Research finds unexpected link between 2 schizophrenia risk proteins


New research centered on two proteins related to the risk of schizophrenia development could one day open the door to new treatment strategies for the mental illness.proteins

A research group led by Chen Gu, PhD, associate professor of biological chemistry and pharmacology at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, is the first to determine that the two proteins, among dozens of proteins related to the risk for the development of schizophrenia, bind to each other under normal conditions in multiple regions of the brain.

The physical interaction between the two proteins can be traced in mice to maintaining normal movement, memory function and anxiety regulation. When that connection doesn’t happen as it should, researchers found, behavior can be negatively affected, increasing hyperactivity, reduced risk avoidance and impaired memory in mice.

The study was published recently in the journal Molecular Psychiatry. 

Read more about the unexpected link between the two schizophrenia risk proteins.

Image by T. Ahmed, A. Buonanno, National institute of Child Health and Human Development. The study findings suggest that when the proteins don’t bind properly, signaling among neurons (illustrated) becomes imbalanced, which can lead to related negative behavioral symptoms.