Differential protein expression of DARPP-32 versus Calcineurin in the prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

Yasuto Kunii, Mizuki Hino, Junya Matsumoto, Atsuko Nagaoka, Hiroyuki Nawa, Akiyoshi Kakita, Hiroyasu Akatsu, Yoshio Hashizume, Hirooki Yabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein of molecular weight 32 kDa (DARPP-32) integrates dopaminergic signaling into that of several other neurotransmitters. Calcineurin (CaN), located downstream of dopaminergic pathways, inactivates DARPP-32 by dephosphorylation. Despite several studies have examined their expression levels of gene and protein in postmortem patients’ brains, they rendered inconsistent results. In this study, protein expression levels of DARPP-32 and CaN were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), and nucleus accumbens (NAc) of 49 postmortem samples from subjects with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and normal controls. We also examined the association between this expression and genetic variants of 8 dopaminergic system-associated molecules for 55 SNPs in the same postmortem samples. In the PFC of patients with schizophrenia, levels of DARPP-32 were significantly decreased, while those of CaN tended to increase. In the NAc, both of DARPP-32 and CaN showed no significant alternations in patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Further analysis of the correlation of DARPP-32 and CaN expressions, we found that positive correlations in controls and schizophrenia in PFC, and schizophrenia in NAc. In PFC, the expression ratio of DARPP-32/CaN were significantly lower in schizophrenia than controls. We also found that several of the aforementioned SNPs may predict protein expression, one of which was confirmed in a second independent sample set. This differential expression of DARPP-32 and CaN may reflect potential molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, or differences between these two major psychiatric diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14877
JournalScientific reports
Volume9
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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