Protein Synthesis Offers New Insight into Schizophrenia
New research indicated that stem cells from adults with schizophrenia form new proteins more slowly than those from healthy adults. Findings from the study are published in Translational Psychiatry.
Study authors from Griffith University, Royal College of Surgeons, and University College Dublin analyzed close to 1,000 proteins in patients' stem cells. They found that the cellular machinery for producing new proteins was diminished with an impaired rate of protein synthesis.
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Even a slight alteration in protein synthesis can subtly change many cell functions. This could affect brain development and function in schizophrenia.
In contrast, a second study evaluated a different type of cells called induced pluripotent stem cells. These are genetically engineered from skin cells and then stimulated to turn into stem cells that resemble the neural progenitor cells. After analysis, these patients' cells were found to contain more protein-making machinery and also made proteins faster than cells from healthy controls.
Professor Mackay-Sim explained, "While on the surface this seems like a contradiction, the two studies support each other by showing that the regulation of protein synthesis is subtly disturbed in the cells of people with schizophrenia." Findings suggest that protein synthesis may be different depending on the type of cell or life stage in schizophrenia.