1Parkinsonism Relat. Disord. 2008 Aug 14: 465-70
TitleAutosomal dominant dopa-responsive parkinsonism in a multigenerational Swiss family.
AbstractTo describe a large family with autosomal dominant parkinsonism.
Seven genes are directly implicated in autosomally inherited parkinsonism. However, there are several multigenerational large families known with no identifiable mutation.
Family members were evaluated clinically, by history and chart review. Genetic investigation included SCA2, SCA3, UCHL1, SNCA, LRRK2, PINK1, PRKN, PGRN, FMR1 premutation, and MAPT. The proband underwent brain fluorodopa PET (FD-PET) scan, and one autopsy was available.
Eleven patients had a diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (PD), nine women. Mean age of onset was 52 with tremor-predominant dopa-responsive parkinsonism. Disease progression was slow but severe motor fluctuations occurred. One patient required subthalamic nucleus deep-brain stimulation with a good motor outcome. One patient had mental retardation, schizophrenia and became demented, and another patient was demented. Three patients and also two unaffected subjects had mild learning difficulties. All genetic tests yielded negative results. FD-PET showed marked asymmetric striatal tracer uptake deficiency, consistent with PD. Pathological examination demonstrated no Lewy bodies and immunostaining was negative for alpha-synuclein.
Apart from a younger age of onset and a female predominance, the phenotype was indistinguishable from sporadic tremor-predominant PD, including FD-PET scan results. As known genetic causes of autosomal dominant PD were excluded, this family harbors a novel genetic defect.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
2Biochem. Soc. Trans. 2010 Apr 38: 445-51
TitleConfirmed rare copy number variants implicate novel genes in schizophrenia.
AbstractUnderstanding how cognitive processes including learning, memory, decision making and ideation are encoded by the genome is a key question in biology. Identification of sets of genes underlying human mental disorders is a path towards this objective. schizophrenia is a common disease with cognitive symptoms, high heritability and complex genetics. We have identified genes involved with schizophrenia by measuring differences in DNA copy number across the entire genome in 91 schizophrenia cases and 92 controls in the Scottish population. Our data reproduce rare and common variants observed in public domain data from >3000 schizophrenia cases, confirming known disease loci as well as identifying novel loci. We found copy number variants in PDE10A (phosphodiesterase 10A), CYFIP1 [cytoplasmic FMR1 (Fragile X mental retardation 1)-interacting protein 1], K(+) channel genes KCNE1 and KCNE2, the Down's syndrome critical region 1 gene RCAN1 (regulator of calcineurin 1), cell-recognition protein CHL1 (cell adhesion molecule with homology with L1CAM), the transcription factor SP4 (specificity protein 4) and histone deacetylase HDAC9, among others (see http://www.genes2cognition.org/SCZ-CNV). Integrating the function of these many genes into a coherent model of schizophrenia and cognition is a major unanswered challenge.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
3Neuropharmacology 2011 Jun 60: 1221-6
TitleThe role of fragile X mental retardation protein in major mental disorders.
AbstractFragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is highly enriched in neurons and binds to approximately 4% of mRNAs in mammalian brain. Its loss is a hallmark of fragile X syndrome (FXS), the most common form of mental retardation. In this review we discuss the mutation in the fragile X mental retardation-1 gene (FMR1), that leads to FXS, the role FMRP plays in neuronal cells, experiments from our own laboratory that demonstrate reductions of FMRP in additional psychiatric disorders (autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorder), and potential therapies to ameliorate the loss of FMRP. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Trends in neuropharmacology: in memory of Erminio Costa'.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
4Neuropsychopharmacology 2011 Jul 36: 1714-28
TitleGender-specific effect of Mthfr genotype and neonatal vigabatrin interaction on synaptic proteins in mouse cortex.
AbstractThe enzyme methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) is a part of the homocysteine and folate metabolic pathways, affecting the methylations of DNA, RNA, and proteins. Mthfr deficiency was reported as a risk factor for neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. Neonatal disruption of the GABAergic system is also associated with behavioral outcomes. The interaction between the epigenetic influence of Mthfr deficiency and neonatal exposure to the GABA potentiating drug vigabatrin (GVG) in mice has been shown to have gender-dependent effects on mice anxiety and to have memory impairment effects in a gender-independent manner. Here we show that Mthfr deficiency interacts with neonatal GABA potentiation to alter social behavior in female, but not male, mice. This impairment was associated with a gender-dependent enhancement of proteins implicated in excitatory synapse plasticity in the female cortex. Reelin and fragile X mental retardation 1 protein (FMRP) levels and membrane GluR1/GluR2 ratios were elevated in wild-type mice treated neonatally with GVG and in Mthfr+/- mice treated with saline, but not in Mthfr+/- mice treated with GVG, compared with control groups (wild type treated with saline). A minor influence on the levels of these proteins was observed in male mice cortices, possibly due to high basal protein levels. Interaction between gender, genotype, and treatment was also observed in the GABA pathway. In female mice, GABA A?2/gephyrin ratios were suppressed in all test groups; in male mice, a genotype-specific enhancement of GABA A?2/gephyrin was observed. The lack of an effect on either reln or FMR1 transcription suggests post-transcriptional regulation of these genes. Taken together, these findings suggest that Mthfr deficiency may interact with neonatal GABA potentiation in a gender-dependent manner to interrupt synaptic function. This may illustrate a possible mechanism for the epigenetic involvement of Mthfr deficiency in neurodevelopmental disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
5Methods Mol. Biol. 2013 -1 1017: 95-104
TitleCharacterizing social behavior in genetically targeted mouse models of brain disorders.
AbstractFragile X syndrome, the leading inherited cause of mental retardation and autism spectrum disorders worldwide, is caused by a tandem repeat expansion in the FMR1 (fragile X mental retardation 1) gene. It presents with a distinct behavioral phenotype which overlaps significantly with that of autism. Emerging evidence suggests that tandem repeat polymorphisms (TRPs) might also play a key role in modulating disease susceptibility for a range of common polygenic disorders, including the broader autism spectrum of disorders (ASD) and other forms of psychiatric illness such as schizophrenia, depression, and bipolar disorder [1]. In order to understand how TRPs and associated gene mutations mediate pathogenesis, various mouse models have been generated. A crucial step in such functional genomics is high-quality behavioral and cognitive phenotyping. This chapter presents a basic behavioral battery for standardized tests for assaying social phenotypes in mouse models of brain disorders, with a focus on aggression.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
6Psychiatry Res 2013 Dec 210: 690-3
TitleDecreased fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is associated with lower IQ and earlier illness onset in patients with schizophrenia.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate Fragile X Syndrome (FXS)-related mechanisms in schizophrenia, including CGG triplet expansion, FMR1 mRNA, and fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) levels in lymphocytes. We investigated 36 patients with schizophrenia and 30 healthy controls using Southern blot analysis, mRNA assay, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). General intellectual functions were assessed with the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III, and the clinical symptoms were evaluated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Results revealed that, relative to healthy controls, CGG triplet size and FMR1 mRNA were unaltered in patients with schizophrenia. However, the FMRP level was significantly reduced in patients compared with controls. We found an association between lower FMRP levels, reduced IQ, and earlier illness onset in schizophrenia. Chlorpromazine-equivalent antipsychotic dose did not correlate with FMRP levels. These results raise the possibility of impaired translation of FMR1 mRNA, altered epigenetic regulation, or increased degradation of FMRP in schizophrenia, which may play a role in dysfunctional neurodevelopmental processes and impaired neuroplasticity.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
7Cerebellum 2013 Aug 12: 547-56
TitleReorganization of circuits underlying cerebellar modulation of prefrontal cortical dopamine in mouse models of autism spectrum disorder.
AbstractImaging, clinical, and pre-clinical studies have provided ample evidence for a cerebellar involvement in cognitive brain function including cognitive brain disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. We previously reported that cerebellar activity modulates dopamine release in the mouse medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) via two distinct pathways: (1) cerebellum to mPFC via dopaminergic projections from the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and (2) cerebellum to mPFC via glutamatergic projections from the mediodorsal and ventrolateral thalamus (ThN md and vl). The present study compared functional adaptations of cerebello-cortical circuitry following developmental cerebellar pathology in a mouse model of developmental loss of Purkinje cells (Lurcher) and a mouse model of fragile X syndrome (FMR1 KO mice). Fixed potential amperometry was used to measure mPFC dopamine release in response to cerebellar electrical stimulation. Mutant mice of both strains showed an attenuation in cerebellar-evoked mPFC dopamine release compared to respective wildtype mice. This was accompanied by a functional reorganization of the VTA and thalamic pathways mediating cerebellar modulation of mPFC dopamine release. Inactivation of the VTA pathway by intra-VTA lidocaine or kynurenate infusions decreased dopamine release by 50 % in wildtype and 20-30 % in mutant mice of both strains. Intra-ThN vl infusions of either drug decreased dopamine release by 15 % in wildtype and 40 % in mutant mice of both strains, while dopamine release remained relatively unchanged following intra-ThN md drug infusions. These results indicate a shift in strength towards the thalamic vl projection, away from the VTA. Thus, cerebellar neuropathologies associated with autism spectrum disorders may cause a reduction in cerebellar modulation of mPFC dopamine release that is related to a reorganization of the mediating neuronal pathways.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
8Front Neurol 2014 -1 5: 205
TitleCommon microRNAs Target Established ASD Genes.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
9Nature 2014 Feb 506: 185-90
TitleA polygenic burden of rare disruptive mutations in schizophrenia.
Abstractschizophrenia is a common disease with a complex aetiology, probably involving multiple and heterogeneous genetic factors. Here, by analysing the exome sequences of 2,536 schizophrenia cases and 2,543 controls, we demonstrate a polygenic burden primarily arising from rare (less than 1 in 10,000), disruptive mutations distributed across many genes. Particularly enriched gene sets include the voltage-gated calcium ion channel and the signalling complex formed by the activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated scaffold protein (ARC) of the postsynaptic density, sets previously implicated by genome-wide association and copy-number variation studies. Similar to reports in autism, targets of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP, product of FMR1) are enriched for case mutations. No individual gene-based test achieves significance after correction for multiple testing and we do not detect any alleles of moderately low frequency (approximately 0.5 to 1 per cent) and moderately large effect. Taken together, these data suggest that population-based exome sequencing can discover risk alleles and complements established gene-mapping paradigms in neuropsychiatric disease.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
10Schizophr. Res. 2015 Jul 165: 201-11
TitleProtein expression of targets of the FMRP regulon is altered in brains of subjects with schizophrenia and mood disorders.
AbstractFragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is an RNA binding protein with 842 target mRNAs in mammalian brain. Silencing of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene leads to loss of expression of FMRP and upregulated metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5) signaling resulting in the multiple physical and cognitive deficits associated with fragile X syndrome (FXS). Reduced FMRP expression has been identified in subjects with autism, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression who do not carry the mutation for FMR1. Our laboratory has recently demonstrated altered expression of four downstream targets of FMRP-mGluR5 signaling in brains of subjects with autism: homer 1, amyloid beta A4 precursor protein (APP), ras-related C3 botulinum toxin substrate 1 (RAC1), and striatal-enriched protein tyrosine phosphatase (STEP). In the current study we investigated the expression of the same four proteins in lateral cerebella of subjects with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression and in frontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In frontal cortex we observed: 1) reduced expression of 120 kDa form of APP in subjects with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; 2) reduced expression of 61 kDa and 33k Da forms of STEP in subjects with schizophrenia; 3) reduced expression of 88 kDa form of APP in subjects with bipolar disorder; and 3) trends for reduced expression of 88 kDa form of APP and homer 1 in subjects with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, respectively. In lateral cerebella there was no group difference, however we observed increased expression of RAC1 in subjects with bipolar disorder, and trends for increased RAC1 in subjects with schizophrenia and major depression. Our results provide further evidence that proteins involved in the FMRP-mGluR5 signaling pathway are altered in schizophrenia and mood disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
11EMBO Mol Med 2015 Dec 7: 1565-79
TitleAccumulated common variants in the broader fragile X gene family modulate autistic phenotypes.
AbstractFragile X syndrome (FXS) is mostly caused by a CGG triplet expansion in the fragile X mental retardation 1 gene (FMR1). Up to 60% of affected males fulfill criteria for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making FXS the most frequent monogenetic cause of syndromic ASD. It is unknown, however, whether normal variants (independent of mutations) in the fragile X gene family (FMR1, FXR1, FXR2) and in FMR2 modulate autistic features. Here, we report an accumulation model of 8 SNPs in these genes, associated with autistic traits in a discovery sample of male patients with schizophrenia (N = 692) and three independent replicate samples: patients with schizophrenia (N = 626), patients with other psychiatric diagnoses (N = 111) and a general population sample (N = 2005). For first mechanistic insight, we contrasted microRNA expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of selected extreme group subjects with high- versus low-risk constellation regarding the accumulation model. Thereby, the brain-expressed miR-181 species emerged as potential "umbrella regulator", with several seed matches across the fragile X gene family and FMR2. To conclude, normal variation in these genes contributes to the continuum of autistic phenotypes.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
12G3 (Bethesda) 2015 Nov 5: 2453-61
TitleWhole-Genome Sequencing Suggests Schizophrenia Risk Mechanisms in Humans with 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome.
AbstractChromosome 22q11.2 microdeletions impart a high but incomplete risk for schizophrenia. Possible mechanisms include genome-wide effects of DGCR8 haploinsufficiency. In a proof-of-principle study to assess the power of this model, we used high-quality, whole-genome sequencing of nine individuals with 22q11.2 deletions and extreme phenotypes (schizophrenia, or no psychotic disorder at age >50 years). The schizophrenia group had a greater burden of rare, damaging variants impacting protein-coding neurofunctional genes, including genes involved in neuron projection (nominal P = 0.02, joint burden of three variant types). Variants in the intact 22q11.2 region were not major contributors. Restricting to genes affected by a DGCR8 mechanism tended to amplify between-group differences. Damaging variants in highly conserved long intergenic noncoding RNA genes also were enriched in the schizophrenia group (nominal P = 0.04). The findings support the 22q11.2 deletion model as a threshold-lowering first hit for schizophrenia risk. If applied to a larger and thus better-powered cohort, this appears to be a promising approach to identify genome-wide rare variants in coding and noncoding sequence that perturb gene networks relevant to idiopathic schizophrenia. Similarly designed studies exploiting genetic models may prove useful to help delineate the genetic architecture of other complex phenotypes.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
13Schizophr. Res. 2015 Sep 167: 42-56
TitleGABA receptor subunit distribution and FMRP-mGluR5 signaling abnormalities in the cerebellum of subjects with schizophrenia, mood disorders, and autism.
AbstractGamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the main inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. GABAergic receptor abnormalities have been documented in several major psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia, mood disorders, and autism. Abnormal expression of mRNA and protein for multiple GABA receptors has also been observed in multiple brain regions leading to alterations in the balance between excitatory/inhibitory signaling in the brain with potential profound consequences for normal cognition and maintenance of mood and perception. Altered expression of GABAA receptor subunits has been documented in fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) knockout mice, suggesting that loss of its protein product, fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), impacts GABAA subunit expression. Recent postmortem studies from our laboratory have shown reduced expression of FMRP in the brains of subjects with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and autism. FMRP acts as a translational repressor and, under normal conditions, inhibits metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5)-mediated signaling. In fragile X syndrome (FXS), the absence of FMRP is hypothesized to lead to unregulated mGluR5 signaling, ultimately resulting in the behavioral and intellectual impairments associated with this disorder. Our laboratory has identified changes in mGluR5 expression in autism, schizophrenia, and mood disorders. In the current review article, we discuss our postmortem data on GABA receptors, FMRP, and mGluR5 levels and compare our results with other laboratories. Finally, we discuss the interactions between these molecules and the potential for new therapeutic interventions that target these interconnected signaling systems.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal
14Mol. Psychiatry 2015 Sep 20: 1069-78
TitleIncreased CYFIP1 dosage alters cellular and dendritic morphology and dysregulates mTOR.
AbstractRare maternally inherited duplications at 15q11-13 are observed in ~1% of individuals with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), making it among the most common causes of ASD. 15q11-13 comprises a complex region, and as this copy number variation encompasses many genes, it is important to explore individual genotype-phenotype relationships. Cytoplasmic FMR1-interacting protein 1 (CYFIP1) is of particular interest because of its interaction with Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), its upregulation in transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines from patients with duplications at 15q11-13 and ASD and the presence of smaller overlapping deletions of CYFIP1 in patients with schizophrenia and intellectual disability. Here, we confirm that CYFIP1 is upregulated in transformed lymphoblastoid cell lines and demonstrate its upregulation in the post-mortem brain from 15q11-13 duplication patients for the first time. To investigate how increased CYFIP1 dosage might predispose to neurodevelopmental disease, we studied the consequence of its overexpression in multiple systems. We show that overexpression of CYFIP1 results in morphological abnormalities including cellular hypertrophy in SY5Y cells and differentiated mouse neuronal progenitors. We validate these results in vivo by generating a BAC transgenic mouse, which overexpresses Cyfip1 under the endogenous promotor, observing an increase in the proportion of mature dendritic spines and dendritic spine density. Gene expression profiling on embryonic day 15 suggested the dysregulation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling, which was confirmed at the protein level. Importantly, similar evidence of mTOR-related dysregulation was seen in brains from 15q11-13 duplication patients with ASD. Finally, treatment of differentiated mouse neuronal progenitors with an mTOR inhibitor (rapamycin) rescued the morphological abnormalities resulting from CYFIP1 overexpression. Together, these data show that CYFIP1 overexpression results in specific cellular phenotypes and implicate modulation by mTOR signaling, further emphasizing its role as a potential convergent pathway in some forms of ASD.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia, schizotypal