Emerging Roles of FTO in Neuropsychiatric Disorders

Biomed Res Int. 2022 Apr 26;2022:2677312. doi: 10.1155/2022/2677312. eCollection 2022.


FTO (fat mass and obesity associated) is a recently discovered gene related to obesity and expressed in various tissues of the human body, especially with high expression in the brain. Earlier studies have found that FTO is involved in several biological processes, including brain development and function. In particular, recent studies have found that FTO is a demethylase of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) and it can affect neurological function through the m6A modification of mRNA. At present, a number of studies have shown that FTO is associated with many neuropsychiatric disorders. This paper reviews the discovery, structure, function, and tissue expression of FTO followed by discussing the relationship between FTO and neuropsychiatric diseases. In addition, the potential roles of FTO gene in drug addiction, major depression (MDD), and schizophrenia (SCZ) through regulating m6A modification of dopamine related genes were also highlighted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine* / metabolism
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO* / genetics
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO* / metabolism
  • Brain Diseases* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders* / genetics
  • Obesity / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase FTO
  • FTO protein, human
  • Adenosine