A functional promoter variant of the human formimidoyltransferase cyclodeaminase (FTCD) gene is associated with working memory performance in young but not older adults.

Objective: The central role of working memory in IQ and the high heritability of working memory performance motivated interest in identifying the specific genes underlying this heritability. The FTCD (formimidoyltransferase cyclodeaminase) gene was identified as a candidate gene for allelic association with working memory in part from genetic mapping studies of mouse Morris water maze performance. Method: The present study tested variants of this gene for effects on a delayed match-to-sample task of a large sample of younger and older participants. Results: The rs914246 variant, but not the rs914245 variant, of the FTCD gene modulated accuracy in the task for younger, but not older, people under high working memory load. The interaction of haplotype × distance × load had a partial eta squared effect size of 0.015. Analysis of simple main effects had partial eta squared effect sizes ranging from 0.012 to 0.040. A reporter gene assay revealed that the C allele of the rs914246 genotype is functional and a main factor regulating FTCD gene expression. Conclusion: This study extends previous work on the genetics of working memory by revealing that a gene in the glutamatergic pathway modulates working memory in young people but not in older people. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)