Psychiatry Series
From Genetic Variants to Neural Function
Presenter: Ms. Amy, Jingwen Yin
In schizophrenia, deficits in neural function are well-established phenotypic measures, that are related to disease severity and outcome. However, there is still a gap in the understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms by which the gene acts on neural function phenotypes due to the absence of gene expression information in the corresponding and spontaneous brain regions. So systematical understanding into how genes confer risks across these levels of schizophrenia will help to build a spectrum of abnormal states, predict vulnerable processes, design personalized diagnostic and therapeutic tools.  
We are going to talk about this topic based on an example of the role of Glyoxalase 1 (Glo-1) in susceptibility to schizophrenia. Glo-1, a rate-limiting enzyme in the carbonyl stress, might play a key role in the balance of cellular detoxification and toxification. This process has been reported as a possible causative factor in the etiology of schizophrenia.  We are going to demonstrate how the genetic and biochemical basis of Glo-1 polymorphism culminates in brain function changes associated with increased schizophrenia risk. Establishing a combination of multiple levels of changes ranges from genetic variants, transcription, protein function to brain function changes, which could be a better predictor of schizophrenia risk.
In our studies, significant differences in variant distribution, RNA expression, andenzymatic activity were found between schizophrenia patients and controls. We first reported the effect of the Glo-1 gene on the neural function of schizophrenia using a functional SNP as the proxy of Glo-1 expression. The most prominent Glo-1 signal intensities were observed in the left middle frontal gyrus, suggesting that Glo-1 is involved in dysfunction of the left middlefrontal gyrus in schizophrenia. Glo-1 protects the nervous system against toxic carbonyl stress, and its reduced expression may play a key role in the etiology of schizophrenia. Our investigation lays the foundation for a better understanding of the influence of Glo-1 in schizophrenia and provides a referable analysis workflow in imaging genetics research.
Jingwen is a PhD student in Psychology at Prof. Ruey-Song Huang’s lab of the Centre for Cognitive and Brain Sciences, and Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Macau. She obtained her Master’s degree from Guangdong Medical University. Jingwen’s research focuses on the genetic and neuroimaging investigation in psychiatric disorder.
Moderator: Mr. Owen, Yuwen He
(PhD student, CCBS/FHS, University of Macau)
Time: 7:00 PM, Nov 1st
Venue: N21-G012
Zoom ID: 959 6270 3011
Passcode: ccbs
NeuroTalk x Brain Technology 
x 认知神经科学和精神健康
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