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A negative regulator of MAP kinase causes depressive behavior : Nature Medicine : Natur... - 0 views

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    New findings in rodents and human brain shed light on the mechanisms of major depressive disorder (MDD), uncovering over-expression of MKP-1 (mitogen-activated protein kinase [MAPK] phosphatase-1)...and identifying a new therapeutic target.

    MKP-1, also known as dual-specificity phosphatase-1 (DUSP1), is a member of a family of proteins that dephosphorylate both threonine and tyrosine residues and thereby serves as a key negative regulator of the MAPK cascade4, a major signaling pathway involved in neuronal plasticity, function and survival

    This study identifies MKP-1 as a key factor in MDD pathophysiology, and as a new target for therapeutic interventions.f

    Here we use whole-genome expression profiling of postmortem tissue and show significantly increased expression of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatase-1 (MKP-1, encoded by DUSP1, but hereafter called MKP-1) in the hippocampal subfields of subjects with MDD compared to matched controls. MKP-1, also known as dual-specificity phosphatase-1 (DUSP1), is a member of a family of proteins that dephosphorylate both threonine and tyrosine residues and thereby serves as a key negative regulator of the MAPK cascade4, a major signaling pathway involved in neuronal plasticity, function and survival.

    We tested the role of altered MKP-1 expression in rat and mouse models of depression and found that increased hippocampal MKP-1 expression, as a result of stress or viral-mediated gene transfer, causes depressive behaviors. Conversely, chronic antidepressant treatment normalizes stress-induced MKP-1 expression and behavior, and mice lacking MKP-1 are resilient to stress. These postmortem and preclinical studies identify MKP-1 as a key factor in MDD pathophysiology and as a new target for therapeutic interventions.
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