Preliminary evidence of ubiquitin proteasome system dysregulation in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: convergent pathway analysis findings from two independent samples

Am J Med Genet B Neuropsychiatr Genet. 2010 Mar 5;153B(2):494-502. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.b.31006.


Schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar disorder (BPD) are polygenic disorders with many genes contributing to their etiologies. The aim of this investigation was to search for dysregulated molecular and cellular pathways for these disorders as well as psychosis. We conducted a blood-based microarray investigation in two independent samples with SCZ and BPD from San Diego (SCZ = 13, BPD = 9, control = 8) and Taiwan (SCZ = 11, BPD = 14, control = 16). Diagnostic groups were compared to controls, and subjects with a history of psychosis [PSYCH(+): San Diego (n = 6), Taiwan (n = 14)] were compared to subjects without such history [PSYCH(-): San Diego (n = 11), Taiwan (n = 14)]. Analyses of covariance comparing mean expression levels on a gene-by-gene basis were conducted to generate the top 100 significantly dysregulated gene lists for both samples by each diagnostic group. Gene lists were imported into Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) software. Results showed the ubiquitin proteasome pathway (UPS) was listed in the top ten canonical pathways for BPD and psychosis diagnostic groups across both samples with a considerably low likelihood of a chance occurrence (P = 0.001). No overlap in dysregulated genes populating these pathways was observed between the two independent samples. Findings provide preliminary evidence of UPS dysregulation in BPD and psychosis as well as support further investigation of the UPS and other molecular and cellular pathways for potential biomarkers for SCZ, BPD, and/or psychosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bipolar Disorder / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Genetic
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / genetics*
  • Psychotic Disorders / genetics*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Schizophrenia / genetics*
  • Software
  • Taiwan
  • Ubiquitin / genetics*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Ubiquitin
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex