1Exp. Cell Res. 2003 Mar 284: 14-30
TitleNeuregulins: functions, forms, and signaling strategies.
AbstractThe neuregulins (NRGs) are cell-cell signaling proteins that are ligands for receptor tyrosine kinases of the ErbB family. The neuregulin family of genes has four members: NRG1, NRG2, NRG3, and NRG4. Relatively little is known about the biological functions of the NRG2, 3, and 4 proteins, and they are considered in this review only briefly. The NRG1 proteins play essential roles in the nervous system, heart, and breast. There is also evidence for involvement of NRG signaling in the development and function of several other organ systems, and in human disease, including the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and breast cancer. There are many NRG1 isoforms, raising the question "Why so many neuregulins?" Study of mice with targeted mutations ("knockout mice") has demonstrated that isoforms differing in their N-terminal region or in their epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like domain differ in their in vivo functions. These differences in function might arise because of differences in expression pattern or might reflect differences in intrinsic biological characteristics. While differences in expression pattern certainly contribute to the observed differences in in vivo functions, there are also marked differences in intrinsic characteristics that may tailor isoforms for specific signaling requirements, a theme that will be emphasized in this review.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
2Adv Anat Embryol Cell Biol 2007 -1 190: 1-65
TitleThe neuregulin-I/ErbB signaling system in development and disease.
AbstractNeuregulins (NRGs) comprise a large family of EGF-like signaling molecules involved in cell-cell communication during development and disease. The neuregulin family of ligands has four members: NRG1, NRG2, NRG3, and NRG4. Relatively little is known about the biological functions of the NRG2, 3, and 4 proteins. In contrast, the NRG1 proteins have been demonstrated to play important roles during the development of the nervous system, heart, and mammary glands. For example, NRG1 has essential functions in the development of neural crest cells and some of their major derivatives, like Schwann cells and sympathetic neurons. NRG1 controls the trabeculation of the myocardial musculature and the ductal differentiation of the mammary epithelium. Moreover, there is emerging evidence for the involvement of NRG signals in the development and function of several other organ systems, and in human disease, including breast cancer and schizophrenia. Many different isoforms of the Neuregulin-1 gene are synthesized. Such isoforms differ in their tissue-specific expression patterns and their biological activities, thereby contributing to the great diversity of the in vivo functions of NRG1. Neuregulins transmit their signals to target cells by interacting with transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptors of the ErbB family. This family includes four members, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R, ErbB1, ErbB2, ErbB3, and ErbB4). Receptor-ligand interaction induces the heterodimerization of receptor monomers, which in turn results in the activation of intracellular signaling cascades and the induction of cellular responses including proliferation, migration, differentiation, and survival or apoptosis. In vivo, functional NRG1 receptors are heterodimers composed of ErbB2 with either an ErbB3, or ErbB4 molecule. The tissue-specific distribution of the different receptor types further contributes to the diversity and specificity of the biological functions of this signaling pathway. It is a typical feature of the Neuregulin-1/ErbB signaling pathway to control sequential steps during the development of a particular organ system. For example, this pathway functions in early precursor proliferation, maturation, as well as in the myelination of Schwann cells. The systematic analysis of genetic models that have been established by the help of conventional as well as conditional gene targeting strategies in mice was instrumental for the uncovering of the multitude of biological functions of this signaling system. In this review the basic biology of the Neuregulin-1/ErbB system and how it relates to the in vivo functions were discussed with special emphasis to transgenic techniques in mice.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
3Behav Brain Funct 2007 -1 3: 31
TitleInteractions among genes in the ErbB-Neuregulin signalling network are associated with increased susceptibility to schizophrenia.
AbstractEvidence of genetic association between the NRG1 (Neuregulin-1) gene and schizophrenia is now well-documented. Furthermore, several recent reports suggest association between schizophrenia and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in ERBB4, one of the receptors for Neuregulin-1. In this study, we have extended the previously published associations by investigating the involvement of all eight genes from the ERBB and NRG families for association with schizophrenia.
Eight genes from the ERBB and NRG families were tested for association to schizophrenia using a collection of 396 cases and 1,342 blood bank controls ascertained from Aberdeen, UK. A total of 365 SNPs were tested. Association testing of both alleles and genotypes was carried out using the fast Fisher's Exact Test (FET). To understand better the nature of the associations, all pairs of SNPs separated by >or= 0.5 cM with at least nominal evidence of association (P < 0.10) were tested for evidence of pairwise interaction by logistic regression analysis.
42 out of 365 tested SNPs in the eight genes from the ERBB and NRG gene families were significantly associated with schizophrenia (P < 0.05). Associated SNPs were located in ERBB4 and NRG1, confirming earlier reports. However, novel associations were also seen in NRG2, NRG3 and EGFR. In pairwise interaction tests, clear evidence of gene-gene interaction was detected for NRG1-NRG2, NRG1-NRG3 and EGFR-NRG2, and suggestive evidence was also seen for ERBB4-NRG1, ERBB4-NRG2, ERBB4-NRG3 and ERBB4-ERBB2. Evidence of intragenic interaction was seen for SNPs in ERBB4.
These new findings suggest that observed associations between NRG1 and schizophrenia may be mediated through functional interaction not just with ERBB4, but with other members of the NRG and ERBB families. There is evidence that genetic interaction among these loci may increase susceptibility to schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
4Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2010 Mar 107: 5622-7
TitleDisrupted-in-Schizophrenia-1 expression is regulated by beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme-1-neuregulin cascade.
AbstractNeuregulin-1 (NRG1) and Disrupted-in-schizophrenia-1 (DISC1) are promising susceptibility factors for schizophrenia. Both are multifunctional proteins with roles in a variety of neurodevelopmental processes, including progenitor cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation. Here, we provide evidence linking these factors together in a single pathway, which is mediated by ErbB receptors and PI3K/Akt. We show that signaling by NRG1 and NRG2, but not NRG3, increase expression of an isoform of DISC1 in vitro. Receptors ErbB2 and ErbB3, but not ErbB4, are responsible for transducing this effect, and PI3K/Akt signaling is also required. In NRG1 knockout mice, this DISC1 isoform is selectively reduced during neurodevelopment. Furthermore, a similar decrease in DISC1 expression is seen in beta-site amyloid precursor protein cleaving enzyme-1 (BACE1) knockout mice, in which NRG1/Akt signaling is reportedly impaired. In contrast to neuronal DISC1 that was reported and characterized, expression of DISC1 in other types of cells in the brain has not been addressed. Here we demonstrate that DISC1, like NRG and ErbB proteins, is expressed in neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, and radial progenitors. These findings may connect NRG1, ErbBs, Akt, and DISC1 in a common pathway, which may regulate neurodevelopment and contribute to susceptibility to schizophrenia.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
5Front Genet 2013 -1 4: 58
TitlePotential Impact of miR-137 and Its Targets in Schizophrenia.
AbstractThe significant impact of microRNAs (miRNAs) on disease pathology is becoming increasingly evident. These small non-coding RNAs have the ability to post-transcriptionally silence the expression of thousands of genes. Therefore, dysregulation of even a single miRNA could confer a large polygenic effect. schizophrenia is a genetically complex illness thought to involve multiple genes each contributing a small risk. Large genome-wide association studies identified miR-137, a miRNA shown to be involved in neuronal maturation, as one of the top risk genes. To assess the potential mechanism of impact of miR-137 in this disorder and identify its targets, we used a combination of literature searches, ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA), and freely accessible bioinformatics resources. Using TargetScan and the schizophrenia gene resource (SZGR) database, we found that in addition to CSMD1, C10orf26, CACNA1C, TCF4, and ZNF804A, five schizophrenia risk genes whose transcripts are also validated miR-137 targets, there are other schizophrenia-associated genes that may be targets of miR-137, including ERBB4, GABRA1, GRIN2A, GRM5, GSK3B, NRG2, and HTR2C. IPA analyses of all the potential targets identified several nervous system (NS) functions as the top canonical pathways including synaptic long-term potentiation, a process implicated in learning and memory mechanisms and recently shown to be altered in patients with schizophrenia. Among the subset of targets involved in NS development and function, the top scoring pathways were ephrin receptor signaling and axonal guidance, processes that are critical for proper circuitry formation and were shown to be disrupted in schizophrenia. These results suggest that miR-137 may indeed play a substantial role in the genetic etiology of schizophrenia by regulating networks involved in neural development and brain function.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia