Lifespan experiments of lower organisms and mammals along with recent studies of centenarians are making inroads into delineating genetic factors that determine the ability to achieve exceptional longevity. These models may be helpful for the discovery of both longevity-enabling genes as well as genes associated with increased propensity to develop specific diseases.
Clinical chemistry and laboratory medicine: CCLM / FESCC
Apolipoprotein (apo) E is an important circulating and tissue protein involved in cholesterol homeostasis and many other functions. The common polymorphism in the coding region of the gene, four polymorphisms in the promoter region, other additional single nucleotide polymorphisms, as well as several apo E variants have been identified. The common coding polymorphism strongly influences the lipid metabolism and the circulating concentration of apo E itself.
American Journal of Pharmacogenomics: Genomics-Related Research in Drug Development and Clinical Practice
No specific gene has been identified for any major psychiatric disorder, including schizophrenia, in spite of strong evidence supporting a genetic basis for these complex and devastating disorders. There are several likely reasons for this failure, ranging from poor study design with low statistical power to genetic mechanisms such as polygenic inheritance, epigenetic interactions, and pleiotropy. Most study designs currently in use are inadequate to uncover these mechanisms.
The last decade of research into the pharmacogenetics of antipsychotics has seen the development of genetic tests to determine the patients' metabolic status and the first attempts at personalization of antipsychotic treatment. The most significant results are the association between drug metabolic polymorphisms, mainly in cytochrome P450 genes, with variations in drug metabolic rates and side effects. Patients with genetically determined CYP2D6 poor metabolizer (PMs) status may require lower doses of antipsychotic.
The first- and second-generation antipsychotic drugs have become mainstay drug treatment for schizophrenia. However, patients who receive antipsychotic drugs differ with respect to treatment response and drug-induced adverse events. The biological predictors of treatment response are being researched worldwide, with emphasis on molecular genetic predictors of treatment response. Because of the rapid and exciting developments in the field, we reviewed the recent studies of the molecular genetic basis of treatment response in schizophrenia.
The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
The purpose of this paper was to selectively review the literature on the role of epigenetics in mental illnesses. Aberrant epigenetic regulation has been clearly implicated in the aetiology of some human illnesses. In recent years a growing body of evidence has highlighted the possibility that epigenetics may also play a key role in the origins and expression of mental disorders. Epigenetic phenomena may help explain some of the complexity of mental illnesses and provide a basis for discovering novel pharmacological targets to treat these disorders.
Although there is evidence to link schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BD) to genetic and environmental factors, specific individual or groups of genes/factors causative of the disease have been elusive to the research community. An understanding of the molecular aberrations that cause these mental illnesses requires comprehensive approaches that examine both genetic and epigenetic factors.
Individuals with neuropsychiatric diseases have epigenetic programming disturbances, both in the brain, which is the primary affected organ, and in secondary tissues. Epigenetic modulations are molecular modifications made to DNA, RNA and proteins that fine-tune genotype into phenotype and do not include DNA base changes. For instance, gene-expression modulation is linked to epigenetic codes in chromatin that consist of post-replication DNA methylation and histone protein modifications (e.g., methylation, acetylation and so on), particularly in gene-promoter regions.
European Neuropsychopharmacology: The Journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology
We aimed to get a comprehensive insight into the genetic evidence supporting the role of GSK3beta in bipolar disorder (BD). Using broad searches in NCBI's PubMed and the Genetic Association Database we looked for association, whole-genome linkage, genome-wide association, gene expression, pharmocogenomic, epigenetic, cytogenetic, and mouse model studies performed for BD until July 2009. Per gene, we rated the degree of converging evidence across these types of genetic studies.
Despite important recent advances, a full understanding of the (genetic) etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is still a long way off. Large collaborative efforts are ongoing, as well as the exploration of various sources of genetic variation. Evidence supports the view that Mendelian early-onset familial forms of AD are caused by rare and usually highly penetrant mutations in three genes (APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2). Considering sporadic late-onset AD (LOAD), the APOE epsilon4 allele is by far the best-established risk gene.