The scientific research team of Nanchang University published a paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showing important

Schizophrenia is a nervous functional disorder, and its etiologic factor and pathogenesis still remains unclear currently. However, it can be confirmed that, schizophrenia has a relatively high hereditary. Another study carried out by our scientific research team indicates that, schizophrenia is associated with a gene called TMEM108 and protein variation; this finding provides a potential target for interventional therapy for schizophrenia.

  Transmembrane protein 108 (TMEM108) is one of the predisposing genes of schizophrenia. However, the knowledge about its mechanism of action is very little. The team lead by Professor Merlin and Li Baoming of Institute of Life Science of Nanchang University has carried out a systematic and deep study on the regulation of TMEM108 on the growth and development of neuron dendritic spine (the “aerial” used by neuron to receive signals), as well as the regulation on the expression of AMPA on the neuron membrane surface as well as the regulation of AMPA receptor mediated synaptic transmission, and found that TMEM108 gene mutation resulted in the schizophrenia-related behaviors.

  These findings are of important theoretical significance to the further revealing of the schizophrenic pathogenesis. This research paper was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences dated on Jan. 16, 2017, and Jiao Huifeng, a doctoral degree candidate, was the first author. This research was completed through the cooperation between Institute of Life Science of Nanchang University and Medical College of Georgia (Augusta).

  Merlin is a specially-appointed professor in “Thousand Talents Program” of Nanchang University and also a professor in neurobiology of Medical College of Georgia (Augusta); Liu Baoming is a specially-appointed professor in Ministry of Education of “Changjiang Scholars Program”, and National Excellent Youth Science Fund Winner.

  The schizophrenia symptoms mainly include hallucination and depression, and disorders in thinking and social behaviors. The number of schizophrenia patients in China is about 1.8 million, causing serious economic burdens to the country and personal families.

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