Implication of SSAT by gene expression and genetic variation in suicide and major depression.

McGill Group for Suicide Studies, Douglas Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Archives of General Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 13.75). 01/2006; 63(1):35-48. DOI: 10.1001/archpsyc.63.1.35
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A large body of evidence suggests that predisposition to suicide, an important public health problem, is mediated to a certain extent by neurobiological factors.
To investigate patterns of expression in suicide with and without major depression and to identify new molecular targets that may play a role in the neurobiology of these conditions.
Brain gene expression analysis was performed using the Affymetrix HG-U133 chipset in the orbital cortex (Brodmann area [BA] 11), the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (BA8/9), and motor cortex (BA4). Subsequent studies were carried out in independent samples from adjacent areas to validate positive findings, confirm their relevance at the protein level, and investigate possible effects of genetic variation.
We investigated 12 psychiatrically normal control subjects and 24 suicide victims, including 16 with and 8 without major depression, in the brain gene expression analysis, validation, and protein studies. The genetic studies included 181 suicide completers and 80 psychiatrically normal controls. All subjects investigated were male and of French Canadian origin.
Gene expression measures from microarray, semiquantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, and Western blot analyses.
Twenty-six genes were selected because of the consistency of their expression pattern (fold change, >1.3 in either direction [P<or=.01] in at least 2 regions). The spermine/spermidine N(1)-acetyltransferase gene (SSAT) was successfully validated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry, and Western blot analyses. A variant located in the SSAT polyamine-responsive element regulatory region (SSAT342A/C) demonstrated a significant effect of genotype on SSAT brain expression levels (F(1) = 5.34; P = .02). Further investigation of this variant in an independent sample of 181 male suicide completers and 80 male controls showed a higher frequency of the SSAT342C allele among suicide cases (odds ratio, 2.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.4-5.3; P = .005), suggesting that this allele may increase predisposition to suicide.
These data suggest a role for SSAT, the rate-limiting enzyme in the catabolism of polyamines, in suicide and depression and a role for the SSAT342 locus in the regulation of SSAT gene expression.


Available from: Adolfo Sequeira, Jun 03, 2015
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Low brain expression of the spermidine/spermine N-1 acetyltransferase (SAT1) gene, the rate-limiting enzyme involved in catabolism of polyamines that mediate the polyamine stress response (PSR), has been reported in depressed suicides. However, it is unknown whether this effect is associated with depression or with suicide and whether all or only specific isoforms expressed by SAT1, such as the primary 171 amino acid protein-encoding transcript (SSAT), or an alternative splice variant (SSATX) that is involved in SAT1 regulated unproductive splicing and transcription (RUST), are involved. We applied next generation sequencing (RNA-seq) to assess gene-level, isoform-level, and exon-level SAT1 expression differences between healthy controls (HC, N=29), DSM-IV major depressive disorder suicides (MDD-S, N=21) and MDD non-suicides (MDD, N=9) in the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (Brodmann Area 9, BA9) of medication-free individuals postmortem. Using small RNA-seq, we also examined miRNA species putatively involved in SAT1 post-transcriptional regulation. A DSM-IV diagnosis was made by structured interview. Toxicology and history ruled out recent psychotropic medication. At the gene-level, we found low SAT1 expression in both MDD-S (vs. HC, p=0.002) and MDD (vs. HC, p=0.002). At the isoform-level, reductions in MDD-S (vs. HC) were most pronounced in four transcripts including SSAT and SSATX, while reductions in MDD (vs. HC) was pronounced in three transcripts, one of which was reduced in MDD relative to MDD-S (all p<0.1 FDR corrected). We did not observe evidence for differential exon-usage (i.e. splicing) nor differences in miRNA expression. Results replicate the finding of low SAT1 brain expression in depressed suicides in an independent sample and implicate low SAT1 brain expression in MDD independent of suicide. Low expression of both SSAT and SATX isoforms suggest shared transcriptional mechanisms involved in RUST may account for low SAT1 brain expression in depressed suicides. Future studies are required to understand the functions and regulation of SAT1 isoforms, and how they relate to the pathogenesis of MDD and suicide. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Neurobiology of Disease 05/2015; 79. DOI:10.1016/j.nbd.2015.04.014 · 5.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The neuroinflammatory hypothesis of major depressive disorder is supported by several main findings. First, in humans and animals, activation of the immune system causes sickness behaviors that present during a major depressive episode (MDE), such as low mood, anhedonia, anorexia, and weight loss. Second, peripheral markers of inflammation are frequently reported in major depressive disorder. Third, neuroinflammatory illnesses are associated with high rates of MDEs. However, a fundamental limitation of the neuroinflammatory hypothesis is a paucity of evidence of brain inflammation during MDE. Translocator protein density measured by distribution volume (TSPO VT) is increased in activated microglia, an important aspect of neuroinflammation. To determine whether TSPO VT is elevated in the prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and insula in patients with MDE secondary to major depressive disorder. Case-control study in a tertiary care psychiatric hospital from May 1, 2010, through February 1, 2014. Twenty patients with MDE secondary to major depressive disorder and 20 healthy control participants underwent positron emission tomography with fluorine F 18-labeled N-(2-(2-fluoroethoxy)benzyl)-N-(4-phenoxypyridin-3-yl)acetamide ([18F]FEPPA). Patients with MDE were medication free for at least 6 weeks. All participants were otherwise healthy and nonsmokers. Values of TSPO VT in the prefrontal cortex, ACC, and insula. In MDE, TSPO VT was significantly elevated in all brain regions examined (multivariate analysis of variance, F15,23 = 4.5 [P = .001]). The magnitude of TSPO VT elevation was 26% in the prefrontal cortex (mean [SD] TSPO VT, 12.5 [3.6] in patients with MDE and 10.0 [2.4] in controls), 32% in the ACC (mean [SD] TSPO VT, 12.3 [3.5] in patients with MDE and 9.3 [2.2] in controls), and 33% in the insula (mean [SD] TSPO VT, 12.9 [3.7] in patients with MDE and 9.7 [2.3] in controls). In MDE, greater TSPO VT in the ACC correlated with greater depression severity (r = 0.63 [P = .005]). This finding provides the most compelling evidence to date of brain inflammation, and more specifically microglial activation, in MDE. This finding is important for improving treatment because it implies that therapeutics that reduce microglial activation should be promising for MDE. The correlation between higher ACC TSPO VT and the severity of MDE is consistent with the concept that neuroinflammation in specific regions may contribute to sickness behaviors that overlap with the symptoms of MDE.
    JAMA Psychiatry 01/2015; 72(3). DOI:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.2427 · 12.01 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This review focuses on the roles of glia and polyamines (PAs) in brain function and dysfunction, highlighting how PAs are one of the principal differences between glia and neurons. The novel role of PAs, such as putrescine, spermidine, and spermine and their precursors and derivatives, is discussed. However, PAs have not yet been a focus of much glial research. They affect many neuronal and glial receptors, channels, and transporters. They are therefore key elements in the development of many diseases and syndromes, thus forming the rationale for PA-focused and glia-focused therapy for these conditions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Psychiatric Clinics of North America 12/2014; 37(4):653-678. DOI:10.1016/j.psc.2014.08.008 · 2.13 Impact Factor