=4.0, df=1, p=0.04, OR 0.48; 95% CI: 0.24-0.98), whereas in the female group, no association was found by genotype (χ2= 2.85, df=2, p=0.23) or allele (χ2=0.01, df=1, p=0.91) frequency.

Conclusion: Our results showed an association between allele C of the polymorphism in the promoter region of SAT-1 A-1537C (rs6526342) and suicidal behavior in Mexican males. This suggests that the SAT-1 gene may contribute to the risk for suicidal behavior among the Mexican population.