Navigation Links
Single protein targeted as the root biological cause of several childhood psychiatric disorders
Date:10/31/2012

A new research discovery has the potential to revolutionize the biological understanding of some childhood psychiatric disorders. Specifically, scientists have found that when a single protein involved in brain development, called "SRGAP3," is malformed, it causes problems in the brain functioning of mice that cause symptoms that are similar to some mental health and neurological disorders in children. Because this protein has similar functions in humans, it may represent a "missing link" for several disorders that are part of an illness spectrum. In addition, it offers researchers a new target for the development of treatments that can correct the biological cause rather than treat the symptoms. This discovery was published in November 2012 print issue of The FASEB Journal.

"Developmental brain disorders such as schizophrenia, hydrocephalus, mental retardation and autism are among the most devastating diseases in children and young adults," said Dusan Bartsch, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Molecular Biology at the Central Institute of Mental Health at the University of Heidelberg in Mannheim, Germany. "We hope that our findings will contribute to a better understanding, and in the end, to better treatments for these disorders."

Bartsch and colleagues made this discovery using mice with the SRGAP3 protein inactivated. Then they conducted several experiments comparing these mice to normal mice. The mice with inactive SRGAP3 showed clear changes in their brains' anatomy, which resulted in altered behavior similar to certain symptoms in human neurological and psychiatric diseases. An involvement of SRGAP3 in different brain disorders could indicate that these disorders are possibly connected, as SRGAP3 is a key player in brain development. These different disorders could be connected via the SRGAP3 protein because they all emerge from disturbed development of the nervous system.

"Since Freud put biological psychiatry on the map, we've slowly increased our understanding of how mental health is dictated by chemistry," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "Eventually we'll understand the complex biology underlying most psychiatric illnesses, from genes to proteins to cell signaling to overt behaviors. Along the way, as in this report, we're likely to find single targets close to the roots of apparently different mental illnesses."

Receive monthly highlights from The FASEB Journal by e-mail. Sign up at http://www.faseb.org/fjupdate.aspx. The FASEB Journal is published by the Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB). It is among the most cited biology journals worldwide according to the Institute for Scientific Information and has been recognized by the Special Libraries Association as one of the top 100 most influential biomedical journals of the past century. FASEB is composed of 26 societies with more than 100,000 members, making it the largest coalition of biomedical research associations in the United States. Celebrating 100 Years of Advancing the Life Sciences in 2012, FASEB is rededicating its efforts to advance health and well-being by promoting progress and education in biological and biomedical sciences through service to our member societies and collaborative advocacy.


'/>"/>

Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
cmooneyhan@faseb.org
301-634-7104
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Columbia Engineering and Penn researchers increase speed of single-molecule measurements
2. Researchers reveal how a single gene mutation leads to uncontrolled obesity
3. Nanobubbles plus chemotherapy equals single-cell cancer targeting
4. A single stem cell mutation triggers fibroid tumors
5. New study discovers powerful function of single protein that controls neurotransmission
6. Variations of a single gene can lead to too much or too little growth, study shows
7. Made-in-Singapore H5N1 diagnostic kit -- detects all known strains of H5N1 virus with a single test
8. Single protein promotes resistance to widely used anti-estrogen drugs
9. Single-cell parasites co-opt ready-made genes from host: UBC research
10. Breakthrough technology focuses in on disease traits of single cells
11. Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers invent new tool to study single biological molecules
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/12/2017)... PUNE, India , January 12, 2017 A ... 2015 - 2022," projects that the global biometric technology market is expected to generate ... to 2022. Continue Reading ... ...      (Logo: ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... JOLLA, Calif. , Jan. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... 1 safety studies in healthy volunteers of a ... intended to treat acute pancreatitis. ... is typically a mild disorder, but can be ... organ failure and sepsis, where extended hospital stays, ...
(Date:1/4/2017)... thousands of attendees at this year,s International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), ... devices and services, will be featuring its new line of ULTRA CONNECT ... special CES Exhibit Suite , the new upper arm and wrist smart ... product platform.  Continue Reading ... ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... DrugDev customers ... Clinical Ops Executives (Hyatt Regency Miami, January 24-26). DrugDev will join customers including ... issues such as trial performance metrics, patient enrollment diversity, protocol optimization, and global ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... uBiome, the ... paper by its Science Editor, Dr. Elisabeth Bik, in the December 2016 issue ... Bik joined uBiome in October 2016 from her previous position at Stanford University ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... DIEGO , Jan. 18, 2017 Shareholder ... an investigation into whether the board members of CoLucid ... fiduciary duties in connection with the proposed sale of ... a biopharmaceutical company that develops small molecules for the ... 2017, CoLucid announced it had signed a definitive merger ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... IRVING, Texas , Jan. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... science, and the Lustgarten Foundation, the largest private ... support a clinical trial evaluating the impact of ... is providing clinical trial enrollment services to identify ... and facilitate communication between treating physicians and study ...
Breaking Biology Technology: