Increased dysbindin-1B isoform expression in schizophrenia and its propensity in aggresome formation

Yiliang Xu, Yuhui Sun, Haihong Ye, Li Zhu, Jianghong Liu, Xiaofeng Wu, Le Wang, Tingting He, Yan Shen, Jane Y. Wu*, Qi Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Genetic variations in the human dysbindin-1 gene (DTNBP1) have been associated with schizophrenia. As a result of alternative splicing, the human DTNBP1 gene generates at least three distinct protein isoforms, dysbindin-1A,-1B and-1C. Significant effort has focused on dysbindin-1A, an important player in multiple steps of neurodevelopment. However, the other isoforms, dysbindin-1B and dysbindin-1C have not been well characterized. Nor have been associated with human diseases. Here we report an increase in expression of DTNBP1b mRNA in patients with paranoid schizophrenia as compared with healthy controls. A single-nucleotide polymorphism located in intron 9, rs117610176, has been identified and associated with paranoid schizophrenia, and its C allele leads to an increase of DTNBP1b mRNA splicing. Our data show that different dysbindin splicing isoforms exhibit distinct subcellular distribution, suggesting their distinct functional activities. Dysbindin-1B forms aggresomes at the perinuclear region, whereas dysbindin-1A and-1C proteins exhibit diffused patterns in the cytoplasm. Dysbindin-1A interacts with dysbindin-1B, getting recruited to the aggresome structure when co-expressed with dysbindin-1B. Moreover, cortical neurons over-expressing dysbindin-1B show reduction in neurite outgrowth, suggesting that dysbindin-1B may interfere with dysbindin-1A function in a dominant-negative manner. Taken together, our study uncovers a previously unknown association of DTNBP1b expression with schizophrenia in addition to its distinct biochemical and functional properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15032
JournalCell Discovery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 10 2015


  • dysbindin-1
  • neurite outgrowth
  • protein aggregation
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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