Function of the DISC1 Gene
As a result of the human genome project, we now know largely where our genes are, and what structure they have. The search to uncover each gene's function, on the other hand, is only in its infancy. Functional genomics is an area of research dedicated to studying what protein is produced by a gene, and what happens in the body when it is activated. Understanding gene function is the next major hurdle in genomic research, which holds the key to developing revolutionary therapeutics.
We could see some features, so-called motifs, that gave us an indication of what it might be doing. And one of the features of the gene was that it probably made a protein that had so-called coiled-coil domains in it. And what these domains do is provide a way to interact with other proteins, and a way to bring proteins together into a functional complex. So that was a clue as to what DISC1 protein might be doing. So we then set about to formally test which proteins DISC1 protein interacted with. And thatâ€™s when it became much more clear to us why this gene might be important in the pathway towards schizophrenia.
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Disrupted in Schizophrenia 1 (DISC1) is a candidate gene for schizophrenia.
Professor David Porteous explains that DISC1 is expressed prominently in the hippocampus. More specifically, it is expressed in the mitochondria of hippocampal cells.
Professor David Porteous discusses how his group discovered the DISC1 gene, which is a balanced translocation between chromosomes 1 and 11.
Professor David Porteous describes how his group was first alerted to the DISC1 gene, which was found in a family with a pedigree of schizophrenia and psychoses.
Professor David Porteous discusses genes for schizophrenia and points out that susceptibility likely aligns to a combination of genetic variants.
An interactive chromosome map of the genes and loci associated with schizophrenia.
Professor Daniel Weinberger discusses research that makes neuregulin a candidate gene for schizophrenia.
Professor Daniel Weinberger discusses evidence from a number of areas of research that marks COMT as a candidate gene for schizophrenia.
Discovering protein function is the next step in understanding the human genome.
Jim Kent talks about junk DNA in the human genome.