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Front Behav Neurosci. 2011 Jul 28;5:46. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2011.00046. eCollection 2011.

Analysis of kinase gene expression in the frontal cortex of suicide victims: implications of fear and stress.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences Bethesda, MD, USA.

Abstract

Suicide is a serious public health issue that results from an interaction between multiple risk factors including individual vulnerabilities to complex feelings of hopelessness, fear, and stress. Although kinase genes have been implicated in fear and stress, including the consolidation and extinction of fearful memories, expression profiles of those genes in the brain of suicide victims are less clear. Using gene expression microarray data from the Online Stanley Genomics Database and a quantitative PCR, we investigated the expression profiles of multiple kinase genes including the calcium calmodulin-dependent kinase (CAMK), the cyclin-dependent kinase, the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), and the protein kinase C (PKC) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of mood disorder patients died with suicide (N = 45) and without suicide (N = 38). We also investigated the expression pattern of the same genes in the PFC of developing humans ranging in age from birth to 49 year (N = 46). The expression levels of CAMK2B, CDK5, MAPK9, and PRKCI were increased in the PFC of suicide victims as compared to non-suicide controls (false discovery rate, FDR-adjusted p < 0.05, fold change >1.1). Those genes also showed changes in expression pattern during the postnatal development (FDR-adjusted p < 0.05). These results suggest that multiple kinase genes undergo age-dependent changes in normal brains as well as pathological changes in suicide brains. These findings may provide an important link to protein kinases known to be important for the development of fear memory, stress associated neural plasticity, and up-regulation in the PFC of suicide victims. More research is needed to better understand the functional role of these kinase genes that may be associated with the pathophysiology of suicide.

KEYWORDS:

anxiety disorder; bioinformatics; brain development; frontal cortex; posttraumatic stress disorder; psychiatric genomics

PMID:
21847376
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3148763
Free PMC Article

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