Clues to treatment of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder found in recently evolved region of the ‘dark genome’


3D model of DNA. Credits: Michael Ströck / Wikimedia / GNU Free Documentation License

Scientists investigating the DNA outside our genes, the “dark genome,” have discovered a recently evolved region that encodes proteins associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

They state that these new proteins can be used as a biological indicator to distinguish between the two states and identify patients who are prone to psychosis or suicide.

Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are debilitating Mental illness Difficult to diagnose and treat.Despite being one of the most hereditary mental health disorders, the clues to its cause are in our DNA. gene..

Scientists say,’The hotspot isDark genome‘Related to disability’ Human developmentHowever, those disruptions due to environmental factors lead to susceptibility, or development. schizophrenia Or bipolar disorder.

Results will be published in the journal today Molecular psychiatry..

“Scan Whole genome We have discovered a region that is not classified as a gene in the traditional sense, producing proteins that appear to be associated with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. ”The study and senior author of the report.

“This opens up great potential for new drug discovery targets. It’s very exciting because we haven’t looked at any clues other than genes to understand and treat these conditions.”

Researchers believe that these genomic components of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are unique to humans. Newly discovered regions are not found in the genomes of other vertebrates.The region may have evolved rapidly in humans like us Cognitive ability It was developed, but it is easily interrupted and goes into two states.

Chaitanya Erady, a researcher at the Faculty of Genetics at the University of Cambridge and the lead author of the study, said:

She added: “Looking outside the region of DNA classified as a gene, we can see that the entire human genome, not just the gene, has the ability to make proteins. Biological process Disorders such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder result in dysfunction. “

Most of the drugs currently available are designed to target genes-encoded proteins. New discoveries can help explain why schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are hereditary conditions and may provide new targets for future treatment.

Schizophrenia is a severe long-term mental health condition that can cause hallucinations, delusions, thought and behavioral disturbances, while bipolar disorder causes extreme mood swings from mania to depression. Cause.Sometimes there are two symptoms hindrance It’s hard to tell.

Prabakalan quit college earlier this year to set up a company called NonExomics to commercialize this and other discoveries. Cambridge Enterprise, the commercialization arm of the University of Cambridge, has helped NonExomics by licensing its intellectual property. Prabakalan has raised seed funding to develop new therapies targeting proteins involved in schizophrenia. Bipolar disorder, And other illnesses.

His team has now discovered 248,000 DNA regions outside the regions previously defined as genes encoding new proteins that are destroyed by disease.

Genetic risk of mental illness associated with brain changes

For more information:
New open reading frames in human accelerated regions and transposable factors reveal new leads for understanding schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Molecular psychiatry (2021). DOI: 10.1038 / s41380-021-01405-6 ,

Quote: Https: // in a recently evolved region of the “dark genome” (December 22, 2021) obtained from Schizophrenia on December 22, 2021. Clues for Treatment of Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder-Bipolar Disorder.html

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