Background: Schizophrenia is likely to be a consequence of DNA alterations that, together with environmental factors, will lead to protein expression differences and the ultimate establishment of the illness. The superior temporal gyrus is implicated in schizophrenia and executes functions such as the processing of speech, language skills and sound processing.
Methods: We performed an individual comparative proteome analysis using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of 9 schizophrenia and 6 healthy control patients' left posterior superior temporal gyrus (Wernicke's area - BA22p) identifying by mass spectrometry several protein expression alterations that could be related to the disease.
Results: Our analysis revealed 11 downregulated and 14 upregulated proteins, most of them related to energy metabolism. Whereas many of the identified proteins have been previously implicated in schizophrenia, such as fructose-bisphosphate aldolase C, creatine kinase and neuron-specific enolase, new putative disease markers were also identified such as dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase, tropomyosin 3, breast cancer metastasis-suppressor 1, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins C1/C2 and phosphate carrier protein, mitochondrial precursor. Besides, the differential expression of peroxiredoxin 6 (PRDX6) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were confirmed by western blot in schizophrenia prefrontal cortex.
Conclusion: Our data supports a dysregulation of energy metabolism in schizophrenia as well as suggests new markers that may contribute to a better understanding of this complex disease.