Disrupted in schizophrenia 1 (DISC1), a genetic risk factor for multiple serious psychiatric diseases including schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism, is a key regulator of multiple neuronal functions linked to both normal development and disease processes. As these diseases are thought to share a common deficit in synaptic function and architecture, we have analyzed the role of DISC1 using an approach that focuses on understanding the protein-protein interactions of DISC1 specifically at synapses. We identify the Traf2 and Nck-interacting kinase (TNIK), an emerging risk factor itself for disease, as a key synaptic partner for DISC1, and provide evidence that the DISC1-TNIK interaction regulates synaptic composition and activity by stabilizing the levels of key postsynaptic density proteins. Understanding the novel DISC1-TNIK interaction is likely to provide insights into the etiology and underlying synaptic deficits found in major psychiatric diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience