Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists find gene linked to schizophrenia

13.04.2010
New study led by University of Montreal scientists identifies genetic association

An international study led by Université de Montréal scientists suggests that gene mutations may predispose some individuals to schizophrenia and provides new clues about the causes of this ambiguous disorder. Published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the findings demonstrate that new mutations in the SHANK3 gene are found in schizophrenic patients.

"That these de novo or new mutations occur in schizophrenia is rather unexpected and may explain why the identification of the genes linked to this disease has been so difficult," says senior author Guy Rouleau, a Université de Montréal professor, director of the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center and a scientist at the Research Centre of the Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal.

"Our findings show that a significant number of schizophrenia cases are the result of new genetic mutations in the SHANK3 gene. Where previous approaches have failed, our detailed analyses and rich patient database led us to this discovery. We are convinced that future studies will validate the SHANK3 gene as a marker for schizophrenia," continues Dr. Rouleau, who is Canada Research Chair in Genetics of the Nervous System.

Autism and schizophrenia link

"The SHANK3 gene has previously been linked to autism," adds lead author Julie Gauthier, a Université de Montréal researcher. "Not only does this suggest a molecular genetic link between these two neurodevelopmental disorders, it suggests that SHANK3 may have a role in other brain disorders."

SHANK3 is protein involved in maintaining the physical structure of nerve cells. Mutations in this gene result in specific abnormalities in cell shapes. These deformations have been observed in some schizophrenia patients, providing further evidence of the importance of the SHANK3 gene in this disorder.

These findings were made possible through the collaboration of several institutions such as the Harvard Medical School, McGill University and the Université Paris Descartes; please read on for complete list of funders and partners.

About schizophrenia:

Affecting approximately one percent of the population, schizophrenia is a chronic psychiatric disorder characterized by disturbances in thinking, behaviour and emotion. Symptoms include delusions, hallucinations and withdrawal from social activity.

Partners in research:

This study was funded by Genome Canada, Génome Québec, the Université de Montréal and the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

About the study:

The article, "De novo mutations in the gene encoding the synaptic scaffolding protein SHANK3 in patients ascertained for schizophrenia," was coauthored by Julie Gauthier, Nathalie Champagne, Edna Brustein, Mathieu Lapointe, Huashan Peng, Marie-Pierre Dubé, Pierre Drapeau, Philip Awadalla and Guy Rouleau of the Université de Montréal, Fadi F. Hamdan and Mark E. Samuels of the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Research Center; Eric A. Stone of North Carolina State University; Philip A. Barker of the Montreal Neurological Institute; Anjené M. Addington and Judith L. Rapoport of the National Institute of Mental Health; Lynn E. DeLisi of the Harvard Medical School; Marie-Odile Krebs and Fayçal Mouaffak of the Université Paris Descartes; Ferid Fathalli, Ali P. Haghighi and Salvatore Carbonetto of McGill University / McGill University Health Centre; Ridha Joober of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute; Christian Néri of the Centre Paul Broca / INSERM.

Note to editors:

The Université de Montréal name can be adapted to University of Montreal (but never Montreal University).

On the Web:

About the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: www.pnas.org
About the Université de Montréal: www.umontreal.ca/english
About the Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal : www.crchum.qc.ca
About the Sainte-Justine Hospital Research Center: www.recherche-sainte-justine.qc.ca/en

Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umontreal.ca

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Stiffness matters
22.02.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Separate brain systems cooperate during learning, study finds
22.02.2018 | Brown University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stiffness matters

22.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Magnetic field traces gas and dust swirling around supermassive black hole

22.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

First evidence of surprising ocean warming around Galápagos corals

22.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>