Yogesh Dwivedi, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago
Standard Research Grant (2010): $74,944
MicroRNAs in Postmortem Brain of Suicide Subjects
Abstract: The hypothesis to be tested is that a subset of microRNAs (µRNAs) will show alterations in the brain of suicides and will be a part of the pathogenesis of suicide by targeting genes that regulate normal brain function. µRNAs are single stranded non-coding RNAs that are post-translational regulators. An individual µRNA can interact with several mRNAs and thus may regulate the expression of a family of functionally related genes. Each µRNA may silence hundreds of mRNAs. The study of µRNAs is a very new research area. There is emerging evidence that µRNAs contribute to risk of neuropsychiatric disorders, and that these brain disorders exhibit altered µRNA expression; more recently, it was shown that antidepressants regulate the expression of µRNAs in rat brain. Proteins such as CREB and BDNF, that are down-regulated in suicide, both are regulated and targeted by certain µRNAs. Therefore, µRNAs are likely to interact with known pathways involved in pathogenesis of neuropsychiatric diseases. This investigator will: test whether expression of µRNAs is altered in prefrontal cortex of suicide subjects; test whether the nucleotide sequences of µRNAs are specifically altered in suicide brain, by carrying out high through put deep sequencing; and identify predicted targets of altered µRNAs and examine whether mRNA levels of some of the predicted targets are altered in suicides. This proposed study will be performed in postmortem brain samples obtained from adult suicide subjects and matched non-psychiatric controls.
Click here to read more about Dr. Dwivedi's AFSP research highlights.