Navigation Links
Discovery of new gene mutation in schizophrenia offers a new target for drug therapies

In a major advance for schizophrenia research, an international team of scientists led by the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and involving Trinity College Dublin researchers has identified a gene mutation strongly linked to schizophrenia that may be an important new target for the development of drug therapies. The findings are just published in the online issue of the journal Nature.

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder, with symptoms that include hallucinations, delusions and thought disorder. Schizophrenia is believed to be caused by environmental and genetic factors, most notably the latter: the illness occurs in 1% of the general population, or 10 % of people who have a first-degree relative with the disorder, such as a parent or sibling. Current therapies are only partially effective with little progress being made in identifying effective new treatments over several decades.

In the last three years researchers have discovered that rare mutations at many locations in the human genome resulted in significantly higher risk of schizophrenia. These mutations consisted of copy number variants or CNVs −a type of genetic variation in which the number of copies of a gene differs between individuals. The findings were the first conclusive evidence that rare mutations can cause schizophrenia, but this did not identify the specific genes involved.

Professor Aiden Corvin of the Psychosis Research Group at Trinity College Dublin, funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Wellcome Trust, and an author on this paper, describes that the latest study goes substantially further.

Researchers scanned for CNVs in the genomes of 8,290 individuals with diagnosed cases of schizophrenia and 7,431 healthy controls. The study confirmed CNVs identified in earlier studies, but uncovered an important new finding: duplications at the tip of chromosome 7q were detected in individuals with schizophrenia at a rate 14 times higher than in healthy individuals. These duplications impact a gene coding for the brain receptor VIPR2.

Formally known as the Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Receptor 2, VIPR2 is expressed in the nervous system, including in the brain, blood vessels and gastrointestinal tract. Previous studies have shown that VIPR2 helps to regulate the formation and activity of neurons in the brain. In mice, VIPR2 also has been found to play important roles in behavioral processes, including learning and timing of daily activity. The study next measured expression of the VIPR2 gene in blood cells from patients, they found that individuals with mutations had greater expression of VIPR2 and greater activity of the receptor.

"This suggests that the mutations increase signaling in the Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide pathway," says Professor Corvin. "We know that this activity can be modulated by synthetic peptides (compounds where amino acids are linked together) and the next step is to see if these compounds have a therapeutic effect in mice or in cultured human cells that carry the VIPR2 gene mutation."


Contact: Caoimhe N Lochlainn
Trinity College Dublin

Related medicine news :

1. UCSF Enters Drug Discovery Agreement with Genentech
2. UCSF enters drug discovery agreement with Genentech
3. New discovery: Plaice are spotted (on the inside)
4. SeqWright Advances Genomic Discovery With Isilon IQ
5. Effective prostate cancer treatment discovery
6. Co-Creator of Six Sigma Unveils “The Great Discovery” ... the 4th Generation of Six Sigma
7. U discovery gives insight into brain replay process
8. Discovery of cellular switch may provide new means of triggering cell death, treating disease
9. Discovery May Lead to Better Multiple Sclerosis Treatments
10. Astrogenetix Narrows in on MRSA Virulence Onboard Discovery
11. TGen Drug Development partners with Horizon Discovery for integrated personalized medicine service
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... recognized once again for its stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office ... , Medical Solutions’ Cincinnati office was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 10, 2015, Bohrer ... Court of Connecticut on behalf of a home health care worker who provided companionship ... former home health care workers employed by Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, Inc., and ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... Dental professionals who would like to become more proficient on their knowledge of ... Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) CE course. Courses will be held on December 3rd, 4th ... Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. Iacobelli and Dr. D’Orazio are proud to announce that individuals ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 23rd ... Tri Lite’s personal heating products business. Cozy Products explains what this means ... that fit in well with the Cozy Products business model: to sell personal heaters ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... decades of music, friendships, and learning in its 65th Anniversary Brillianteen Revue, scheduled ... 5-6. , For 65 years, Brillianteen has been a treasured tradition ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... N.Y. , Nov. 25, 2015  Henry Schein, ... and services to office-based dental, medical and animal health ... (GNYDM) Meeting the Henry Schein ConnectDental® Pavilion , ... broadest array of open solutions designed to help any ... Click here for a schedule of experts ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... issue of United States patent No. 9,192,509  entitled: " Methods and Apparatus ... AVACEN 100 dry heat therapy medical device and specific methods of use, referred to by the ... - ... ... ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... YORK , November 25, 2015 ... market of self-monitoring blood glucose devices was valued at ... grow with a CAGR of 5.7% during 2015 - ... geriatric population and increasing prevalence of diabetes. In addition, ... diabetes care is also contributing to the growth of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: