CENTER ON BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE
Behavioral Genetics: Research Article
(c) HMG Worldwide 2003 http://www.health-news.co.uk/'
Publication: HMG - Health Newswire Professional
Distributed by Financial Times Information Limited
Health Newswire Professional -- 06/17/03
ABSTRACT: OHMG - Health Newswire Professional via NewsEdge Corporation : The team, from the University of California in San Diego (UCSD), say that in up to 10 per cent of bipolar cases, a mutation in the gene G protein receptorkinase 3 (GRK3) causes bipolar disorder.
The mutation occurs in the promoter area of the gene, which has a regulatory function when it is turned on, say the researchers.
GRK3 regulates sensitivity to
such as dopamine, but a mutation in the gene can cause the individual
become hypersensitive to the drug, leading to the mood swings that
the illness, speculate the researchers.
Dr John Kelsoe, senior author of the study, says the discovery of genetic defects that cause bipolar disorder may lead to the development of new drugs that target specific genes.
The team of authors, writing in
Molecular Psychiatry, spent a year screening DNA samples from more than
400 families with bipolar disorder.
Co-author Dr Thomas Barrett explains, P-5 is in the region of GRK3 that controls when the gene turns on and off. A defect in P-5 affects regulation of the gene. It may be turning on inappropriately, or turning off when it shouldn't.