Global gene expression profiling of the polyamine system in suicide completers.
ABSTRACT In recent years, gene expression, genetic association, and metabolic studies have implicated the polyamine system in psychiatric conditions, including suicide. Given the extensive regulation of genes involved in polyamine metabolism, as well as their interconnections with the metabolism of other amino acids, we were interested in further investigating the expression of polyamine-related genes across the brain in order to obtain a more comprehensive view of the dysregulation of this system in suicide. To this end, we examined the expression of genes related to polyamine metabolism across 22 brain regions in a sample of 29 mood-disordered suicide completers and 16 controls, and identified 14 genes displaying differential expression. Among these, altered expression of spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase, spermine oxidase, and spermine synthase, has previously been observed in brains of suicide completers, while the remainder of the genes represent novel findings. In addition to genes with direct involvement in polyamine metabolism, including S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase, ornithine decarboxylase antizymes 1 and 2, and arginase II, we identified altered expression of several more distally related genes, including aldehyde dehydrogenase 3 family, member A2, brain creatine kinase, mitochondrial creatine kinase 1, glycine amidinotransferase, glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase 1, and arginyl-tRNA synthetase-like. Many of these genes displayed altered expression across several brain regions, strongly implying that dysregulated polyamine metabolism is a widespread phenomenon in the brains of suicide completers. This study provides a broader view of the nature and extent of the dysregulation of the polyamine system in suicide, and highlights the importance of this system in the neurobiology of suicide.
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ABSTRACT: Suicides are a leading cause of death in psychiatric patients, and in society at large. Developing more quantitative and objective ways (biomarkers) for predicting and tracking suicidal states would have immediate practical applications and positive societal implications. We undertook such an endeavor. First, building on our previous blood biomarker work in mood disorders and psychosis, we decided to identify blood gene expression biomarkers for suicidality, looking at differential expression of genes in the blood of subjects with a major mood disorder (bipolar disorder), a high-risk population prone to suicidality. We compared no suicidal ideation (SI) states and high SI states using a powerful intrasubject design, as well as an intersubject case-case design, to generate a list of differentially expressed genes. Second, we used a comprehensive Convergent Functional Genomics (CFG) approach to identify and prioritize from the list of differentially expressed gene biomarkers of relevance to suicidality. CFG integrates multiple independent lines of evidence-genetic and functional genomic data-as a Bayesian strategy for identifying and prioritizing findings, reducing the false-positives and false-negatives inherent in each individual approach. Third, we examined whether expression levels of the blood biomarkers identified by us in the live bipolar subject cohort are actually altered in the blood in an age-matched cohort of suicide completers collected from the coroner's office, and report that 13 out of the 41 top CFG scoring biomarkers (32%) show step-wise significant change from no SI to high SI states, and then to the suicide completers group. Six out of them (15%) remained significant after strict Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. Fourth, we show that the blood levels of SAT1 (spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase 1), the top biomarker identified by us, at the time of testing for this study, differentiated future as well as past hospitalizations with suicidality, in a live cohort of bipolar disorder subjects, and exhibited a similar but weaker pattern in a live cohort of psychosis (schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder) subjects. Three other (phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN), myristoylated alanine-rich protein kinase C substrate (MARCKS), and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 3 (MAP3K3)) of the six biomarkers that survived Bonferroni correction showed similar but weaker effects. Taken together, the prospective and retrospective hospitalization data suggests SAT1, PTEN, MARCKS and MAP3K3 might be not only state biomarkers but trait biomarkers as well. Fifth, we show how a multi-dimensional approach using SAT1 blood expression levels and two simple visual-analog scales for anxiety and mood enhances predictions of future hospitalizations for suicidality in the bipolar cohort (receiver-operating characteristic curve with area under the curve of 0.813). Of note, this simple approach does not directly ask about SI, which some individuals may deny or choose not to share with clinicians. Lastly, we conducted bioinformatic analyses to identify biological pathways, mechanisms and medication targets. Overall, suicidality may be underlined, at least in part, by biological mechanisms related to stress, inflammation and apoptosis.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 20 August 2013; doi:10.1038/mp.2013.95.Molecular psychiatry 08/2013; · 15.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small, non-coding RNA molecules that play an important role in the post-transcriptional regulation of mRNA. These molecules have been the subject of growing interest as they are believed to control the regulation of a large number of genes, including those expressed in the brain. Evidence suggests that miRNAs could be involved in the pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric disorders. Alterations in metabolic enzymes of the polyamine system have been reported to play a role in predisposition to suicidal behaviour. We have previously shown the expression of the polyamine genes SAT1 and SMOX to be down-regulated in the brains of suicide completers. In this study, we hypothesized that the dysregulation of these genes in depressed suicide completers could be influenced by miRNA post-transcriptional regulation. Using a stringent target prediction analysis, we identified several miRNAs that target the 3'UTR of SAT1 and SMOX. We profiled the expression of 10 miRNAs in the prefrontal cortex (BA44) of suicide completers (N = 15) and controls (N = 16) using qRT-PCR. We found that several miRNAs showed significant up-regulation in the prefrontal cortex of suicide completers compared to psychiatric healthy controls. Furthermore, we demonstrated a significant correlation between these miRNAs and the expression levels of both SAT1 and SMOX. Our results suggest a relationship between miRNAs and polyamine gene expression in the suicide brain, and postulate a mechanism for SAT1 and SMOX down-regulation by post-transcriptional activity of miRNAs.The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology 09/2013; · 5.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: A recent publication focused on biomarkers of future suicidal behaviors identifies several genes expressed in high-risk states among four samples. We discuss the implications of this study as well as the current state of research regarding biomarkers of suicidal behavior.Current Psychiatry Reports 12/2013; 15(12):424. · 3.23 Impact Factor