Navigation Links
New strategy could uncover genes at the root of psychiatric illnesses
Date:7/10/2014

Understanding the basis of psychiatric disorders has been extremely challenging because there are many genetic variants that may increase risk but are insufficient to cause disease. Now investigators reporting in the July 3rd issue of the Cell Press journal Cell Stem Cell describe a strategy that may help reveal how such "subthreshold" genetic risks interact with other risk factors or environmental exposures to affect the development of the nervous system. Their research pinpoints a genetic variant that may predispose individuals to schizophrenia.

The work takes advantage of a recently developed technology that allows skin cells from patients to be reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) that can then generate any cell type in the body. Through this technology, scientists obtained stem cells from individuals with a genetic abnormality that confers increased susceptibility to schizophrenia, and they observed deficits during nerve development that could be traced to a specific gene called CYFIP1, which helps maintain a nerve cell's structure. The team then blocked the expression of this gene in developing mouse embryos and noticed defects in the formation of the cerebral cortex, a brain region that plays an important role in consciousness.

Next, the scientists turned to human genetic studies to see how CYFIP might interact with other factors. They found that mutations in two genes within a cellular pathway linked to CYFIP1 led to a significantly increased risk of schizophrenia. The findings support the theory that multiple factors within the same pathway may interact to affect one's risk for psychiatric disorders.

"We were able to use a set of cutting-edge tools to gain insight into a critical cellular process for normal brain development, the dysregulation of which may be a manifestation of a genetic predisposition for schizophrenia," says senior author Dr. Guo-li Ming, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The researchers' strategygenerating disease-specific nerve cells, identifying a causative gene for developmental defects, validating the gene-specific defect in animal models, and then investigating interactions with other genes both in animal models and in humansrepresents a promising new approach for understanding the mechanisms underlying some of the most intractable psychiatric illnesses.

The work also highlights the promise of iPSC technology as a discovery tool in understanding and treating human disorders. "Despite an enormous amount of time and resources devoted to producing solid, reproducible results in animal models, far too often, results from preclinical trials deviate from our expectations," says co-author Dr. Hongjun Song. "The lack of access to disease-relevant human cell types has been a missing link in our current drug discovery process, which has now been resolved through advances in cellular reprogramming."


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Beth O'Leary
moleary@cell.com
617-397-2802
Cell Press
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. WaferGen Reports Third Quarter 2011 Financial Results and Announces New Commercialization Strategy
2. Amgen and FDA Agree to Modify Nplate® (Romiplostim) Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy
3. Generex Subsidiary Antigen Express Provides Update on AE37 Cancer Vaccines Clinical & Regulatory Strategy
4. SPO Updates Shareholders on 2012 Corporate Strategy
5. Meaningful Use Stage Two: The Advisory Board Company Helps Hospitals Set Strategy
6. Synteract Unveils New Branding at DIA 2012 to Support Enhanced Commercial Strategy
7. New gene therapy strategy boosts levels of deficient protein in Friedreichs ataxia
8. Womens Health Expert GC-Rise Ties up with Georgetown MBA Team to Tap M&A Potential and Growth Strategy
9. ASAE, TMG Custom Media Collaborate to Launch New Print-Plus-Digital Strategy for Associations Now Magazine
10. Elsevier / MEDai Names Dr. Peter Edelstein as Chief Medical Officer and Dr. Gerald Osband as Director of Product Strategy
11. Creabilis Receives Prestigious Technology Strategy Board Biomedical Catalyst Award
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
New strategy could uncover genes at the root of psychiatric illnesses
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... ... After several promising treatments in Panama using stem cell ... in Panama, a 6 year-old Duchenne’s muscular dystrophy patient received his first umbilical ... approval of a second application for a single patient, investigational new drug (IND) ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... FireflySci has been manufacturing quartz ... all over the globe. Their cute firefly logo has been spreading to more ... makes spectrophotometer calibration standards that never require recalibration. These revolutionary standards have ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Thailand’s Board of Investment’s New ... San Francisco. Located at booth number 7301, representatives from the Thai Government, research ... the Thai biotechnology and life sciences sector. , Deputy Secretary General of ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... Founder of the Fitzmaurice Hand Institute ... surgery of the hand by the National Board of Physicians and Surgeons, as ... beyond in his pursuit of providing the most comprehensive, effective treatment for his ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:3/29/2016)... 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful effort ... variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against counterfeiting ... from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ongoing ... Bill Bollander , CEO states, "By ...
(Date:3/21/2016)... March 22, 2016 Unique ... passcodes for superior security   ... provider of secure digital communications services, today announced it ... and offer enterprise customers, particularly those in the Financial ... and voice authentication within a mobile app, alongside, and ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... March 15, 2016 Yissum Research Development ... technology-transfer company of the Hebrew University, announced today the ... sensing technology of various human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies ... million from private investors. ... the detection of electromagnetic emissions from sweat ducts, enables ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):