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Mol Psychiatry. 2006 Feb;11(2):150-7.

Serine racemase binds to PICK1: potential relevance to schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Accumulating evidence from both genetic and clinico-pharmacological studies suggests that D-serine, an endogenous coagonist to the NMDA subtype glutamate receptor, may be implicated in schizophrenia (SZ). Although an association of genes for D-serine degradation, such as D-amino acid oxidase and G72, has been reported, a role for D-serine in SZ has been unclear. In this study, we identify and characterize protein interacting with C-kinase (PICK1) as a protein interactor of the D-serine synthesizing enzyme, serine racemase (SR). The binding of endogenous PICK1 and SR requires the PDZ domain of PICK1. The gene coding for PICK1 is located at chromosome 22q13, a region frequently linked to SZ. In a case-control association study using well-characterized Japanese subjects, we observe an association of the PICK1 gene with SZ, which is more prominent in disorganized SZ. Our findings implicating PICK1 as a susceptibility gene for SZ are consistent with a role for D-serine in the disease.

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