Molecular psychiatry, 2015, Vol.20(9), p.1091-1100
Numerous investigations support decreased glutamatergic signaling as a pathogenic mechanism of schizophrenia: yet molecular underpinnings for such dysregulation are largely unknown. In the postmortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, we found striking decreases in tyrosine phosphorylation of N-methyl-D aspartate (NMDA) receptor subunit 2 (GluN2), which is critical for neuroplasticity. The decreased GluN2 activity in schizophrenia may not be due to downregulation of NMDA receptors since MK-801 binding and NMDA receptor complexes in the PSD were in fact increased in schizophrenia cases. At the post-receptor level, however, we found striking reductions in the protein kinase C, Pyk 2 and Src kinase activity, which in tandem can decrease GluN2 activation. Given that Src serves as a hub of various signaling mechanisms impacting GluN2 phosphorylation, we postulated that Src hypoactivity may result from convergent alterations of various schizophrenia susceptibility pathways and thus mediate their impacts on NMDA receptor signaling. Indeed, the DLPFC of schizophrenia cases exhibit increased PSD-95 and erbB4 and decreased RPTPa and dysbindin-1, each of which reduces Src activity via protein interaction with Src. To test genomic underpinnings for Src hypoactivity, we examined genome wide association study results, incorporating 13,394 cases and 34,676 controls, which yielded no significant association of individual variants of Src and its direct regulators with schizophrenia. However, a wider protein-protein interaction based network centered on Src, showed significant enrichment of gene-level associations with schizophrenia compared to other psychiatric illnesses. Our results together demonstrate striking decreases in NMDA receptor signaling at the post-receptor level and propose Src as a nodal point of convergent dysregulations impacting NMDA receptor pathway via protein-protein associations.
Article ; Nmda Receptor ; Postsynaptic Density ; Postmortem Brain ; Nmdar Hypofunction ; Src Kinase