Research Article Featured by Nature Communication Biology

Dr. Robert McCullumsmith, Chair of the Department of Neurosciences, and Ph.D. candidate Khaled Alganem (pictured) recently published an article in Molecular Psychiatry (Impact Factor 12.4) with collaborators at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The paper explores the disrupted mTOR signaling in schizophrenia and studied the expression and activity of downstream effector proteins of mTOR complexes. The paper also demonstrates key differences in kinase signaling networks between schizophrenia and comparison subjects for both males and females using kinome peptide arrays. The role of mTOR kinase activity is further investigated by inhibiting it with rapamycin in postmortem tissue and comparing the impact of mTOR inhibition in schizophrenia and comparison subjects. It was found that schizophrenia subjects are globally more sensitive to rapamycin treatment and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) contributes to this differential kinase activity. Together, The findings provide new insights into the role of mTOR as a master regulator of kinase activity in schizophrenia and suggest potential targets for therapeutic intervention.

The article was recently featured in the research highlights of Nature Communications Biology.

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