DISC1 as a therapeutic target for mental illnesses

Takatoshi Hikida, Nao Gamo, Akira Sawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Introduction: Many genetic studies have indicated that DISC1 is not merely "disrupted-in-schizophrenia," but is more generally implicated in various brain dysfunctions associated with aberrant neurodevelopment and intracellular signaling pathways. Thus, the DISC1 gene is mildly associated with a variety of brain disorders, including schizophrenia, mood disorders, and autism. This novel concept fits with the results from biological studies of DISC1, which include cell and animal models. Areas covered: We review the molecular structure and functions of DISC1, particularly those in conjunction with its important interactors. Functions of these interacting proteins are also introduced under the concept of the "DISC1 interactome." Finally, we discuss how the DISC1 interactome can provide potential therapeutic targets for mental illnesses. Expert opinion: Modulation of DISC1 stability and post-transcriptional modifications may be key targets to address DISC1-related pathology. In addition, modulation of DISC1 interactors and the mechanisms of their interactions with DISC1 may also provide drug targets. Disc1 rodent models can subsequently be used as templates for in vivo validations of compounds designed for DISC1 and its interacting proteins. Furthermore, these rodents will serve as genetic models for schizophrenia and related conditions, especially in conjunction with their pathologies during the neurodevelopmental trajectory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1151-1160
Number of pages10
JournalExpert opinion on therapeutic targets
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Autism
  • Bipolar disorder
  • DISC1
  • Depression
  • Interactome
  • Mental illnesses
  • Mouse models
  • Psychiatric diseases
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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