Recently identified candidate susceptibility genes for schizophrenia are likely to play, important roles in the pathophysiology of the illness. It is also clear, however, that the etiologic, contribution of these genes is not only via their own functions but also through interactions with other, genes and environmental factors. Genetic, transgenic and postmortem brain studies support a, potential role for NRG1-erbB4 signaling in schizophrenia. Embedded in the results of these studies, however, are clues to the notion that NRG1-erbB4 signaling does not act alone but in conjunction with, other pathways. This article aims to re-evaluate the evidence for the role of neuregulin 1 (NRG1)-erbB4 signaling in schizophrenia by focusing on its interactions with other candidate susceptibility, pathways. In addition, we consider molecular substrates upon which the NRG1-erbB4 and other, candidate pathways converge contributing to susceptibility for the illness (schizophrenia interactome). Glutamatergic signaling can be an interesting candidate for schizophrenia interactome. Schizophrenia is associated with NMDA receptor hypofunction and moreover, several susceptibility genes for, schizophrenia converge on NMDA receptor signaling. These candidate genes influence NMDA receptor, signaling via diverse mechanisms, yet all eventually impact on protein composition of NMDA receptor, complexes. Likewise, the protein associations in the receptor complexes can themselves modulate, signaling molecules of candidate genes and their pathways. Therefore, protein-protein interactions in the NMDA receptor complexes can mediate reciprocal interactions between NMDA receptor function, and susceptibility candidate pathways including NRG1-erbB4 signaling and thus can be a, schizophrenia interactome.
Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.