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  • Aggregation of the protein TRIOBP-1 and its potential relevance to schizophrenia.

Aggregation of the protein TRIOBP-1 and its potential relevance to schizophrenia.

PloS one (2014-10-22)
Nicholas J Bradshaw, Verian Bader, Ingrid Prikulis, Angelika Lueking, Stefan Müllner, Carsten Korth
ABSTRACT

We have previously proposed that specific proteins may form insoluble aggregates as a response to an illness-specific proteostatic dysbalance in a subset of brains from individuals with mental illness, as is the case for other chronic brain conditions. So far, established risk factors DISC1 and dysbindin were seen to specifically aggregate in a subset of such patients, as was a novel schizophrenia-related protein, CRMP1, identified through a condition-specific epitope discovery approach. In this process, antibodies are raised against the pooled insoluble protein fractions (aggregomes) of post mortem brain samples from schizophrenia patients, followed by epitope identification and confirmation using additional techniques. Pursuing this epitope discovery paradigm further, we reveal TRIO binding protein (TRIOBP) to be a major substrate of a monoclonal antibody with a high specificity to brain aggregomes from patients with chronic mental illness. TRIOBP is a gene previously associated with deafness which encodes for several distinct protein species, each involved in actin cytoskeletal dynamics. The 3' splice variant TRIOBP-1 is found to be the antibody substrate and has a high aggregation propensity when over-expressed in neuroblastoma cells, while the major 5' splice variant, TRIOBP-4, does not. Endogenous TRIOBP-1 can also spontaneously aggregate, doing so to a greater extent in cell cultures which are post-mitotic, consistent with aggregated TRIOBP-1 being able to accumulate in the differentiated neurons of the brain. Finally, upon expression in Neuroscreen-1 cells, aggregated TRIOBP-1 affects cell morphology, indicating that TRIOBP-1 aggregates may directly affect cell development, as opposed to simply being a by-product of other processes involved in major mental illness. While further experiments in clinical samples are required to clarify their relevance to chronic mental illness in the general population, TRIOBP-1 aggregates are thus implicated for the first time as a biological element of the neuropathology of a subset of chronic mental illness.

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