Proteomic studies have increased our understanding of the molecular pathways affected in psychiatric disorders. Mass spectrometry and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis analyses of post-mortem brain samples from psychiatric patients have revealed effects on synaptic, cytoskeletal, antioxidant and mitochondrial protein networks. Multiplex immunoassay profiling studies have found alterations in hormones, growth factors, transport and inflammation-related proteins in serum and plasma from living first-onset patients. Despite these advances, there are still difficulties in translating these findings into platforms for improved treatment of patients and for discovery of new drugs with better efficacy and side effect profiles. This review describes how the next phase of proteomic investigations in psychiatry should include stringent replication studies for validation of biomarker candidates and functional follow-up studies which can be used to test the impact on physiological function. All biomarker candidates should now be tested in series with traditional and emerging cell biological approaches. This should include investigations of the effects of post-translational modifications, protein dynamics and network analyses using targeted proteomic approaches. Most importantly, there is still an urgent need for development of disease-relevant cellular models for improved translation of proteomic findings into a means of developing novel drug treatments for patients with these life-altering disorders.

, , , ,,
International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology
Department of Neuroscience

Wesseling, H., Guest, P., Lago, S. G., & Bahn, S. (2014). Technological advances for deciphering the complexity of psychiatric disorders: Merging proteomics with cell biology. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, 17(8), 1327–1341. doi:10.1017/S146114571400008X