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Sample records for comt val158 met

  1. COMT Val158Met Polymorphism Modulates Huntington's Disease Progression

    PubMed Central

    Rebeix, Isabelle; Dupoux, Emmanuel; Durr, Alexandra; Brice, Alexis; Charles, Perrine; Cleret de Langavant, Laurent; Youssov, Katia; Verny, Christophe; Damotte, Vincent; Azulay, Jean-Philippe; Goizet, Cyril; Simonin, Clémence; Tranchant, Christine; Maison, Patrick; Rialland, Amandine; Schmitz, David; Jacquemot, Charlotte; Fontaine, Bertrand; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about the genetic factors modulating the progression of Huntington’s disease (HD). Dopamine levels are affected in HD and modulate executive functions, the main cognitive disorder of HD. We investigated whether the Val158Met polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, which influences dopamine (DA) degradation, affects clinical progression in HD. We carried out a prospective longitudinal multicenter study from 1994 to 2011, on 438 HD gene carriers at different stages of the disease (34 pre-manifest; 172 stage 1; 130 stage 2; 80 stage 3; 17 stage 4; and 5 stage 5), according to Total Functional Capacity (TFC) score. We used the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale to evaluate motor, cognitive, behavioral and functional decline. We genotyped participants for COMT polymorphism (107 Met-homozygous, 114 Val-homozygous and 217 heterozygous). 367 controls of similar ancestry were also genotyped. We compared clinical progression, on each domain, between groups of COMT polymorphisms, using latent-class mixed models accounting for disease duration and number of CAG (cytosine adenine guanine) repeats. We show that HD gene carriers with fewer CAG repeats and with the Val allele in COMT polymorphism displayed slower cognitive decline. The rate of cognitive decline was greater for Met/Met homozygotes, which displayed a better maintenance of cognitive capacity in earlier stages of the disease, but had a worse performance than Val allele carriers later on. COMT polymorphism did not significantly impact functional and behavioral performance. Since COMT polymorphism influences progression in HD, it could be used for stratification in future clinical trials. Moreover, DA treatments based on the specific COMT polymorphism and adapted according to disease duration could potentially slow HD progression. PMID:27657697

  2. COMT Val158Met Polymorphism Modulates Huntington's Disease Progression.

    PubMed

    de Diego-Balaguer, Ruth; Schramm, Catherine; Rebeix, Isabelle; Dupoux, Emmanuel; Durr, Alexandra; Brice, Alexis; Charles, Perrine; Cleret de Langavant, Laurent; Youssov, Katia; Verny, Christophe; Damotte, Vincent; Azulay, Jean-Philippe; Goizet, Cyril; Simonin, Clémence; Tranchant, Christine; Maison, Patrick; Rialland, Amandine; Schmitz, David; Jacquemot, Charlotte; Fontaine, Bertrand; Bachoud-Lévi, Anne-Catherine

    Little is known about the genetic factors modulating the progression of Huntington's disease (HD). Dopamine levels are affected in HD and modulate executive functions, the main cognitive disorder of HD. We investigated whether the Val158Met polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, which influences dopamine (DA) degradation, affects clinical progression in HD. We carried out a prospective longitudinal multicenter study from 1994 to 2011, on 438 HD gene carriers at different stages of the disease (34 pre-manifest; 172 stage 1; 130 stage 2; 80 stage 3; 17 stage 4; and 5 stage 5), according to Total Functional Capacity (TFC) score. We used the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale to evaluate motor, cognitive, behavioral and functional decline. We genotyped participants for COMT polymorphism (107 Met-homozygous, 114 Val-homozygous and 217 heterozygous). 367 controls of similar ancestry were also genotyped. We compared clinical progression, on each domain, between groups of COMT polymorphisms, using latent-class mixed models accounting for disease duration and number of CAG (cytosine adenine guanine) repeats. We show that HD gene carriers with fewer CAG repeats and with the Val allele in COMT polymorphism displayed slower cognitive decline. The rate of cognitive decline was greater for Met/Met homozygotes, which displayed a better maintenance of cognitive capacity in earlier stages of the disease, but had a worse performance than Val allele carriers later on. COMT polymorphism did not significantly impact functional and behavioral performance. Since COMT polymorphism influences progression in HD, it could be used for stratification in future clinical trials. Moreover, DA treatments based on the specific COMT polymorphism and adapted according to disease duration could potentially slow HD progression.

  3. COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with nonverbal cognition following mild traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Winkler, Ethan A.; Yue, John K.; McAllister, Thomas W.; Temkin, Nancy R.; Oh, Sam S.; Burchard, Esteban G.; Hu, Donglei; Ferguson, Adam R.; Lingsma, Hester F.; Burke, John F.; Sorani, Marco D.; Rosand, Jonathan; Yuh, Esther L.; Barber, Jason; Tarapore, Phiroz E.; Gardner, Raquel C.; Sharma, Sourabh; Satris, Gabriela G.; Eng, Celeste; Puccio, Ava M.; Wang, Kevin K. W.; Mukherjee, Pratik; Valadka, Alex B.; Okonkwo, David O.; Diaz-Arrastia, Ramon

    2016-01-01

    Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) results in variable clinical outcomes, which may be influenced by genetic variation. A single-nucleotide polymorphism in catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme which degrades catecholamine neurotransmitters, may influence cognitive deficits following moderate and/or severe head trauma. However, this has been disputed, and its role in mTBI has not been studied. Here, we utilize the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury Pilot (TRACK-TBI Pilot) study to investigate whether the COMT Val158Met polymorphism influences outcome on a cognitive battery 6 months following mTBI—Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test Processing Speed Index Composite Score (WAIS-PSI), Trail Making Test (TMT) Trail B minus Trail A time, and California Verbal Learning Test, Second Edition Trial 1–5 Standard Score (CVLT-II). All patients had an emergency department Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) of 13–15, no acute intracranial pathology on head CT, and no polytrauma as defined by an Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) score of ≥3 in any extracranial region. Results in 100 subjects aged 40.9 (SD 15.2) years (COMT Met158/Met158 29 %, Met158/Val158 47 %, Val158/Val158 24 %) show that the COMT Met158 allele (mean 101.6±SE 2.1) associates with higher nonverbal processing speed on the WAIS-PSI when compared to Val158/Val158 homozygotes (93.8±SE 3.0) after controlling for demographics and injury severity (mean increase 7.9 points, 95 % CI [1.4 to 14.3], p=0.017). The COMT Val158Met polymorphism did not associate with mental flexibility on the TMT or with verbal learning on the CVLT-II. Hence, COMT Val158Met may preferentially modulate nonverbal cognition following uncomplicated mTBI. PMID:26576546

  4. COMT Val158Met Genotype as a Risk Factor for Problem Behaviors in Youth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albaugh, Matthew D.; Harder, Valerie S.; Althoff, Robert R.; Rettew, David C.; Ehli, Erik A.; Lengyel-Nelson, Timea; Davies, Gareth E.; Ayer, Lynsay; Sulman, Julie; Stanger, Catherine; Hudziak, James J.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: To test the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism and both aggressive behavior and attention problems in youth. We hypothesized that youth carrying a Met allele would have greater average aggressive behavior scores, and that youth exhibiting Val-homozygosity would have greater average…

  5. Genetic Correlates of Maladaptive Beliefs: COMT VAL(158)MET and Irrational Cognitions Linked Depending on Distress.

    PubMed

    Podina, Ioana; Popp, Radu; Pop, Ioan; David, Daniel

    2015-11-01

    Maladaptive/irrational beliefs are significant cognitive vulnerability mechanisms in psychopathology. They are more likely to be associated with a genetic vulnerability marker under conditions of emotional distress when irrational beliefs are more salient. Therefore, in the current study we investigated the COMT Val(158)Met gene variation in relation to irrational beliefs, assuming this relationship depended on the level of emotional distress. Two hundred and sixty-seven genotyped volunteers were assessed for core/general maladaptive beliefs, as well as trait emotional distress. We focused on context-independent measures of irrational beliefs and emotional distress in the absence of a stressor. As expected, the relationship between COMT Val(158)Met and irrational beliefs depended on the level of emotional distress (f(2)=.314). The COMT Val(158)Met-irrationality association was significant only when individuals fell in the average to above average range of emotional distress. Furthermore, within this range the Met allele seemed to relate to higher irrational beliefs. These results were significant for overall irrational beliefs and its subtypes, but not for rational beliefs, the functional counterpart of irrationality. In light of the study's limitations, the results should be considered as preliminary. If replicable, these findings have potential implications for therapygenetics, changing the view that COMT Val(158)Met might be of greater relevance when treatment modality does not rely on cognitive variables.

  6. Association of COMT Val158Met polymorphism and breast cancer risk: an updated meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of the most important enzymes involved in estrogen metabolism and its functional genetic polymorphisms may be associated with breast cancer (BC) risk. Many epidemiological studies have been conducted to explore the association between the COMT Val158Met polymorphism and breast cancer risk. However, the results remain inconclusive. In order to derive a more precise estimation of this relationship, a large meta-analysis was performed in this study. Methods Systematic searches of the PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library were performed. Crude odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to estimate the strength of the association. Results A total of 56 studies including 34,358 breast cancer cases and 45,429 controls were included. Overall, no significant associations between the COMT Val158Met polymorphism and breast cancer risk were found for LL versus HH, HL versus HH, LL versus HL, recessive model LL versus HL+HH, and dominant model LL+HL versus HH. In subgroup analysis by ethnicity, source of controls, and menopausal status, there was still no significant association detected in any of the genetic models. Conclusion Our meta-analysis results suggest that the COMT Val158Met polymorphism may not contribute to breast cancer susceptibility. Virtual slides The virtual slides(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs4806123577708417 PMID:23039364

  7. COMT Val158Met Polymorphism Is Associated with Verbal Working Memory in Neurofibromatosis Type 1

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Danielle de Souza; de Paula, Jonas J.; Alvim-Soares, Antonio M.; Pereira, Patrícia A.; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro F.; Rodrigues, Luiz O. C.; Romano-Silva, Marco A.; de Miranda, Débora M.

    2016-01-01

    Neurofibromatosis type I (NF1) is a neurogenetic disease marked by multiple cognitive and learning problems. Genetic variants may account for phenotypic variance in NF1. Here, we investigated the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism and working memory and arithmetic performance in 50 NF1 individuals. A significant association of the COMT polymorphism was observed only with verbal working memory, as measured by the backward digit-span task with an advantageous performance for Met/Met carriers. To study how genetic modifiers influence NF1 cognitive performance might be of importance to decrease the unpredictability of the cognitive profile among NF1 patients. PMID:27458360

  8. Modulation of the COMT Val(158)Met polymorphism on resting-state EEG power.

    PubMed

    Solís-Ortiz, Silvia; Pérez-Luque, Elva; Gutiérrez-Muñoz, Mayra

    2015-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val(158)Met polymorphism impacts cortical dopamine (DA) levels and may influence cortical electrical activity in the human brain. This study investigated whether COMT genotype influences resting-state electroencephalogram (EEG) power in the frontal, parietal and midline regions in healthy volunteers. EEG recordings were conducted in the resting-state in 13 postmenopausal healthy woman carriers of the Val/Val genotype and 11 with the Met/Met genotype. The resting EEG spectral absolute power in the frontal (F3, F4, F7, F8, FC3 and FC4), parietal (CP3, CP4, P3 and P4) and midline (Fz, FCz, Cz, CPz, Pz and Oz) was analyzed during the eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions. The frequency bands considered were the delta, theta, alpha1, alpha2, beta1 and beta2. EEG data of the Val/Val and Met/Met genotypes, brain regions and conditions were analyzed using a general linear model analysis. In the individuals with the Met/Met genotype, delta activity was increased in the eyes-closed condition, theta activity was increased in the eyes-closed and in the eyes-open conditions, and alpha1 band, alpha2 band and beta1band activity was increased in the eyes-closed condition. A significant interaction between COMT genotypes and spectral bands was observed. Met homozygote individuals exhibited more delta, theta and beta1 activity than individuals with the Val/Val genotype. No significant interaction between COMT genotypes and the resting-state EEG regional power and conditions were observed for the three brain regions studied. Our findings indicate that the COMT Val(158)Met polymorphism does not directly impact resting-state EEG regional power, but instead suggest that COMT genotype can modulate resting-state EEG spectral power in postmenopausal healthy women.

  9. The roles of COMT val158met status and aviation expertise in flight simulator performance and cognitive ability.

    PubMed

    Kennedy, Q; Taylor, J L; Noda, A; Adamson, M; Murphy, G M; Zeitzer, J M; Yesavage, J A

    2011-09-01

    The polymorphic variation in the val158met position of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is associated with differences in executive performance, processing speed, and attention. The purpose of this study is: (1) replicate previous COMT val158met findings on cognitive performance; (2) determine whether COMT val158met effects extend to a real-world task, aircraft navigation performance in a flight simulator; and (3) determine if aviation expertise moderates any effect of COMT val158met status on flight simulator performance. One hundred seventy two pilots aged 41-69 years, who varied in level of aviation training and experience, completed flight simulator, cognitive, and genetic assessments. Results indicate that although no COMT effect was found for an overall measure of flight performance, a positive effect of the met allele was detected for two aspects of cognitive ability: executive functioning and working memory performance. Pilots with the met/met genotype benefited more from increased levels of expertise than other participants on a traffic avoidance measure, which is a component of flight simulator performance. These preliminary results indicate that COMT val158met polymorphic variation can affect a real-world task.

  10. The Roles of COMT val158met Status and Aviation Expertise in Flight Simulator Performance and Cognitive Ability

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, J. L.; Noda, A.; Adamson, M.; Murphy, G. M.; Zeitzer, J. M.; Yesavage, J. A.

    2011-01-01

    The polymorphic variation in the val158met position of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is associated with differences in executive performance, processing speed, and attention. The purpose of this study is: (1) replicate previous COMT val158met findings on cognitive performance; (2) determine whether COMT val158met effects extend to a real-world task, aircraft navigation performance in a flight simulator; and (3) determine if aviation expertise moderates any effect of COMT val158met status on flight simulator performance. One hundred seventy two pilots aged 41–69 years, who varied in level of aviation training and experience, completed flight simulator, cognitive, and genetic assessments. Results indicate that although no COMT effect was found for an overall measure of flight performance, a positive effect of the met allele was detected for two aspects of cognitive ability: executive functioning and working memory performance. Pilots with the met/met genotype benefited more from increased levels of expertise than other participants on a traffic avoidance measure, which is a component of flight simulator performance. These preliminary results indicate that COMT val158met polymorphic variation can affect a real-world task. PMID:21193954

  11. The val158met COMT polymorphism's effect on atrophy in healthy aging and Parkinson's disease

    PubMed Central

    Rowe, J.B.; Hughes, L.; Williams-Gray, C.H.; Bishop, S.; Fallon, S.; Barker, R.A.; Owen, A.M.

    2010-01-01

    We investigated whether the val158met functional polymorphism of catechol-o-methyltransferase influenced age-related changes in grey matter density and volume, both in healthy individuals (n = 80, ages 18–79) and those with Parkinson's disease (n = 50). Global grey matter volumes and voxelwise estimates of grey matter volume and density were determined from structural magnetic resonance images at 3 T. Male and female ValVal homozygotes (low prefrontal cortical dopamine) had more grey matter in early adulthood, but this difference disappeared with increasing age. The insula and ventral prefrontal cortex had higher grey matter volume in younger, but not older, ValVal homozygotes. Conversely, the dominant premotor cortex revealed genotypic differences in grey matter density in later life. There were no global or local interactions between Parkinson's disease and COMT val158met genotype on morphometry. Since the val158met polymorphism is associated with differences in cortical dopamine metabolism, our data suggest a role for dopamine in cortical development followed by differential vulnerability to cortical atrophy across the adult life span. PMID:18755526

  12. COMT val158met and 5-HTTLPR Genetic Polymorphisms Moderate Executive Control in Cannabis Users

    PubMed Central

    Verdejo-García, Antonio; Beatriz Fagundo, Ana; Cuenca, Aida; Rodriguez, Joan; Cuyás, Elisabet; Langohr, Klaus; de Sola Llopis, Susana; Civit, Ester; Farré, Magí; Peña-Casanova, Jordi; de la Torre, Rafael

    2013-01-01

    The adverse effects of cannabis use on executive functions are still controversial, fostering the need for novel biomarkers able to unveil individual differences in the cognitive impact of cannabis consumption. Two common genetic polymorphisms have been linked to the neuroadaptive impact of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) exposure and to executive functions in animals: the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene val158met polymorphism and the SLC6A4 gene 5-HTTLPR polymorphism. We aimed to test if these polymorphisms moderate the harmful effects of cannabis use on executive function in young cannabis users. We recruited 144 participants: 86 cannabis users and 58 non-drug user controls. Both groups were genotyped and matched for genetic makeup, sex, age, education, and IQ. We used a computerized neuropsychological battery to assess different aspects of executive functions: sustained attention (CANTAB Rapid Visual Information Processing Test, RVIP), working memory (N-back), monitoring/shifting (CANTAB ID/ED set shifting), planning (CANTAB Stockings of Cambridge, SOC), and decision-making (Iowa Gambling Task, IGT). We used general linear model-based analyses to test performance differences between cannabis users and controls as a function of genotypes. We found that: (i) daily cannabis use is not associated with executive function deficits; and (ii) COMT val158met and 5-HTTLPR polymorphisms moderate the link between cannabis use and executive performance. Cannabis users carrying the COMT val/val genotype exhibited lower accuracy of sustained attention, associated with a more strict response bias, than val/val non-users. Cannabis users carrying the COMT val allele also committed more monitoring/shifting errors than cannabis users carrying the met/met genotype. Finally, cannabis users carrying the 5-HTTLPR s/s genotype had worse IGT performance than s/s non-users. COMT and SLC6A4 genes moderate the impact of cannabis use on executive functions. PMID:23449176

  13. Pulse Pressure Magnifies the Effect of COMT Val158Met on 15 Years Episodic Memory Trajectories

    PubMed Central

    Persson, Ninni; Lavebratt, Catharina; Sundström, Anna; Fischer, Håkan

    2016-01-01

    We investigated whether a physiological marker of cardiovascular health, pulse pressure (PP), and age magnified the effect of the functional COMT Val158Met (rs4680) polymorphism on 15-years cognitive trajectories [episodic memory (EM), visuospatial ability, and semantic memory] using data from 1585 non-demented adults from the Betula study. A multiple-group latent growth curve model was specified to gauge individual differences in change, and average trends therein. The allelic variants showed negligible differences across the cognitive markers in average trends. The older portion of the sample selectively age-magnified the effects of Val158Met on EM changes, resulting in greater decline in Val compared to homozygote Met carriers. This effect was attenuated by statistical control for PP. Further, PP moderated the effects of COMT on 15-years EM trajectories, resulting in greater decline in Val carriers, even after accounting for the confounding effects of sex, education, cardiovascular diseases (diabetes, stroke, and hypertension), and chronological age, controlled for practice gains. The effect was still present after excluding individuals with a history of cardiovascular diseases. The effects of cognitive change were not moderated by any other covariates. This report underscores the importance of addressing synergistic effects in normal cognitive aging, as the addition thereof may place healthy individuals at greater risk for memory decline. PMID:26973509

  14. Val158Met COMT polymorphism and risk of aggression in alcohol dependence.

    PubMed

    Soyka, Michael; Zill, Peter; Koller, Gabi; Samochowiec, Agnieszka; Grzywacz, Anna; Preuss, Ulrich W

    2015-01-01

    Aggression, violence and antisocial behavior are common in alcoholism, but their biological basis is poorly understood. Several studies and recent meta-analyses indicate that in schizophrenia the catecholamine-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met genotype may be associated with aggression, most often in methionine allele carriers. We tested this hypothesis in a sample of treatment-seeking alcohol-dependent in-patients (293 German patients and 499 controls, and additional 190 Polish patients as replication sample). As expected, patients with a history of violent or non-violent crime were more often male, had an earlier onset of alcoholism and more withdrawal seizures and delirium tremens, and were more likely to have a history of suicide attempts. COMT genotype was not associated with a history of violent or non-violent crime. More studies are needed on the neurobiological basis of aggression and violence in alcoholism.

  15. COMT Val158Met polymorphism moderates the association between PTSD symptom severity and hippocampal volume

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Jasmeet P.; Logue, Mark W.; Reagan, Andrew; Salat, David; Wolf, Erika J.; Sadeh, Naomi; Spielberg, Jeffrey M.; Sperbeck, Emily; Hayes, Scott M.; McGlinchey, Regina E.; Milberg, William P.; Verfaellie, Mieke; Stone, Annjanette; Schichman, Steven A.; Miller, Mark W.

    2017-01-01

    Background Memory-based alterations are among the hallmark symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and may be associated with the integrity of the hippocampus. However, neuroimaging studies of hippocampal volume in individuals with PTSD have yielded inconsistent results, raising the possibility that various moderators, such as genetic factors, may influence this association. We examined whether the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism, which has previously been shown to be associated with hippocampal volume in healthy individuals, moderates the association between PTSD and hippocampal volume. Methods Recent war veterans underwent structural MRI on a 3 T scanner. We extracted volumes of the right and left hippocampus using FreeSurfer and adjusted them for individual differences in intracranial volume. We assessed PTSD severity using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale. Hierarchical linear regression was used to model the genotype (Val158Met polymorphism) × PTSD severity interaction and its association with hippocampal volume. Results We included 146 white, non-Hispanic recent war veterans (90% male, 53% with diagnosed PTSD) in our analyses. A significant genotype × PTSD symptom severity interaction emerged such that individuals with greater current PTSD symptom severity who were homozygous for the Val allele showed significant reductions in left hippocampal volume. Limitations The direction of proposed effects is unknown, thus precluding definitive assessment of whether differences in hippocampal volume reflect a consequence of PTSD, a pre-existing characteristic, or both. Conclusion Our findings suggest that the COMT polymorphism moderates the association between PTSD and hippocampal volume. These results highlight the role that the dopaminergic system has in brain structure and suggest a possible mechanism for memory disturbance in individuals with PTSD. PMID:28234210

  16. Effect of COMT Val158Met polymorphism on personality traits and educational attainment in a longitudinal population representative study.

    PubMed

    Lehto, K; Akkermann, K; Parik, J; Veidebaum, T; Harro, J

    2013-10-01

    The COMT Val158Met polymorphism has been associated with anxiety and affective disorders, but its effect on anxiety-related personality traits varies between studies. Our purpose was to investigate the effect of COMT Val158Met on personality traits from adolescence to young adulthood in a population representative Caucasian birth cohort. Also its association with educational attainment and anxiety and mood disorders by the age 25 were examined. This analysis is based on the older cohort of the Estonian Children Personality Behavior and Health Study (original number of subjects 593). The personality traits were assessed when the participants were 15, 18 and 25 years old. COMT Val158Met had an effect on Neuroticism in females by age 25 (p=0.001, Bonferroni-corrected for five traits), whereas female Val homozygotes scored the highest. In addition, the Conscientiousness scores of subjects with Val/Val genotype were decreasing in time, being the lowest by the age 25 (p=0.006, Bonferroni-corrected for five traits). By the age 25, males with the Val/Met genotype had mainly secondary or vocational education, whereas female heterozygotes mostly had obtained or were obtaining university education. COMT Val158Met was not associated with anxiety or mood disorders in either gender. These results suggest that genes affecting dopamine system are involved in the development of personality traits and contribute to educational attainment.

  17. A meta-analysis of the Val158Met COMT polymorphism and violent behavior in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Singh, Jay P; Volavka, Jan; Czobor, Pál; Van Dorn, Richard A

    2012-01-01

    We conducted a meta-analysis of studies examining the association between the Val158Met COMT polymorphism and violence against others in schizophrenia. A systematic search current to November 1, 2011 was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsycINFO, ProQuest, and the National Criminal Justice Reference Service and identified 15 studies comprising 2,370 individuals with schizophrenia for inclusion. Bivariate analyses of study sensitivities and specificities were conducted. This methodology allowed for the calculation of pooled diagnostic odds ratios (DOR). Evidence of a significant association between the presence of a Met allele and violence was found such that men's violence risk increased by approximately 50% for those with at least one Met allele compared with homozygous Val individuals (DOR = 1.45; 95% CI = 1.05-2.00; z = 2.37, p = 0.02). No significant association between the presence of a Met allele and violence was found for women or when outcome was restricted to homicide. We conclude that male schizophrenia patients who carry the low activity Met allele in the COMT gene are at a modestly elevated risk of violence. This finding has potential implications for the pharmacogenetics of violent behavior in schizophrenia.

  18. Modulating effect of COMT Val(158)Met polymorphism on interference resolution during a working memory task.

    PubMed

    Jaspar, Mathieu; Dideberg, Vinciane; Bours, Vincent; Maquet, Pierre; Collette, Fabienne

    2015-04-01

    Genetic variability related to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has received increasing attention in the last 15years, in particular as a potential modulator of the neural substrates underlying inhibitory processes and updating in working memory (WM). In an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we administered a modified version of the Sternberg probe recency task (Sternberg, 1966) to 43 young healthy volunteers, varying the level of interference across successive items. The task was divided into two parts (high vs. low interference) to induce either proactive or reactive control processes. The participants were separated into three groups according to their COMT Val(158)Met genotype [Val/Val (VV); Val/Met (VM); Met/Met (MM)]. The general aim of the study was to determine whether COMT polymorphism has a modulating effect on the neural substrates of interference resolution during WM processing. Results indicate that interfering trials were associated with greater involvement of frontal cortices (bilateral medial frontal gyrus, left precentral and superior frontal gyri, right inferior frontal gyrus) in VV homozygous subjects (by comparison to Met allele carriers) only in the proactive condition of the task. In addition, analysis of peristimulus haemodynamic responses (PSTH) revealed that the genotype-related difference observed in the left SFG was specifically driven by a larger increase in activity from the storage to the recognition phase of the interfering trials in VV homozygous subjects. These results confirm the impact of COMT genotype on inhibitory processes during a WM task, with an advantage for Met allele carriers. Interestingly, this impact on frontal areas is present only when the level of interference is high, and especially during the transition from storage to recognition in the left superior frontal gyrus.

  19. Differential association of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism with clinical phenotypes in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Goghari, Vina M; Sponheim, Scott R

    2008-08-01

    Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, although diagnostically separate, likely share elements of their genetic etiology. This study assessed whether the COMT Val158Met polymorphism has shared or specific associations with clinical phenotypes evident in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia and bipolar patients completed a clinical assessment encompassing premorbid functioning and current and lifetime symptomatology. Multivariate analyses yielded a three-way interaction of diagnosis, COMT genotype for lifetime symptomatology. The COMT Val allele was associated with greater positive symptomatology in schizophrenia, whereas Met homozygosity was associated with greater positive symptomatology in bipolar disorder. Findings support the COMT Val158Met polymorphism conferring vulnerability for different clinical phenotypes in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Lifetime symptomatology may be particularly useful in determining the relationship between genes and clinical phenotypes across mental disorders.

  20. COMT Val158Met modulates the effect of childhood adverse experiences on the risk of alcohol dependence.

    PubMed

    Schellekens, Arnt F A; Franke, Barbara; Ellenbroek, Bart; Cools, Alexander; de Jong, Cor A J; Buitelaar, Jan K; Verkes, Robbert-Jan

    2013-03-01

    Genetic factors and childhood adverse experiences contribute to the vulnerability to alcohol dependence. However, empirical data on the interplay between specific genes and adverse experiences are few. The COMT Val158Met and DRD2/ANKK1 Taq1A genotypes have been suggested to affect both stress sensitivity and the risk for alcohol dependence. This study tested the hypothesis that genetic variation in COMT Val158Met and DRD2/ANKK1 Taq1A interacts with childhood adverse experiences to predict alcohol dependence. Male abstinent alcohol-dependent patients (n = 110) and age-matched healthy male controls (n = 99) were genotyped for the COMT Val158Met and the DRD2/ANKK1 Taq1A genotypes. Childhood adverse events were measured using three self-report questionnaires. Alcohol dependence severity, age of onset and duration of alcohol dependence were analyzed as secondary outcome measures. Statistical analysis involved logistic regression analysis and analysis of variance. Alcohol-dependent patients reported increased childhood adversity. The interaction between childhood adversity and the COMT Val158Met genotype added significantly to the prediction model. This gene-environment interaction was confirmed in the analysis of the secondary outcome measures, i.e. alcohol dependence severity, age of onset and duration of alcohol dependence. The DRD2/ANKK1 Taq1A genotype was not related to alcohol dependence, nor did it interact with childhood adversity in predicting alcohol dependence. This study provides evidence for a gene-environment interaction in alcohol dependence, in which an individual's sensitivity to childhood adverse experience is moderated by the COMT genotype. Exposed carriers of a low-activity Met allele have a higher risk to develop severe alcohol dependence than individuals homozygous for the Val allele.

  1. Temperament and character in remitted and symptomatic patients with schizophrenia: modulation by the COMT Val158Met genotype.

    PubMed

    Hori, Hiroaki; Fujii, Takashi; Yamamoto, Noriko; Teraishi, Toshiya; Ota, Miho; Matsuo, Junko; Kinoshita, Yukiko; Ishida, Ikki; Hattori, Kotaro; Okazaki, Mitsutoshi; Arima, Kunimasa; Kunugi, Hiroshi

    2014-09-01

    While research on remission in schizophrenia has gained attention, personality characteristics associated with remission in schizophrenia have been under-studied. A functional valine-to-methionine (Val158Met) polymorphism in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is shown to modify clinical presentation of schizophrenia despite weak or no association with the disorder itself. Studies also report that this polymorphism can affect personality traits. We aimed to examine personality traits of remitted patients with schizophrenia as compared to symptomatic patients and healthy controls and to investigate whether the COMT Val158Met polymorphism influences their personality. Scores on the Temperament and Character Inventory were compared between 34 remitted outpatients with schizophrenia, age- and sex-matched 72 symptomatic outpatients with schizophrenia, and matched 247 healthy individuals. The effect of COMT Val158Met polymorphism on personality was examined in each group. The analysis of covariance, controlling for confounding variables, revealed that compared to healthy controls, symptomatic patients exhibited a pervasively altered personality profile whereas remitted patients showed alterations in more limited personality dimensions and demonstrated normal levels of novelty-seeking, reward dependence and cooperativeness. The two-way analysis of covariance, with genotype and sex as between-subject factors and confounders as covariates, revealed that Met carriers demonstrated significantly lower reward dependence and cooperativeness than Val homozygotes in symptomatic patients; while no significant genotype effect was found in remitted patients or in healthy individuals. These findings indicate that remitted patients with schizophrenia have a relatively adaptive personality profile compared to symptomatic patients. The COMT Val158Met polymorphism might have a modulating effect on the relationship between personality and remission.

  2. Resting posterior versus frontal delta/theta EEG activity is associated with extraversion and the COMT VAL(158)MET polymorphism.

    PubMed

    Wacker, Jan; Gatt, Justine Megan

    2010-07-05

    Recent studies suggest that resting posterior versus frontal EEG delta/theta activity (delta/theta Pz-Fz) is both sensitive to pharmacological manipulations of neural dopamine and associated with the agency facet of extraversion (i.e., a motivational disposition comprising enthusiasm, energy, assertiveness, achievement striving and social dominance). These observations suggest that posterior versus frontal resting EEG delta/theta activity may represent a useful marker for investigating the molecular genetic basis of extraversion. The present study aimed to test the novel hypothesis of an association between delta/theta Pz-Fz and a functional polymorphism of the enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT VAL(158)MET) involved in dopamine catabolism. This was conducted in a large EEG data set from the Brain Resource International Database (BRID; resting EEG from N=1093 healthy individuals, 382 of which also genotyped for COMT VAL(158)MET). In summary, we (1) showed for the first time that the VAL allele is associated with increased delta/theta Pz-Fz; (2) replicated the association between extraversion and delta/theta Pz-Fz in a large, heterogeneous sample including both genders; and (3) documented that the VAL allele of the COMT VAL(158)MET is associated with increased extraversion scores, as previously reported for an overlapping BRID sample. This coherent pattern of findings adds further support to the suggestion that the posterior-anterior distribution of resting EEG slow wave activity in the delta/theta range represents a useful tool for probing the dopaminergic basis of extraversion.

  3. Association between the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met Polymorphism and Alexithymia in Patients with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Koh, Min Jung; Kang, Jee In; Namkoong, Kee; Lee, Su Young

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Alexithymia, defined as a deficit in the ability to recognize and describe one's own feelings, may be related to the development and maintenance of obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism and alexithymia in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Materials and Methods We recruited 244 patients with OCD (169 males, 75 females). Alexithymia was assessed using the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), and genotyping of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism was evaluated. Results Patients with the COMT Val/Val genotype had significantly higher total and "difficulty identifying feelings" (DIF) subdimension scores than those with the Val/Met or Met/Met genotypes. Patients with the COMT Val/Val genotype had significantly higher "difficulty describing feelings" (DDF) subdimension scores than those with the COMT Val/Met genotype. However, there were no differences in the scores for the "externally oriented thinking" (EOT) subdimension among the three genotypes. Conclusion These results indicate that the high-activity Val allele of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with increased alexithymic traits in patients with OCD. The present finding suggests that alexithymia is an endophenotype of OCD that is mediated by the COMT Val158Met polymorphism. PMID:26996573

  4. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) val158met polymorphism as a risk factor for PTSD after urban violence.

    PubMed

    Valente, Nina Leão Marques; Vallada, Homero; Cordeiro, Quirino; Bressan, Rodrigo Affonseca; Andreoli, Sergio Baxter; Mari, Jair Jesus; Mello, Marcelo Feijó

    2011-03-01

    PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that requires a traumatic event as diagnostic criteria. Brazil has high rates of violence, and it is expected that urban victims of violence would be at risk to the development of PTSD. Studies have associated the COMT val158met polymorphism with diminished stress resilience, reduced ability to extinguish conditioned fear, and the development of PTSD after multiple traumatic experiences. The aim of this study was to identify, in a case-control study, whether the val158met polymorphism (rs4860) is associated with the development of PTSD in a group of victims of urban violence. To our knowledge, this is the first study that examines the association between PTSD and urban violence. The polymorphism of COMT in PTSD patients (n=65) as well as in victims of violence without PTSD (n=34) and in a community control group (n=335) were genotyped. We found a significant relationship between the met allele (p<0.02) and PTSD among cases (PTSD+)and victims of violence without PTSD (PTSD-; OR 2.57) and between cases and community control group (p<0.003) Further analysis with larger samples and another ethnic group should be necessary to confirm our findings.

  5. Modification of depression by COMT val158met polymorphism in children exposed to early severe psychosocial deprivation

    PubMed Central

    Drury, Stacy S; Theall, Katherine P; Smyke, Anna T; Keats, Bronya JB; Egger, Helen L; Nelson, Charles A; Fox, Nathan A; Marshall, Peter J; Zeanah, Charles H

    2014-01-01

    Objective To examine the impact of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) val158met allele on depressive symptoms in young children exposed to early severe social deprivation as a result of being raised in institutions. Methods 136 children from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) were randomized before 31 months of age to either care as usual (CAU) in institutions or placement in newly created foster care (FCG). At 54 months of age, a psychiatric assessment using the Preschool Age Psychiatric Assessment (PAPA) was completed. DNA was collected and genotyped for the COMT val158met polymorphism. Multivariate analysis examined the relationship between COMT alleles and depressive symptoms. Results Mean level of depressive symptoms was lower among participants with the met allele compared to those with two copies of the val allele (p <0.05). Controlling for group and gender, the rate of depressive symptoms was significantly lower among participants with the met/met or the met/val genotype (adjusted relative risk (aRR) = 0.67, 95% CI = 0.45, 0.99) compared to participants with the val/val genotype, indicating an intermediate impact for heterozygotes consistent with the biological impact of this polymorphism. The impact of genotype within groups differed significantly. There was a significant protective effect of the met allele on depressive symptoms within the CAU group, however there was no relationship seen within the FCG group. Conclusions This is the first study, to our knowledge, to find evidence of a gene × environment interaction in the setting of early social deprivation. These results support the hypothesis that individual genetic differences may explain some of the variability in recovery amongst children exposed to early severe social deprivation. PMID:20403637

  6. COMT Val158Met × SLC6A4 5-HTTLPR interaction impacts on gray matter volume of regions supporting emotion processing

    PubMed Central

    El-Hage, Wissam; Monté, Gemma C.; Gohier, Benedicte; Tropeano, Maria; Phillips, Mary L.; Surguladze, Simon A.

    2014-01-01

    There have been several reports on the association between the Val158Met genetic polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, as well as the serotonin transporter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) of the serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4), and frontolimbic region volumes, which have been suggested to underlie individual differences in emotion processing or susceptibility to emotional disorders. However, findings have been somewhat inconsistent. This study used diffeomorphic anatomic registration through exponentiated Lie algebra (DARTEL) whole-brain voxel-based morphometry to study the genetic effects of COMT Val158Met and SLC6A4 5-HTTLPR, as well as their interaction, on the regional gray matter volumes of a sample of 91 healthy volunteers. An interaction of COMT Val158Met × SLC6A4 5-HTTLPR genotypes with gray matter volume was found in bilateral parahippocampal gyrus, amygdala, hippocampus, vermis of cerebellum and right putamen/insula. In particular, the gray matter volume in these regions was smaller in individuals who were both COMT-Met and 5-HTTLPR-S carriers, or both COMT-Val and 5-HTTLPR-L homozygotes, as compared with individuals with intermediate combinations of alleles. The interaction of COMT Val158Met and SLC6A4 5-HTTLPR adds to the understanding of individual differences in emotion processing. PMID:23748501

  7. The interaction of early life experiences with COMT val158met affects anxiety sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Baumann, C; Klauke, B; Weber, H; Domschke, K; Zwanzger, P; Pauli, P; Deckert, J; Reif, A

    2013-11-01

    The pathogenesis of anxiety disorders is considered to be multifactorial with a complex interaction of genetic factors and individual environmental factors. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine gene-by-environment interactions of the genes coding for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) with life events on measures related to anxiety. A sample of healthy subjects (N = 782; thereof 531 women; mean age M = 24.79, SD = 6.02) was genotyped for COMT rs4680 and MAOA-uVNTR (upstream variable number of tandem repeats), and was assessed for childhood adversities [Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ)], anxiety sensitivity [Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI)] and anxious apprehension [Penn State Worry Questionnaire (PSWQ)]. Main and interaction effects of genotype, environment and gender on measures related to anxiety were assessed by means of regression analyses. Association analysis showed no main gene effect on either questionnaire score. A significant interactive effect of childhood adversities and COMT genotype was observed: Homozygosity for the low-active met allele and high CTQ scores was associated with a significant increment of explained ASI variance [R(2) = 0.040, false discovery rate (FDR) corrected P = 0.04]. A borderline interactive effect with respect to MAOA-uVNTR was restricted to the male subgroup. Carriers of the low-active MAOA allele who reported more aversive experiences in childhood exhibited a trend for enhanced anxious apprehension (R(2) = 0.077, FDR corrected P = 0.10). Early aversive life experiences therefore might increase the vulnerability to anxiety disorders in the presence of homozygosity for the COMT 158met allele or low-active MAOA-uVNTR alleles.

  8. Val158Met polymorphism in the COMT gene is associated with hypersomnia and mental health-related quality of life in a Colombian sample.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Karen M; Pereira-Morales, Angela J; Forero, Diego A

    2017-02-21

    The identification of genes that are risk factors for major depressive disorder remains a main task for global psychiatric research. The Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been an important candidate risk factor for several psychiatric disorders. Previous studies have shown that a functional polymorphism (Val158Met) in this gene has an effect on several brain circuits and endophenotypes of psychiatric relevance. The aim of this study was to explore the association of a functional polymorphism in the COMT gene with psychological distress, sleep problems and health-related quality of life. Two hundred seventy young Colombian subjects (mean age: 21.3 years; range: 18-57 years) completed the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, the Perceived Stress Scale, the Oviedo Sleep Questionnaire and the 12-Item Short-Form Health Survey and were genotyped for the Val158Met polymorphism (rs4680) in the COMT gene. A linear regression analysis, adjusting for potential confounding factors, was carried out. Subjects that were Met carriers (Val/Met and Met/Met genotypes) showed higher scores for hypersomnia (p=0.001) and lower scores for mental health-related quality of life (p=0.007), these associations remained significant after correcting for multiple testing. These findings support the hypothesis of a broad effect of the Val158Met polymorphism in the COMT gene on several dimensions of behavior and neuropsychiatric symptoms.

  9. COMT Val158Met polymorphism interacts with stressful life events and parental warmth to influence decision making.

    PubMed

    He, Qinghua; Xue, Gui; Chen, Chuansheng; Lu, Zhong-Lin; Chen, Chunhui; Lei, Xuemei; Liu, Yuyun; Li, Jin; Zhu, Bi; Moyzis, Robert K; Dong, Qi; Bechara, Antoine

    2012-01-01

    Both genetic and environmental factors have been shown to influence decision making, but their relative contributions and interactions are not well understood. The present study aimed to reveal possible gene-environment interactions on decision making in a large healthy sample. Specifically, we examined how the frequently studied COMT Val(158)Met polymorphism interacted with an environmental risk factor (i.e., stressful life events) and a protective factor (i.e., parental warmth) to influence affective decision making as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task. We found that stressful life events acted as a risk factor for poor IGT performance (i.e., high reward sensitivity) among Met carriers, whereas parental warmth acted as a protective factor for good IGT performance (i.e., higher IGT score) among Val/Val homozygotes. These results shed some new light on gene-environment interactions in decision making, which could potentially help us understand the underlying etiology of several psychiatric disorders associated with decision making impairment.

  10. The Val158Met COMT polymorphism is a modifier of the age at onset in Parkinson's disease with a sexual dimorphism

    PubMed Central

    Klebe, Stephan; Golmard, Jean-Louis; Nalls, Michael A; Saad, Mohamad; Singleton, Andrew B; Bras, Jose M; Hardy, John; Simon-Sanchez, Javier; Heutink, Peter; Kuhlenbäumer, Gregor; Charfi, Rim; Klein, Christine; Hagenah, Johann; Gasser, Thomas; Wurster, Isabel; Lesage, Suzanne; Lorenz, Delia; Deuschl, Günther; Durif, Franck; Pollak, Pierre; Damier, Philippe; Tison, François; Durr, Alexandra; Amouyel, Philippe; Lambert, Jean-Charles; Tzourio, Christophe; Maubaret, Cécilia; Charbonnier-Beaupel, Fanny; Tahiri, Khadija; Vidailhet, Marie; Martinez, Maria; Brice, Alexis; Corvol, Jean-Christophe

    2013-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltranferase (COMT) is one of the main enzymes that metabolise dopamine in the brain. The Val158Met polymorphism in the COMT gene (rs4680) causes a trimodal distribution of high (Val/Val), intermediate (Val/Met) and low (Met/Met) enzyme activity. We tested whether the Val158Met polymorphism is a modifier of the age at onset (AAO) in Parkinson's disease (PD). The rs4680 was genotyped in a total of 16 609 subjects from five independent cohorts of European and North American origin (5886 patients with PD and 10 723 healthy controls). The multivariate analysis for comparing PD and control groups was based on a stepwise logistic regression, with gender, age and cohort origin included in the initial model. The multivariate analysis of the AAO was a mixed linear model, with COMT genotype and gender considered as fixed effects and cohort and cohort-gender interaction as random effects. COMT genotype was coded as a quantitative variable, assuming a codominant genetic effect. The distribution of the COMT polymorphism was not significantly different in patients and controls (p=0.22). The Val allele had a significant effect on the AAO with a younger AAO in patients with the Val/Val (57.1±13.9, p=0.03) than the Val/Met (57.4±13.9) and the Met/Met genotypes (58.3±13.5). The difference was greater in men (1.9 years between Val/Val and Met/Met, p=0.007) than in women (0.2 years, p=0.81). Thus, the Val158Met COMT polymorphism is not associated with PD in the Caucasian population but acts as a modifier of the AAO in PD with a sexual dimorphism: the Val allele is associated with a younger AAO in men with idiopathic PD. PMID:23408064

  11. Meta-analysis reveals a lack of association between a common catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) polymorphism val158met and fibromyalgia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lei; Zhu, Junwei; Chen, Yong; Zhao, Jianning

    2014-01-01

    This study is to evaluate the association between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene val158met polymorphism and FM risk. We performed a meta-analysis of 8 case-control studies that included 589 FM cases and 527 case-free controls. We assessed the strength of the association, using odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Overall, this meta-analysis showed that the COMT gene val158met polymorphism was not associated with FM risk in all genetic models, i.e., allele (met vs. val: OR=1.46, 95% CI=0.80-2.66, P heterpgeneity<0.001), homozygous (met/met vs. val/val: OR=1.72, 95% CI=0.61-4.87, P heterpgeneity<0.001), heterozygous (val/met vs. val/val: OR=1.25, 95% CI=0.82-1.92, P heterpgeneity=0.050), recessive (met/met vs. val/val+val/met: OR=1.52, 95% CI=0.60-3.86, P heterpgeneity<0.001) and dominant model (met/met+val/met vs. val/val: OR=1.52, 95% CI=0.80-2.90, P heterpgeneity<0.001). Similarly, there were no significant associations in the subgroup analyses by ethnicity and HWE. No publication bias was found in the present study. This meta-analysis suggests that the COMT gene val158met polymorphism is not associated with FM risk. Further large and well-designed studies are needed to confirm this association. PMID:25674213

  12. COMT Val158Met polymorphism influences the susceptibility to framing in decision-making: OFC-amygdala functional connectivity as a mediator.

    PubMed

    Gao, Xiaoxue; Gong, Pingyuan; Liu, Jinting; Hu, Jie; Li, Yue; Yu, Hongbo; Gong, Xiaoliang; Xiang, Yang; Jiang, Changjun; Zhou, Xiaolin

    2016-05-01

    Individuals tend to avoid risk in a gain frame, in which options are presented in a positive way, but seek risk in a loss frame, in which the same options are presented negatively. Previous studies suggest that emotional responses play a critical role in this "framing effect." Given that the Met allele of COMT Val158Met polymorphism (rs4680) is associated with the negativity bias during emotional processing, this study investigated whether this polymorphism is associated with individual susceptibility to framing and which brain areas mediate this gene-behavior association. Participants were genotyped, scanned in resting state, and completed a monetary gambling task with options (sure vs risky) presented as potential gains or losses. The Met allele carriers showed a greater framing effect than the Val/Val homozygotes as the former gambled more than the latter in the loss frame. Moreover, the gene-behavior association was mediated by resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) between orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and bilateral amygdala. Met allele carriers showed decreased RSFC, thereby demonstrating higher susceptibility to framing than Val allele carriers. These findings demonstrate the involvement of COMT Val158Met polymorphism in the framing effect in decision-making and suggest RSFC between OFC and amygdala as a neural mediator underlying this gene-behavior association. Hum Brain Mapp 37:1880-1892, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. COMT Val(158)Met polymorphism is associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and functional outcome following mild traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Winkler, Ethan A; Yue, John K; Ferguson, Adam R; Temkin, Nancy R; Stein, Murray B; Barber, Jason; Yuh, Esther L; Sharma, Sourabh; Satris, Gabriela G; McAllister, Thomas W; Rosand, Jonathan; Sorani, Marco D; Lingsma, Hester F; Tarapore, Phiroz E; Burchard, Esteban G; Hu, Donglei; Eng, Celeste; Wang, Kevin K W; Mukherjee, Pratik; Okonkwo, David O; Diaz-Arrastia, Ramon; Manley, Geoffrey T

    2017-01-01

    Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) results in variable clinical trajectories and outcomes. The source of variability remains unclear, but may involve genetic variations, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). A SNP in catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) is suggested to influence development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but its role in TBI remains unclear. Here, we utilize the Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury Pilot (TRACK-TBI Pilot) study to investigate whether the COMT Val(158)Met polymorphism is associated with PTSD and global functional outcome as measured by the PTSD Checklist - Civilian Version and Glasgow Outcome Scale Extended (GOSE), respectively. Results in 93 predominately Caucasian subjects with mTBI show that the COMT Met(158) allele is associated with lower incidence of PTSD (univariate odds ratio (OR) of 0.25, 95% CI [0.09-0.69]) and higher GOSE scores (univariate OR 2.87, 95% CI [1.20-6.86]) 6-months following injury. The COMT Val(158)Met genotype and PTSD association persists after controlling for race (multivariable OR of 0.29, 95% CI [0.10-0.83]) and pre-existing psychiatric disorders/substance abuse (multivariable OR of 0.32, 95% CI [0.11-0.97]). PTSD emerged as a strong predictor of poorer outcome on GOSE (multivariable OR 0.09, 95% CI [0.03-0.26]), which persists after controlling for age, GCS, and race. When accounting for PTSD in multivariable analysis, the association of COMT genotype and GOSE did not remain significant (multivariable OR 1.73, 95% CI [0.69-4.35]). Whether COMT genotype indirectly influences global functional outcome through PTSD remains to be determined and larger studies in more diverse populations are needed to confirm these findings.

  14. Association of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met Polymorphism and Anxiety-Related Traits: A Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Lewina O.; Prescott, Carol A.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives The main goals of this study were: (i) to examine genotypic association of the COMT val158met polymorphism with anxiety-related traits via a meta-analysis; (ii) to examine sex and ethnicity as moderators of the association, and (iii) to evaluate whether the association differed by particular anxiety traits. Methods Association studies of the COMT val18met polymorphism and anxiety traits were identified from the PubMed or PsycInfo databases, conference abstracts and listserv postings. Exclusion criteria were: (a) pediatric samples, (b) exclusively clinical samples, and (c) samples selected for a non-anxiety phenotype. Standardized mean differences in anxiety between genotypes were aggregated to produce mean effect sizes across all available samples, and for subgroups stratified by sex and ethnicity (Caucasians vs. Asians). Construct-specific analysis was conducted to evaluate the association of COMT with neuroticism, harm avoidance, and behavioral inhibition. Results Twenty seven eligible studies (N=15,979) with available data were identified. Overall findings indicate sex-specific and ethnic-specific effects: Val homozygotes had higher neuroticism than Met homozygotes in studies of Caucasian males ( ES¯=0.13, 95%CI: 0.02 – 0.25, p = 0.03), and higher harm avoidance in studies of Asian males ( ES¯=0.43, 95%CI: 0.14 – 0.72, p = 0.004). No significant associations were found in women and effect sizes were diminished when studies were aggregated across ethnicity or anxiety traits. Conclusions: This meta-analysis provides evidence for sex and ethnicity differences in the association of the COMT val158met polymorphism with anxiety traits. Our findings contribute to current knowledge on the relation between prefrontal dopaminergic transmission and anxiety. PMID:24300663

  15. Age-Dependent Effects of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Gene Val158Met Polymorphism on Language Function in Developing Children.

    PubMed

    Sugiura, Lisa; Toyota, Tomoko; Matsuba-Kurita, Hiroko; Iwayama, Yoshimi; Mazuka, Reiko; Yoshikawa, Takeo; Hagiwara, Hiroko

    2016-11-30

    The genetic basis controlling language development remains elusive. Previous studies of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val(158)Met genotype and cognition have focused on prefrontally guided executive functions involving dopamine. However, COMT may further influence posterior cortical regions implicated in language perception. We investigated whether COMT influences language ability and cortical language processing involving the posterior language regions in 246 children aged 6-10 years. We assessed language ability using a language test and cortical responses recorded during language processing using a word repetition task and functional near-infrared spectroscopy. The COMT genotype had significant effects on language performance and processing. Importantly, Met carriers outperformed Val homozygotes in language ability during the early elementary school years (6-8 years), whereas Val homozygotes exhibited significant language development during the later elementary school years. Both genotype groups exhibited equal language performance at approximately 10 years of age. Val homozygotes exhibited significantly less cortical activation compared with Met carriers during word processing, particularly at older ages. These findings regarding dopamine transmission efficacy may be explained by a hypothetical inverted U-shaped curve. Our findings indicate that the effects of the COMT genotype on language ability and cortical language processing may change in a narrow age window of 6-10 years.

  16. Association of COMT val158met and DRD2 G>T genetic polymorphisms with individual differences in motor learning and performance in female young adults

    PubMed Central

    Boyden, Nate B.; Kwak, Youngbin; Humfleet, Jennifer; Burke, David T.; Müller, Martijn L. T. M.; Bohnen, Nico I.; Seidler, Rachael D.

    2013-01-01

    Individuals learn new skills at different rates. Given the involvement of corticostriatal pathways in some types of learning, variations in dopaminergic transmission may contribute to these individual differences. Genetic polymorphisms of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme and dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) genes partially determine cortical and striatal dopamine availability, respectively. Individuals who are homozygous for the COMT methionine (met) allele show reduced cortical COMT enzymatic activity, resulting in increased dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex as opposed to individuals who are carriers of the valine (val) allele. DRD2 G-allele homozygotes benefit from a higher striatal dopamine level compared with T-allele carriers. We hypothesized that individuals who are homozygous for COMT met and DRD2 G alleles would show higher rates of motor learning. Seventy-two young healthy females (20 ± 1.9 yr) performed a sensorimotor adaptation task and a motor sequence learning task. A nonparametric mixed model ANOVA revealed that the COMT val-val group demonstrated poorer performance in the sequence learning task compared with the met-met group and showed a learning deficit in the visuomotor adaptation task compared with both met-met and val-met groups. The DRD2 TT group showed poorer performance in the sequence learning task compared with the GT group, but there was no difference between DRD2 genotype groups in adaptation rate. Although these results did not entirely come out as one might predict based on the known contribution of corticostriatal pathways to motor sequence learning, they support the role of genetic polymorphisms of COMT val158met (rs4680) and DRD2 G>T (rs 1076560) in explaining individual differences in motor performance and motor learning, dependent on task type. PMID:24225542

  17. The functional COMT polymorphism, Val 158 Met, is associated with logical memory and the personality trait intellect/imagination in a cohort of healthy 79 year olds.

    PubMed

    Harris, Sarah E; Wright, Alan F; Hayward, Caroline; Starr, John M; Whalley, Lawrence J; Deary, Ian J

    2005-09-02

    A polymorphism (Val 158 Met) in the gene for catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) was previously associated with differences in cognitive ability and personality. Here we examine associations between this polymorphism and cognitive ability, cognitive aging, personality and mood in 460 relatively healthy people born in 1921. All had cognitive ability measured at age 11 in the Scottish Mental Survey of 1932, and again at age 79. COMT genotype was not associated with childhood IQ. At age 79, COMT genotype was significantly related to differences in verbal declarative memory (scores on the Logical Memory test; p=0.028) and to scores on the personality trait of intellect/imagination (p=0.023), adjusted for sex and childhood IQ. In both cases the Val/Met heterozygotes had higher scores than both homozygous groups. There were trends toward the heterozygotes having higher scores on the personality traits of agreeableness and conscientiousness. The effect of COMT genotype on Logical Memory scores was independent of the effect of APOE genotype, and similar in effect size. Therefore, COMT genotype may contribute to differences in normal cognitive aging and to differences in some of the major personality traits in old age.

  18. The effects of gender and COMT Val158Met polymorphism on fearful facial affect recognition: a fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Kempton, Matthew J; Haldane, Morgan; Jogia, Jigar; Christodoulou, Tessa; Powell, John; Collier, David; Williams, Steven C R; Frangou, Sophia

    2009-04-01

    The functional catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT Val108/158Met) polymorphism has been shown to have an impact on tasks of executive function, memory and attention and recently, tasks with an affective component. As oestrogen reduces COMT activity, we focused on the interaction between gender and COMT genotype on brain activations during an affective processing task. We used functional MRI (fMRI) to record brain activations from 74 healthy subjects who engaged in a facial affect recognition task; subjects viewed and identified fearful compared to neutral faces. There was no main effect of the COMT polymorphism, gender or genotypexgender interaction on task performance. We found a significant effect of gender on brain activations in the left amygdala and right temporal pole, where females demonstrated increased activations over males. Within these regions, Val/Val carriers showed greater signal magnitude compared to Met/Met carriers, particularly in females. The COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism impacts on gender-related patterns of activation in limbic and paralimbic regions but the functional significance of any oestrogen-related COMT inhibition appears modest.

  19. Association between the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met Polymorphism and Manual Aiming Control in Healthy Subjects

    PubMed Central

    Lage, Guilherme M.; Miranda, Débora M.; Romano-Silva, Marco A.; Campos, Simone B.; Albuquerque, Maicon R.; Corrêa, Humberto; Malloy-Diniz, Leandro F.

    2014-01-01

    Background Prefrontal dopamine is catabolized by the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme. Current evidence suggests that the val/met single nucleotide polymorphism in the COMT gene can predict the efficiency of executive cognition in humans. Individuals carrying the val allele perform more poorly because less synaptic dopamine is available. Methodology/Principal Findings We investigated the influence of the COMT polymorphism on motor performance in a task that requires different executive functions. We administered a manual aiming motor task that was performed under four different conditions of execution by 111 healthy participants. Participants were grouped according to genotype (met/met, met/val, val/val), and the motor performance among groups was compared. Overall, the results indicate that met/met carriers presented lower levels of peak velocity during the movement trajectory than the val carriers, but met/met carriers displayed higher accuracy than the val carriers. Conclusions/Significance This study found a significant association between the COMT polymorphism and manual aiming control. Few studies have investigated the genetics of motor control, and these findings indicate that individual differences in motor control require further investigation using genetic studies. PMID:24956262

  20. Stressful life events, perceived stress, and 12-month course of geriatric depression: direct effects and moderation by the 5-HTTLPR and COMT Val158Met polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Zannas, Anthony S; McQuoid, Douglas R; Steffens, David C; Chrousos, George P; Taylor, Warren D

    2012-07-01

    Although the relation between stressful life events (SLEs) and risk of major depressive disorder is well established, important questions remain about the effects of stress on the course of geriatric depression. Our objectives were (1) to examine how baseline stress and change in stress is associated with course of geriatric depression and (2) to test whether polymorphisms of serotonin transporter (5-HTTLPR) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT Val158Met) genes moderate this relation. Two-hundred and sixteen depressed subjects aged 60 years or older were categorized by remission status (Montgomery-Asberg depression rating scale≤6) at 6 and 12 months. At 6 months, greater baseline numbers of self-reported negative and total SLEs and greater baseline perceived stress severity were associated with lower odds of remission. At 12 months, only baseline perceived stress predicted remission. When we examined change in stress, 12-month decrease in negative SLEs and level of perceived stress were associated with improved odds of 12-month remission. When genotype data were included, COMT Val158Met genotype did not influence these relations. However, when compared with 5-HTTLPR L/L homozygotes, S allele carriers with greater baseline numbers of negative SLEs and with greater decrease in negative SLEs were more likely to remit at 12 months. This study demonstrates that baseline SLEs and perceived stress severity may influence the 12-month course of geriatric depression. Moreover, changes in these stress measures over time correlate with depression outcomes. 5-HTTLPR S carriers appear to be more susceptible to both the effects of enduring stress and the benefit of interval stress reduction.

  1. COMT Val158Met genotype is associated with fluctuations in working memory performance: converging evidence from behavioural and single-trial P3b measures.

    PubMed

    Saville, C W N; Lancaster, T M; Stefanou, M E; Salunkhe, G; Lourmpa, I; Nadkarni, A; Boehm, S G; Bender, S; Smyrnis, N; Ettinger, U; Feige, B; Biscaldi, M; Mantripragada, K K; Linden, D E J; Klein, C

    2014-10-15

    Intra-subject variability in reaction times (ISV) is a promising endophenotype for several psychiatric conditions, but its neural underpinnings are not yet established. Converging evidence from neuroimaging, molecular genetics, and psychopharmacology suggests that ISV could index catecholaminergically-mediated neural noise. The fine-grained temporal resolution of electroencephalography is ideal for investigating ISV, but only if potential neural correlates of ISV can be assessed in single trials. Based on evidence that ISV is associated with dopaminergic functioning, we apply a recently developed method of single-trial P3b analysis to investigate the association of COMT Val(158)Met genotype with measures of ISV on the behavioural and neural levels at different working memory loads. Greater number of Met alleles was associated with poorer and more intra-individually variable performance on the tasks, and greater latency jitter in single-trial P3bs. These converging results at the behavioural and neurophysiological levels confirm previous observations that prefrontal dopamine availability is associated with stability and accuracy of cognitive performance. Together with previous studies, these data imply pleiotropic cognitive effects of COMT genotype.

  2. White matter alterations related to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and COMT val158met polymorphism: children with valine homozygote attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder have altered white matter connectivity in the right cingulum (cingulate gyrus)

    PubMed Central

    Kabukcu Basay, Burge; Buber, Ahmet; Basay, Omer; Alacam, Huseyin; Ozturk, Onder; Suren, Serkan; Izci Ay, Ozlem; Acikel, Cengizhan; Agladıoglu, Kadir; Erdal, Mehmet Emin; Ercan, Eyup Sabri; Herken, Hasan

    2016-01-01

    Introduction In this article, the COMT gene val158met polymorphism and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-related differences in diffusion-tensor-imaging-measured white matter (WM) structure in children with ADHD and controls were investigated. Patients and methods A total of 71 children diagnosed with ADHD and 24 controls aged 8–15 years were recruited. Using diffusion tensor imaging, COMT polymorphism and ADHD-related WM alterations were investigated, and any interaction effect between the COMT polymorphism and ADHD was also examined. The effects of age, sex, and estimated total IQ were controlled by multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). Results First, an interaction between the COMT val158met polymorphism and ADHD in the right (R) cingulum (cingulate gyrus) (CGC) was found. According to this, valine (val) homozygote ADHD-diagnosed children had significantly lower fractional anisotropy (FA) and higher radial diffusivity (RD) in the R-CGC than ADHD-diagnosed methionine (met) carriers, and val homozygote controls had higher FA and lower RD in the R-CGC than val homozygote ADHD patients. Second, met carriers had higher FA and axial diffusivity in the left (L)-uncinate fasciculus and lower RD in the L-posterior corona radiata and L-posterior thalamic radiation (include optic radiation) than the val homozygotes, independent of ADHD diagnosis. Third, children with ADHD had lower FA in the L-CGC and R-retrolenticular part of the internal capsule than the controls, independent of the COMT polymorphism. Conclusion Significant differences reported here may be evidence that the COMT gene val158met polymorphism variants, as well as ADHD, could affect brain development. ADHD and the COMT polymorphism might be interactively affecting WM development in the R-CGC to alter the WM connectivity in children with val homozygote ADHD. PMID:27143897

  3. Differential effect of catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met genotype on emotional recognition abilities in healthy men and women.

    PubMed

    Weiss, Elisabeth M; Stadelmann, Edith; Kohler, Christian G; Brensinger, Colleen M; Nolan, Karen A; Oberacher, Herbert; Parson, Walther; Pitterl, Florian; Niederstätter, Harald; Kemmler, Georg; Hinterhuber, Hartmann; Marksteiner, Josef

    2007-09-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism modulates executive functions and working memory and recent neuroimaging studies implicate an association with emotional processing. We examined the relationship between the COMT Val158Met polymorphism and facial emotion recognition and differentiation in 100 healthy individuals. Compared to Met homozygosity, Val homozygosity was associated with better and faster recognition of negative facial expressions such as anger and sad. Our study provides evidence for a possible influence of the COMT polymorphism on emotion recognition abilities in healthy subjects. Additional research is needed to further define the neurocognitive phenotypes associated with COMT polymorphisms.

  4. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase val158met Polymorphism Predicts Placebo Effect in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Kathryn T.; Lembo, Anthony J.; Kirsch, Irving; Ziogas, Dimitrios C.; Douaiher, Jeffrey; Jensen, Karin B.; Conboy, Lisa A.; Kelley, John M.; Kokkotou, Efi; Kaptchuk, Ted J.

    2012-01-01

    Identifying patients who are potential placebo responders has major implications for clinical practice and trial design. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an important enzyme in dopamine catabolism plays a key role in processes associated with the placebo effect such as reward, pain, memory and learning. We hypothesized that the COMT functional val158met polymorphism, was a predictor of placebo effects and tested our hypothesis in a subset of 104 patients from a previously reported randomized controlled trial in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The three treatment arms from this study were: no-treatment (“waitlist”), placebo treatment alone (“limited”) and, placebo treatment “augmented” with a supportive patient-health care provider interaction. The primary outcome measure was change from baseline in IBS-Symptom Severity Scale (IBS-SSS) after three weeks of treatment. In a regression model, the number of methionine alleles in COMT val158met was linearly related to placebo response as measured by changes in IBS-SSS (p = .035). The strongest placebo response occurred in met/met homozygotes treated in the augmented placebo arm. A smaller met/met associated effect was observed with limited placebo treatment and there was no effect in the waitlist control. These data support our hypothesis that the COMT val158met polymorphism is a potential biomarker of placebo response. PMID:23110189

  5. Catechol-O-methyltransferase val158met polymorphism predicts placebo effect in irritable bowel syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hall, Kathryn T; Lembo, Anthony J; Kirsch, Irving; Ziogas, Dimitrios C; Douaiher, Jeffrey; Jensen, Karin B; Conboy, Lisa A; Kelley, John M; Kokkotou, Efi; Kaptchuk, Ted J

    2012-01-01

    Identifying patients who are potential placebo responders has major implications for clinical practice and trial design. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an important enzyme in dopamine catabolism plays a key role in processes associated with the placebo effect such as reward, pain, memory and learning. We hypothesized that the COMT functional val158met polymorphism, was a predictor of placebo effects and tested our hypothesis in a subset of 104 patients from a previously reported randomized controlled trial in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The three treatment arms from this study were: no-treatment ("waitlist"), placebo treatment alone ("limited") and, placebo treatment "augmented" with a supportive patient-health care provider interaction. The primary outcome measure was change from baseline in IBS-Symptom Severity Scale (IBS-SSS) after three weeks of treatment. In a regression model, the number of methionine alleles in COMT val158met was linearly related to placebo response as measured by changes in IBS-SSS (p = .035). The strongest placebo response occurred in met/met homozygotes treated in the augmented placebo arm. A smaller met/met associated effect was observed with limited placebo treatment and there was no effect in the waitlist control. These data support our hypothesis that the COMT val158met polymorphism is a potential biomarker of placebo response.

  6. Association of COMT (Val158Met) and BDNF (Val66Met) Gene Polymorphisms with Anxiety, ADHD and Tics in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gadow, Kenneth D.; Roohi, Jasmin; Devincent, Carla J.; Kirsch, Sarah; Hatchwell, Eli

    2009-01-01

    The aim of the study is to examine rs4680 ("COMT") and rs6265 ("BDNF") as genetic markers of anxiety, ADHD, and tics. Parents and teachers completed a DSM-IV-referenced rating scale for a total sample of 67 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Both "COMT" (p = 0.06) and "BDNF" (p = 0.07) genotypes were marginally significant for teacher…

  7. The Effect of Single Dose Methylphenidate on Neurometabolites according to COMT Gene Val158Met Polymorphism in the Patient with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Study Using Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Ozturk, Onder; Alacam, Huseyin; Basay, Burge Kabukcu; Basay, Omer; Buber, Ahmet; Ay, Ozlem Izci; Agladıoglu, Kadir; Erdal, Mehmet Emin; Herken, Hasan

    2016-01-01

    Objective Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neurodevelopmental disorder. Thus, the present study aimed to determine the effects of a single dose of methylphenidate (Mph) on neurometabolite levels according to polymorphisms of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene. Methods This study evaluated the neurometabolite levels including N-acetylaspartate (NAA), creatine (Cr), and choline (Cho) of ADHD patients, before and after treatment with Mph (10 mg) according to the presence of COMT polymorphisms. The spectra were obtained from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), cerebellum, and striatum. Results The NAA levels of the val/val and val genotype carriers (val/val and val/met genotypes) increased in the DLPFC and ACC, respectively, following Mph treatment. The NAA/Cr ratio was lower in the DLPFC of val carriers than in the met/met genotype carriers prior to Mph administration. The Cho levels of the val/met genotype and val carriers increased in the striatum following Mph treatment. Following Mph treatment, the Cr levels of the met/met genotype carriers were higher than those of the val/met genotype and val carriers. Additionally, after Mph treatment, there was a significant increase in Cr levels in the DLPFC of the met/met genotype carriers but a significant decrease in such levels in the striatum of val/val genotype carriers. Conclusion These findings suggest that polymorphisms of the COMT gene can account for individual differences in neuro-chemical responses to Mph among ADHD patients. Therefore, further studies are needed to fully characterize the effects of the Val158met polymorphism of the COMT gene on treatment outcomes in patients with ADHD. PMID:27121430

  8. The role of maternal stress during pregnancy, maternal discipline, and child COMT Val158Met genotype in the development of compliance.

    PubMed

    Kok, Rianne; Bakermans-Kranenburg, Marian J; van Ijzendoorn, Marinus H; Velders, Fleur P; Linting, Mariëlle; Jaddoe, Vincent W V; Hofman, Albert; Verhulst, Frank C; Tiemeier, Henning

    2013-07-01

    Maternal discipline is an important predictor of child committed compliance. Maternal stress can affect both parenting and child development. In a large population-based cohort study (N = 613) we examined whether maternal discipline mediated the association between maternal stress during pregnancy and child compliance, and whether COMT or DRD4 polymorphisms moderated the association between maternal discipline and child compliance. Family-related and general stress were measured through maternal self-report and genetic material was collected through cord blood sampling at birth. Mother-child dyads were observed at 36 months in disciplinary tasks in which the child was not allowed to touch attractive toys. Maternal discipline and child compliance were observed in two different tasks and independently coded. The association between family stress during pregnancy and child committed compliance was mediated by maternal positive discipline. Children with more COMT Met alleles seemed more susceptible to maternal positive discipline than children with more COMT Val alleles.

  9. The Role of the Catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) Gene Val158Met in Aggressive Behavior, A Review of Genetic Studies

    PubMed Central

    Qayyum, Arqam; Zai, Clement C.; Hirata, Yuko; Tiwari, Arun K.; Cheema, Sheraz; Nowrouzi, Behdin; Beitchman, Joseph H.; Kennedy, James L.

    2015-01-01

    Aggressive behaviors have become a major public health problem, and early-onset aggression can lead to outcomes such as substance abuse, antisocial personality disorder among other issues. In recent years, there has been an increase in research in the molecular and genetic underpinnings of aggressive behavior, and one of the candidate genes codes for the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT). COMT is involved in catabolizing catecholamines such as dopamine. These neurotransmitters appear to be involved in regulating mood which can contribute to aggression. The most common gene variant studied in the COMT gene is the Valine (Val) to Methionine (Met) substitution at codon 158. We will be reviewing the current literature on this gene variant in aggressive behavior. PMID:26630958

  10. Differences in 4-hydroxyestradiol levels in leukocytes are related to CYP1A1(∗)2C, CYP1B1(∗)3 and COMT Val158Met allelic variants.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Ramírez, O C; Pérez-Morales, R; Petrosyan, P; Castro-Hernández, C; Gonsebatt, M E; Rubio, J

    2015-10-01

    Exposure to estrogen and its metabolites, including catechol estrogens (CEs) and catechol estrogen quinones (CE-Qs) is closely related to breast cancer. Polymorphisms of the genes involved in the catechol estrogens metabolism pathway (CEMP) have been shown to affect the production of CEs and CE-Qs. In this study, we measured the induction of CYP1A1, CYP1B1, COMT, and GSTP1 by 17β-estradiol (17β-E2) in leukocytes with CYP1A1(∗)2C, CYP1B1(∗)3, COMT Val158Met and GSTP1 Ile105Val polymorphisms by semi quantitative RT-PCR and compared the values to those of leukocytes with wild type alleles; we also compared the differences in formation of 4- hydroxyestradiol (4-OHE2) and DNA-adducts. The data show that in the leukocytes with mutant alleles treatment with 17β-E2 up-regulates CYP1A1 and CYP1B1 and down-regulates COMT mRNA levels, resulting in major increments in 4-OHE2 levels compared to leukocytes with wild-type alleles. Therefore, we propose induction levels of gene expression and intracellular 4-OHE2 concentrations associated with allelic variants in response to exposure of 17β-E2 as a noninvasive biomarker that can help determine the risk of developing non-hereditary breast cancer in women.

  11. Association between the catechol-o-methyltransferase val158met polymorphism with susceptibility and severity of carpal tunnel syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Eroğlu, P; Görükmez, O; Özemri Sağ, Ş; Yakut, T

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common entrapment neuropathy of the upper extremity. In this study, we aimed to clarify the relationships between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene Val158Met (rs4680) polymorphism and development, functional and clinical status of CTS. Ninety-five women with electro diagnostically confirmed CTS and 95 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. The functional and clinical status of the patients was measured by the Turkish version of the Boston Questionnaire and intensity of pain related to the past 2 weeks was evaluated on a visual analog scale (VAS). The Val158Met polymorphism was determined using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), method. We divided patients according to the genotypes of the Val158Met polymorphism as Val/Val, Val/Met and Met/Met. There were not any significant differences in terms of Val158Met polymorphisms between patients and healthy controls (p >0.05). We also did not find any relationships between the Val158Met polymorphism and CTS (p >0.05). In conclusion, although we did not find any relationships between CTS and the Val158Met polymorphism, we could not generalize this result to the general population. Future studies are warranted to conclude precise associations. PMID:27785396

  12. Association between the catechol-o-methyltransferase val158met polymorphism with susceptibility and severity of carpal tunnel syndrome.

    PubMed

    Erkol İnal, E; Eroğlu, P; Görükmez, O; Özemri Sağ, Ş; Yakut, T

    2015-12-01

    Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is the most common entrapment neuropathy of the upper extremity. In this study, we aimed to clarify the relationships between the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene Val158Met (rs4680) polymorphism and development, functional and clinical status of CTS. Ninety-five women with electro diagnostically confirmed CTS and 95 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. The functional and clinical status of the patients was measured by the Turkish version of the Boston Questionnaire and intensity of pain related to the past 2 weeks was evaluated on a visual analog scale (VAS). The Val158Met polymorphism was determined using the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP), method. We divided patients according to the genotypes of the Val158Met polymorphism as Val/Val, Val/Met and Met/Met. There were not any significant differences in terms of Val158Met polymorphisms between patients and healthy controls (p >0.05). We also did not find any relationships between the Val158Met polymorphism and CTS (p >0.05). In conclusion, although we did not find any relationships between CTS and the Val158Met polymorphism, we could not generalize this result to the general population. Future studies are warranted to conclude precise associations.

  13. Genetic contribution of catechol-O-methyltransferase polymorphism (Val158Met) in children with chronic tension-type headache.

    PubMed

    Fernández-de-las-Peñas, César; Ambite-Quesada, Silvia; Rivas-Martínez, Inés; Ortega-Santiago, Ricardo; de-la-Llave-Rincón, Ana Isabel; Fernández-Mayoralas, Daniel M; Pareja, Juan A

    2011-10-01

    Our aim was to investigate the relationship between Val158Met polymorphisms, headache, and pressure hypersensitivity in children with chronic tension-type headache (CTTH). A case-control study with blinded assessor was conducted. Seventy children with CTTH associated with pericranial tenderness and 70 healthy children participated. After amplifying Val158Met polymorphism by polymerase chain reactions, we assessed genotype frequencies and allele distributions. We classified children according to their Val158Met polymorphism: Val/Val, Val/Met, Met/Met. Pressure pain thresholds (PPT) were bilaterally assessed over the temporalis, upper trapezius, second metacarpal, and tibialis anterior muscles. The distribution of Val158Met genotypes was not significantly different (p = 0.335), between children with CTTH and healthy children, and between boys and girls (p = 0.872). Children with CTTH with the Met/Met genotype showed a longer headache history compared with those with Met/Val (p = 0.001) or Val/Val (p = 0.002) genotype. Children with CTTH with Met/Met genotype showed lower PPT over upper trapezius and temporalis muscles than children with CTTH with Met/Val or Val/Val genotype (p < 0.01). The Val158Met catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) polymorphism does not appear to be involved in predisposition to suffer from CTTH in children; nevertheless, this genetic factor may be involved in the phenotypic expression, as pressure hypersensitivity was greater in those CTTH children with the Met/Met genotype.

  14. Gender-dependent association of the functional catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met genotype with sensation seeking personality trait.

    PubMed

    Lang, Undine E; Bajbouj, Malek; Bajbouj, Malck; Sander, Thomas; Gallinat, Juergen

    2007-09-01

    The gene encoding cathechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) contains a common functional missense polymorphism (Val158Met) that regulates dopamine in an allele-dependent manner. A pivotal role of dopamine neurotransmission in the prefrontal cortex has been implicated in drug-seeking behavior and related personality traits, such as sensation seeking, with some evidence for a gender-specific association. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the COMT Val158Met polymorphism modulates the personality dimension, sensation seeking, in a gender-dependent manner. Study sample included 214 male (age 38.1+/-12.6 years) and 218 female (age 36.1+/-13.6 years) healthy volunteers, who were assessed with Zuckerman's sensation-seeking scale and genotyped for the Val158Met polymorphism (dbSNP:rs4680). Univariate analysis of variance showed that the sensation seeking score was significantly affected by a COMT genotype x gender interaction (F=5.330, df=2, p=0.005). The Val158Met polymorphism was associated with the sensation seeking personality trait in women only. The highest scores in the sensation-seeking scale and in three of the four subscales were observed in female subjects with the Val/Val genotype relative to women carrying the Met allele. Our results suggest that high COMT enzyme activity associated with the Val allele predisposes to high sensation seeking scores in female subjects and add to increasing evidence for a gender specific role of COMT in normal and dysfunctional behavior.

  15. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism Is Associated with Somatosensory Amplification and Nocebo Responses

    PubMed Central

    Benson, Sven; Engler, Harald; Engler, Andrea; Hinney, Anke; Rief, Winfried; Witzke, Oliver; Schedlowski, Manfred

    2014-01-01

    A large number of unwanted adverse events and symptoms reported by patients in clinical trials are not caused by the drug provided, since most of adverse events also occur in corresponding placebo groups. These nocebo effects also play a major role in drug discontinuation in clinical practice, negatively affecting treatment efficacy as well as patient adherence and compliance. Experimental and clinical data document a large interindividual variability in nocebo responses, however, data on psychological, biological or genetic predictors of nocebo responses are lacking. Thus, with an established paradigm of behaviorally conditioned immunosuppressive effects we analyzed possible genetic predictors for nocebo responses. We focused on the genetic polymorphisms in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene (Val158Met) and analyzed drug specific and general side effects before and after immunosuppressive medication and subsequent placebo intake in 62 healthy male subjects. Significantly more drug-specific as well as general side effects were reported from homozygous carriers of the Val158 variant during medication as well as placebo treatment compared to the other genotype groups. Val158/Val158 carriers also had significantly higher scores in the somatosensory amplification scale (SSAS) and the BMQ (beliefs about medicine questionnaire). Together these data demonstrate potential genetic and psychological variables predicting nocebo responses after drug and placebo intake, which might be utilized to minimize nocebo effects in clinical trials and medical practice. PMID:25222607

  16. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158met polymorphism interacts with early experience to predict executive functions in early childhood.

    PubMed

    Blair, Clancy; Sulik, Michael; Willoughby, Michael; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Petrill, Stephen; Bartlett, Christopher; Greenberg, Mark

    2015-11-01

    Numerous studies demonstrate that the Methionine variant of the catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism, which confers less efficient catabolism of catecholamines, is associated with increased focal activation of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and higher levels of executive function abilities. By and large, however, studies of COMT Val158Met have been conducted with adult samples and do not account for the context in which development is occurring. Effects of early adversity on stress response physiology and the inverted U shape relating catecholamine levels to neural activity in PFC indicate the need to take into account early experience when considering relations between genes such as COMT and executive cognitive ability. Consistent with this neurobiology, we find in a prospective longitudinal sample of children and families (N = 1292) that COMT Val158Met interacts with early experience to predict executive function abilities in early childhood. Specifically, the Valine variant of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, which confers more rather than less efficient catabolism of catecholamines is associated with higher executive function abilities at child ages 48 and 60 months and with faster growth of executive function for children experiencing early adversity, as indexed by cumulative risk factors in the home at child ages 7, 15, 24, and 36 months. Findings indicate the importance of the early environment for the relation between catecholamine genes and developmental outcomes and demonstrate that the genetic moderation of environmental risk is detectable in early childhood.

  17. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158met Polymorphism Interacts With Early Experience to Predict Executive Functions in Early Childhood

    PubMed Central

    Blair, Clancy; Sulik, Michael; Willoughby, Michael; Mills-Koonce, Roger; Petrill, Stephen; Bartlett, Christopher; Greenberg, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Numerous studies demonstrate that the Methionine variant of the catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism, which confers less efficient catabolism of catecholamines, is associated with increased focal activation of prefrontal cortex (PFC) and higher levels of executive function abilities. By and large, however, studies of COMT Val158Met have been conducted with adult samples and do not account for the context in which development is occurring. Effects of early adversity on stress response physiology and the inverted U shape relating catecholamine levels to neural activity in PFC indicate the need to take into account early experience when considering relations between genes such as COMT and executive cognitive ability. Consistent with this neurobiology, we find in a prospective longitudinal sample of children and families (N=1292) that COMT Val158Met interacts with early experience to predict executive function abilities in early childhood. Specifically, the Valine variant of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, which confers more rather than less efficient catabolism of catecholamines is associated with higher executive function abilities at child ages 48 and 60 months and with faster growth of executive function for children experiencing early adversity, as indexed by cumulative risk factors in the home at child ages 7, 15, 24, and 36 months. Findings indicate the importance of the early environment for the relation between catecholamine genes and developmental outcomes and demonstrate that the genetic moderation of environmental risk is detectable in early childhood. PMID:26251232

  18. Cathecol-O-methyl transferase Val158Met genotype is not a risk factor for conversion disorder.

    PubMed

    Armagan, E; Almacıoglu, M L; Yakut, T; Köse, A; Karkucak, M; Köksal, O; Görükmez, O

    2013-03-19

    Alterations in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity are involved in various types of neurological disorders. We examined a possible association between the COMT Val158Met polymorphism and conversion disorder in a study of 48 patients with conversion disorder and 48 control patients. In the conversion disorder group, 31 patients were Val/Met heterozygotes, 15 patients were Val/Val homozygotes and 2 patients were Met/Met homozygotes. In the control group, 32 patients were Val/Met heterozygotes and 16 patients were Val/Val homozygotes. There was no significant difference between the groups. We conclude that the COMT Val158Met genotype is quite common in Turkey and that it is not a risk factor for conversion disorder in the Turkish population.

  19. Predictors of heroin relapse: Personality traits, impulsivity, COMT gene Val158met polymorphism in a 5-year prospective study in Shanghai, China.

    PubMed

    Su, Hang; Li, Zhibin; Du, Jiang; Jiang, Haifeng; Chen, Zhikang; Sun, Haiming; Zhao, Min

    2015-12-01

    Relapse is a typical feature of heroin addiction and rooted in genetic and psychological determinants. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of personality traits, impulsivity, and COMT gene polymorphism (rs4680) on relapse to heroin use during 5-year follow up. 564 heroin dependent patients were enrolled in compulsory drug rehabilitation center. 12 months prior to their release, personality traits were measured by BIS-11 (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11) and Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI). The COMT gene rs4680 polymorphism was genotyped using a DNA sequence detection system. The heroin use status was evaluated for 5 years after discharged. Among the 564 heroin-dependent patients, 500 were followed for 5 years after discharge and 53.0% (n = 265) were considered as relapsed to heroin use according to a strict monitor system. Univariate analysis showed that age, having ever been in methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), the total scores and non-planning scores of BIS-11, and the COMT rs4680 gene variants were different between relapse and abstinent groups. Logistic regression analysis showed higher BIS total score, having ever been in MMT and younger first heroin use age are the predictors of relapse to heroin use during 5 years follow-up, and the COMT rs4680 gene had an interaction with BIS scores. Our findings indicated that the impulsive personality traits, methadone use history, and onset age could predict relapse in heroin-dependent patients during 5 year's follow up. The COMT gene showed a moderational effect in part the relationship of impulsivity with heroin relapse.

  20. Catechol-O-methyltransferase val(158)met Polymorphism Interacts with Sex to Affect Face Recognition Ability.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Yvette N; McKay, Nicole S; Singh, Shrimal S; Waldie, Karen E; Kirk, Ian J

    2016-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) val158met polymorphism affects the breakdown of synaptic dopamine. Consequently, this polymorphism has been associated with a variety of neurophysiological and behavioral outcomes. Some of the effects have been found to be sex-specific and it appears estrogen may act to down-regulate the activity of the COMT enzyme. The dopaminergic system has been implicated in face recognition, a form of cognition for which a female advantage has typically been reported. This study aimed to investigate potential joint effects of sex and COMT genotype on face recognition. A sample of 142 university students was genotyped and assessed using the Faces I subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale - Third Edition (WMS-III). A significant two-way interaction between sex and COMT genotype on face recognition performance was found. Of the male participants, COMT val homozygotes and heterozygotes had significantly lower scores than met homozygotes. Scores did not differ between genotypes for female participants. While male val homozygotes had significantly lower scores than female val homozygotes, no sex differences were observed in the heterozygotes and met homozygotes. This study contributes to the accumulating literature documenting sex-specific effects of the COMT polymorphism by demonstrating a COMT-sex interaction for face recognition, and is consistent with a role for dopamine in face recognition.

  1. Catechol-O-methyltransferase val158met Polymorphism Interacts with Sex to Affect Face Recognition Ability

    PubMed Central

    Lamb, Yvette N.; McKay, Nicole S.; Singh, Shrimal S.; Waldie, Karen E.; Kirk, Ian J.

    2016-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) val158met polymorphism affects the breakdown of synaptic dopamine. Consequently, this polymorphism has been associated with a variety of neurophysiological and behavioral outcomes. Some of the effects have been found to be sex-specific and it appears estrogen may act to down-regulate the activity of the COMT enzyme. The dopaminergic system has been implicated in face recognition, a form of cognition for which a female advantage has typically been reported. This study aimed to investigate potential joint effects of sex and COMT genotype on face recognition. A sample of 142 university students was genotyped and assessed using the Faces I subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale – Third Edition (WMS-III). A significant two-way interaction between sex and COMT genotype on face recognition performance was found. Of the male participants, COMT val homozygotes and heterozygotes had significantly lower scores than met homozygotes. Scores did not differ between genotypes for female participants. While male val homozygotes had significantly lower scores than female val homozygotes, no sex differences were observed in the heterozygotes and met homozygotes. This study contributes to the accumulating literature documenting sex-specific effects of the COMT polymorphism by demonstrating a COMT-sex interaction for face recognition, and is consistent with a role for dopamine in face recognition. PMID:27445927

  2. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism Associates with Individual Differences in Sleep Physiologic Responses to Chronic Sleep Loss

    PubMed Central

    Goel, Namni; Banks, Siobhan; Lin, Ling; Mignot, Emmanuel; Dinges, David F.

    2011-01-01

    Background The COMT Val158Met polymorphism modulates cortical dopaminergic catabolism, and predicts individual differences in prefrontal executive functioning in healthy adults and schizophrenic patients, and associates with EEG differences during sleep loss. We assessed whether the COMT Val158Met polymorphism was a novel marker in healthy adults of differential vulnerability to chronic partial sleep deprivation (PSD), a condition distinct from total sleep loss and one experienced by millions on a daily and persistent basis. Methodology/Principal Findings 20 Met/Met, 64 Val/Met, and 45 Val/Val subjects participated in a protocol of two baseline 10h time in bed (TIB) nights followed by five consecutive 4 h TIB nights. Met/Met subjects showed differentially steeper declines in non-REM EEG slow-wave energy (SWE)—the putative homeostatic marker of sleep drive—during PSD, despite comparable baseline SWE declines. Val/Val subjects showed differentially smaller increases in slow-wave sleep and smaller reductions in stage 2 sleep during PSD, and had more stage 1 sleep across nights and a shorter baseline REM sleep latency. The genotypes, however, did not differ in performance across various executive function and cognitive tasks and showed comparable increases in subjective and physiological sleepiness in response to chronic sleep loss. Met/Met genotypic and Met allelic frequencies were higher in whites than African Americans. Conclusions/Significance The COMT Val158Met polymorphism may be a genetic biomarker for predicting individual differences in sleep physiology—but not in cognitive and executive functioning—resulting from sleep loss in a healthy, racially-diverse adult population of men and women. Beyond healthy sleepers, our results may also provide insight for predicting sleep loss responses in patients with schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders, since these groups repeatedly experience chronically-curtailed sleep and demonstrate COMT

  3. Association Between the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism and Self-Perceived Social Acceptance in Adolescent Girls

    PubMed Central

    Dearing, Karen F.; Joormann, Jutta; Gotlib, Ian H.

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Low perceived social acceptance is a significant risk factor for emotional difficulties in children. No studies, however, have examined genetic factors that may underlie individual differences in perceived social acceptance. In the present study we examined the relation between polymorphisms on the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met and serotonin transporter promoter (5-HTTLPR) genes and perceived social acceptance in 103 adolescent girls. Only the COMT polymorphism was related to perceived social acceptance: Val-allele carriers reported greater perceived social acceptance than did homozygous Met-allele carriers. In a subsample of these participants, homozygous Val-allele carriers reported greater maintenance of positive emotions during stress. This, in turn, predicted social acceptance, suggesting that COMT exerts its effects on social functioning through emotion regulation. These data are the first to show an association between COMT and social functioning in children. Future research might profitably examine emotion regulation as a mediator between COMT and social acceptance. PMID:19702491

  4. Affect-modulated startle: interactive influence of catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met genotype and childhood trauma.

    PubMed

    Klauke, Benedikt; Winter, Bernward; Gajewska, Agnes; Zwanzger, Peter; Reif, Andreas; Herrmann, Martin J; Dlugos, Andrea; Warrings, Bodo; Jacob, Christian; Mühlberger, Andreas; Arolt, Volker; Pauli, Paul; Deckert, Jürgen; Domschke, Katharina

    2012-01-01

    The etiology of emotion-related disorders such as anxiety or affective disorders is considered to be complex with an interaction of biological and environmental factors. Particular evidence has accumulated for alterations in the dopaminergic and noradrenergic system--partly conferred by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene variation--for the adenosinergic system as well as for early life trauma to constitute risk factors for those conditions. Applying a multi-level approach, in a sample of 95 healthy adults, we investigated effects of the functional COMT Val158Met polymorphism, caffeine as an adenosine A2A receptor antagonist (300 mg in a placebo-controlled intervention design) and childhood maltreatment (CTQ) as well as their interaction on the affect-modulated startle response as a neurobiologically founded defensive reflex potentially related to fear- and distress-related disorders. COMT val/val genotype significantly increased startle magnitude in response to unpleasant stimuli, while met/met homozygotes showed a blunted startle response to aversive pictures. Furthermore, significant gene-environment interaction of COMT Val158Met genotype with CTQ was discerned with more maltreatment being associated with higher startle potentiation in val/val subjects but not in met carriers. No main effect of or interaction effects with caffeine were observed. Results indicate a main as well as a GxE effect of the COMT Val158Met variant and childhood maltreatment on the affect-modulated startle reflex, supporting a complex pathogenetic model of the affect-modulated startle reflex as a basic neurobiological defensive reflex potentially related to anxiety and affective disorders.

  5. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism and Clinical Response to Antipsychotic Treatment in Schizophrenia and Schizo-Affective Disorder Patients: a Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Eric; Zai, Clement C.; Lisoway, Amanda; Maciukiewicz, Malgorzata; Felsky, Daniel; Tiwari, Arun K.; Bishop, Jeffrey R.; Ikeda, Masashi; Molero, Patricio; Ortuno, Felipe; Porcelli, Stefano; Samochowiec, Jerzy; Mierzejewski, Pawel; Gao, Shugui; Crespo-Facorro, Benedicto; Pelayo-Terán, José M; Kaur, Harpreet; Kukreti, Ritushree; Meltzer, Herbert Y.; Lieberman, Jeffrey A.; Potkin, Steven G.; Müller, Daniel J.

    2016-01-01

    Background: The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme plays a crucial role in dopamine degradation, and the COMT Val158Met polymorphism (rs4680) is associated with significant differences in enzymatic activity and consequently dopamine concentrations in the prefrontal cortex. Multiple studies have analyzed the COMT Val158Met variant in relation to antipsychotic response. Here, we conducted a meta-analysis examining the relationship between COMT Val158Met and antipsychotic response. Methods: Searches using PubMed, Web of Science, and PsycInfo databases (03/01/2015) yielded 23 studies investigating COMT Val158Met variation and antipsychotic response in schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorder. Responders/nonresponders were defined using each study’s original criteria. If no binary response definition was used, authors were asked to define response according to at least 30% Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale score reduction (or equivalent in other scales). Analysis was conducted under a fixed-effects model. Results: Ten studies met inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis. Five additional antipsychotic-treated samples were analyzed for Val158Met and response and included in the meta-analysis (ntotal=1416). Met/Met individuals were significantly more likely to respond than Val-carriers (P=.039, ORMet/Met=1.37, 95% CI: 1.02–1.85). Met/Met patients also experienced significantly greater improvement in positive symptoms relative to Val-carriers (P=.030, SMD=0.24, 95% CI: 0.024–0.46). Posthoc analyses on patients treated with atypical antipsychotics (n=1207) showed that Met/Met patients were significantly more likely to respond relative to Val-carriers (P=.0098, ORMet/Met=1.54, 95% CI: 1.11–2.14), while no difference was observed for typical-antipsychotic-treated patients (n=155) (P=.65). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with response to antipsychotics in schizophrenia and schizo-affective disorder

  6. Catechol-O-methyltransferase val158met genotype determines effect of reboxetine on emotional memory in healthy male volunteers

    PubMed Central

    Gibbs, Ayana A.; Bautista, Carla E.; Mowlem, Florence D.; Naudts, Kris H.; Duka, Dora T.

    2014-01-01

    Background Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catecholamines in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). A common polymorphism in the COMT gene (COMT val158met) has pleiotropic effects on cognitive and emotional processing. The met allele has been associated with enhanced cognitive processing but impaired emotional processing relative to the val allele. Methods We genotyped healthy, white men in relation to the COMT val158met polymorphism. They were given a single 4 mg dose of the selective noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (NRI) reboxetine or placebo in a randomized, double-blind between-subjects model and then completed an emotional memory task 2 hours later. Results We included 75 men in the study; 41 received reboxetine and 34 received placebo. In the placebo group, met/met carriers did not demonstrate the usual memory advantage for emotional stimuli that was observed in val carriers. Reboxetine restored this emotional enhancement of memory in met/met carriers, but had no significant effect in val carriers. Limitations We studied only men, thus limiting the generalizability of our findings. We also relied on self-reported responses to screening questions to establish healthy volunteer status, and in spite of the double-blind design, participants were significantly better than chance at identifying their intervention allocation. Conclusion Emotional memory is impaired in healthy met homozygotes and selectively improved in this group by reboxetine. This has potential translational implications for the use of reboxetine, which is currently licensed as an antidepressant in several countries, and edivoxetine, a new selective NRI currently in development. PMID:24467942

  7. The catechol-o-methyltransferase Val158Met polymorphism modulates the intrinsic functional network centrality of the parahippocampal cortex in healthy subjects

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaolong; Li, Jin; Qin, Wen; Yu, Chunshui; Liu, Bing; Jiang, Tianzi

    2015-01-01

    The influence of catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met on brain activation and functional connectivity has been widely reported. However, voxel-wise effects of this genotype on resting-state brain networks remain unclear. Here, we used resting-state fMRI and eigenvector centrality to examine the effects of COMT Val158Met genotypes on the connection patterns of the brain network and working memory (WM) in healthy, young Val/Val and Met carrier subjects. There were significant differences in the performance level on the 2-back WM task between the different COMT genotypes: Val/Val individuals exhibited a higher correct rate compared to the Met carriers. A two-sample t test was used to examine the differences in the eigenvector centrality maps, using age and gender as covariates of no interest, between the Val/Val and Met carriers. We found that the Val/Val individuals exhibited significantly higher eigenvector centrality compared to the Met carriers in the left parahippocampal cortex. Furthermore, a significantly positive correlation between the mean eigenvector centrality of the significant cluster and the correct rate of the 2-back WM task was observed. By using a voxel-wise data-driven method, our findings may provide plausible implications regarding individual differences in the genetic contribution of COMT Val158Met to the brain network and cognition. PMID:26054510

  8. Differential Effects of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Genotype on the Cognitive Function of Schizophrenia Patients and Healthy Japanese Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Tsuchimine, Shoko; Yasui-Furukori, Norio; Kaneda, Ayako; Kaneko, Sunao

    2013-01-01

    Background The functional polymorphism Val158Met in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been associated with differences in prefrontal cognitive functions in patients with schizophrenia and healthy individuals. Several studies have indicated that the Met allele is associated with better performance on measures of cognitive function. We investigated whether the COMT Val158Met genotype was associated with cognitive function in 149 healthy controls and 118 patients with schizophrenia. Methods Cognitive function, including verbal memory, working memory, motor speed, attention, executive function and verbal fluency, was assessed by the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS-J). We employed a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and a multiple regression analysis to determine the associations between the COMT Val158Met genotype and the BACS-J measurements. Results The one-way ANOVA revealed a significant difference in the scores on the Tower of London, a measure of executive function, between the different Val158Met genotypes in the healthy controls (p = 0.023), and a post-hoc analysis showed significant differences between the scores on the Tower of London in the val/val genotype group (18.6 ± 2.4) compared to the other two groups (17.6 ± 2.7 for val/met and 17.1 ± 3.2 for met/met; p = 0.027 and p = 0.024, respectively). Multiple regression analyses revealed that executive function was significantly correlated with the Val158Met genotype (p = 0.003). However, no evidence was found for an effect of the COMT on any cognitive domains of the BACS-J in the patients with schizophrenia. Conclusion These data support the hypothesis that the COMT Val158Met genotype maintains an optimal level of dopamine activity. Further studies should be performed that include a larger sample size and include patients on and off medication, as these patients would help to confirm our findings. PMID:24282499

  9. The Role of a Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met Genetic Polymorphism in Schizophrenia: A Systematic Review and Updated Meta-analysis on 32,816 Subjects.

    PubMed

    González-Castro, Thelma Beatriz; Hernández-Díaz, Yazmin; Juárez-Rojop, Isela Esther; López-Narváez, María Lilia; Tovilla-Zárate, Carlos Alfonso; Fresan, Ana

    2016-06-01

    An association between a catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val156Met (rs4680) polymorphism and schizophrenia has been reported in the literature, although no conclusive outcomes have been attained. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of the COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism with schizophrenia in a systematic review and meta-analysis. We performed a keyword search on PubMed and EBSCO databases. All English language case-control studies published up to April 2015 were selected. A total of 67 studies were selected for inclusion. The genotype distribution of subjects with schizophrenia was compared with healthy control subjects, using allelic, additive, dominant and recessive models. The pooled results from the meta-analysis (15,565 cases and 17,251 healthy subjects) after the elimination of heterogeneity showed an association between COMT Val108/158Met and schizophrenia [recessive model: OR 1.08 CI 95 % (1.01-1.15)]. We conducted subgroup analyses according to ethnicity. An association was observed in our Caucasian population in the additive model [OR 1.21 CI 95 % (1.06-1.37)] and in the recessive model [OR 1.21 CI 95 % (1.11-1.32)], but not in the allelic or dominant models. However, when we analysed our Asian population after the elimination of heterogeneity, no evidence of a significant association was found in any of the genetic models. Our analyses indicate that there is an association between COMT Val108/158Met and schizophrenia in the general population. Furthermore, in Caucasian populations, this risk could be increased.

  10. Association of the Catechol O-Methyltransferase Val158-Met Polymorphism and Reduced Interference Control in Korean Children with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Park, Subin; Park, Jong-Eun; Yoo, Hee Jeong; Kim, Jae-Won; Cheong, Jae Hoon; Han, Doug Hyun; Kim, Yeni

    2015-01-01

    Objective We tested for association of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158-Met (rs4680) polymorphism with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using family-based test in Korean trios. Methods A total of 181 subjects with ADHD along with both of their biological parents were recruited from University Hospitals in Korea. We performed a transmission disequilibrium test (TDT) on 181 trios. Results In the TDT, we found the over-transmission of the Val allele in children with ADHD (χ2=4.21, p=0.040). Conclusion These results suggest that the COMT Val158-Met polymorphism is associated with ADHD among the Korean population. However, this study must be replicated in larger populations. PMID:26508970

  11. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism on the Relationship between White Matter Hyperintensity and Cognition in Healthy People

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Mu-En; Huang, Chu-Chung; Yang, Albert C.; Tu, Pei-Chi; Yeh, Heng-Liang; Hong, Chen-Jee; Liou, Ying-Jay; Chen, Jin-Fan; Chou, Kun-Hsien; Lin, Ching-Po; Tsai, Shih-Jen

    2014-01-01

    Background White matter lesions can be easily observed on T2-weighted MR images, and are termed white matter hyperintensities (WMH). Their presence may be correlated with cognitive impairment; however, the relationship between regional WMH volume and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism in healthy populations remains unclear. Methods We recruited 315 ethnic Chinese adults with a mean age of 54.9±21.8 years (range: 21–89 y) to examine the genetic effect of COMT on regional WMH and the manner in which they interact to affect cognitive function in a healthy adult population. Cognitive tests, structural MRI scans, and genotyping of COMT were conducted for each participant. Results Negative correlations between the Digit Span Forward (DSF) score and frontal WMH volumes (r = −.123, P = .032, uncorrected) were noted. For the genetic effect of COMT, no significant difference in cognitive performance was observed among 3 genotypic groups. However, differences in WMH volumes over the subcortical region (P = .016, uncorrected), whole brain (P = .047, uncorrected), and a trend over the frontal region (P = .050, uncorrected) were observed among 3 COMT genotypic groups. Met homozygotes and Met/Val heterozygotes exhibited larger WMH volumes in these brain regions than the Val homozygotes. Furthermore, a correlation between the DSF and regional WMH volume was observed only in Met homozygotes. The effect size (cohen’s f) revealed a small effect. Conclusions The results indicate that COMT might modulate WMH volumes and the effects of WMH on cognition. PMID:24551149

  12. Protective Role of Maternal P.VAL158MET Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Polymorphism against Early-Onset Preeclampsia and its Complications

    PubMed Central

    Mirković, Ljiljana; Ignjatović, Svetlana; Tomašević, Dragana; Lukić, Jelena; Topalov, Drina; Soldatović, Ivan; Majkić-Singh, Nada

    2016-01-01

    Summary Background Up until now there have been contradictory data about the association between p.Val158Met catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) polymorphism and risk of preeclampsia (PE). The goal of this study was to assess the potential correlation between p.Val158Met COMT polymorphism and risk of early-onset PE, risk of a severe form of early-onset PE, as well as risk of small-for-gestational-age (SGA) complicating PE. Methods The study included 47 early-onset PE patients and 47 control cases. Forty-seven early-onset PE patients were grouped by disease severity (33 patients with a severe form and 14 patients without severe features) and secondly by size for gestational age (12 patients with appropriate-for-gestational-age (AGA) and 35 patients with SGA size). p.Val158Met polymorphism was genotyped by PCR-RFLP analysis. Results Allele analysis showed significant difference in COMT allele distribution between early-onset PE and control group as well as early-onset PE SGA and controls (p=0.04057 and p=0.0411 respectively). A statistically significant distribution difference between the severe form and form without severe features of early-onset PE patients was not observed (p>0.05). The highest difference observed was in the allele recessive model where COMT MetMet genotype was associated with decreased risk of early-onset PE (OR=0.281; 95%CI = 0.092–0.7836) and PE complications including severe early-onset PE (OR= 0.304; 95%CI=0.086–0.944) and SGA early-onset PE (OR=0.284; 95%CI=0.081–0.874). Conclusions COMT may be used as a candidate gene for early-onset PE and its severe form and SGA complications. PMID:28356882

  13. The Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphism Contributes to the Risk of Breast Cancer in the Chinese Population: An Updated Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Guo-Xing; Cao, Yu-Wen; Li, Wen-Qin; Li, Yu-Cong; Li, Feng

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme plays a central role in estrogen-induced carcinogenesis. Emerging evidence from association studies has revealed that the functional Val158Met polymorphism (rs4680 G>A) of the Catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) has been implicated in susceptibility to breast cancer in the Chinese population, while results of individual published studies remain inconclusive and inconsistent. To assess this association in the Chinese population, a meta-analysis was performed. Methods Eligible studies were searched on MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Library, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, and the Chinese Biomedicine Database. Odds ratios (ORs) with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were pooled to assess the association between COMT polymorphisms and the risk of breast cancer using RevMan 5.2 and Stata 12.0 software. Results The meta-analysis included 14 eligible studies, with a total of 4,626 breast cancer cases and 5,637 controls. Overall, the COMT Val158Met polymorphism (rs4680 G>A) was significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in several genetic models (A/A vs. G/G: OR, 1.59, 95% CI, 1.12-2.27; A/A vs. G/A+G/G: OR, 1.62, 95% CI, 1.14-2.29; A vs. G: OR, 1.15, 95% CI, 1.00-1.32), and a subgroup analysis according to menopausal status showed that this association was especially evident among premenopausal Chinese women (A/A vs. G/G: OR, 1.87, 95% CI, 0.99-3.54; A/A vs. G/A+G/G: OR, 1.94, 95% CI, 1.03-3.63). Conclusion The results of this meta-analysis indicated that COMT Val158Met variants contribute to breast cancer susceptibility in the Chinese population, particularly among premenopausal women. PMID:25013436

  14. Dopamine D3 Receptor Ser9Gly and Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met Polymorphisms and Acute Pain in Sickle Cell Disease

    PubMed Central

    Jhun, Ellie; He, Ying; Yao, Yingwei; Molokie, Robert E.; Wilkie, Diana J.; Wang, Zaijie Jim

    2014-01-01

    Background Pain in sickle cell disease (SCD) is characterized by episodes of acute pain, primarily responsible for acute health care utilization, and persistent chronic pain. Pain severity and frequency vary significantly among SCD patients. In this study, we investigated the possible contribution of monoamine gene polymorphisms to pain variation. Methods Adult subjects with SCD completed PAINReportIt®, a computerized McGill Pain Questionnaire, from which we calculated the Composite Pain Index. Utilization data were obtained from the medical record and biweekly telephone calls for 12 months. Utilization is defined as admissions to the emergency department and/or the acute care center resulting from a sickle cell pain crisis. We performed genotyping for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met (rs4680) and dopamine D3 receptor(DRD3) Ser9Gly (rs6280) polymorphisms, which were analyzed for associations with pain phenotypes. Results Binary logistic models revealed that DRD3 Ser9Gly heterozygote patients were more likely not to have an acute pain crisis (odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval (CI)], 4.37 [1.39, 22.89]; p=0.020), which remained so when demographic variables were considered (OR [95% CI], 4.53 [1.41, 28.58]; p=0.016). COMT Val158Met Met allele showed lower probability for zero utilization (OR [95% CI], 0.32 [0.12, 0.83]; p=0.020) than the Val allele. In the negative binomial regression analysis, subjects with COMT Met/Met genotype had utilization incident rate ratio [95% CI] of 2.20 [1.21, 3.99] over those with Val/Val (p=0.010). Conclusions These exploratory findings suggest that DRD3 Ser9Gly and COMT Val158Met may contribute to pain heterogeneity in SCD, as suggested by the different rates of acute pain crisis. Specifically, SCD patients with the DRD3 homozygote genotypes, COMT 158 Met allele or Met/Met genotype are more likely to have acute care utilization, an indicator of acute pain. These results, however, will need to be further examined in

  15. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met genotype and the clinical responses to duloxetine treatment or plasma levels of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol and homovanillic acid in Japanese patients with major depressive disorder

    PubMed Central

    Atake, Kiyokazu; Yoshimura, Reiji; Hori, Hikaru; Katsuki, Asuka; Nakamura, Jun

    2015-01-01

    Purpose This study investigated the relationships among the plasma levels of catecholamine metabolites, the clinical response to duloxetine treatment, and Val158Met polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene. Subjects and methods Sixty-four patients and 30 healthy control subjects were recruited. Major depressive episodes were diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision criteria. The severity of depression was evaluated using the 17-item Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAMD17). Patients whose HAMD17 scores were 15 or greater were enrolled in the study. Blood sampling and clinical evaluation were performed at week 0 and week 8. The levels of plasma catecholamine metabolites were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection. Genotyping was performed using direct sequencing. Results Thirty of 45 patients (67%) responded to duloxetine treatment during the 8 weeks of treatment. The baseline plasma levels of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol (MHPG), but not homovanillic acid (HVA), were lower in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) who had the Val/Val genotype than in patients who were Met-carriers. Patients with MDD and the Val/Val genotype, but not Met carriers, had increased plasma levels of MHPG after 8 weeks of duloxetine treatment. The baseline plasma MHPG levels in healthy control subjects with the Val/Val genotype were significantly higher than those in patients with MDD. Among the subjects in the MDD group with the Val/Val genotype, the plasma MHPG levels increased to the same degree as in the healthy control subjects with the Val/Val genotype after 8 weeks of duloxetine treatment. Conclusion The relationship among the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, plasma levels of catecholamine metabolites, and responses to duloxetine is complex. Nevertheless, our results suggest that patients with MDD and the

  16. Voxelwise eigenvector centrality mapping of the human functional connectome reveals an influence of the catechol-O-methyltransferase val158met polymorphism on the default mode and somatomotor network.

    PubMed

    Markett, Sebastian; Montag, Christian; Heeren, Behrend; Saryiska, Rayna; Lachmann, Bernd; Weber, Bernd; Reuter, Martin

    2016-06-01

    Functional connections between brain regions constitute the substrate of the human functional connectome, whose topography has been discussed as an endophenotype for psychiatric disorders. Genetic influences on the entire connectome, however, have been rarely investigated so far. We tested for connectome-wide influences of the val158met (rs4860) polymorphism on the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene by applying formal network analysis and eigenvector centrality mapping on the voxel level to resting-state functional magnetic imaging data. This approach finds brain regions that are central in the network by aggregating local and global connectivity patterns, most importantly without the requirement to select regions or networks of interest. The COMT variant linked to high enzyme activity increased network centrality in distributed brain areas that are known to constitute the brain's default mode network. Further results also indicated a COMT influence on areas implicated in the somatomotor network. These findings are in line with the polymorphism's alleged role in cognitive processing and its role in psychotic disorders. The study is the first to demonstrate the influence of a functional and behaviorally relevant genetic variant on connectome-wide functional connectivity and is an important step toward establishing the functional connectome as an endophenotype for psychiatric and behavioral phenotypes.

  17. Allelic and genotype frequencies of catechol-O-methyltransferase (Val158Met) and CYP2D6*10 (Pro34Ser) single nucleotide polymorphisms in the Philippines

    PubMed Central

    Baclig, Michael O; Predicala, Rey Z; Mapua, Cynthia A; Lozano-Kühne, Jingky P; Daroy, Maria Luisa G; Natividad, Filipinas F; Javier, Francis O

    2012-01-01

    A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the allelic and genotype frequencies in the genes encoding for catechol-O-methyltransferase and CYP2D6*10 among healthy volunteers and patients clinically diagnosed with cancer pain. PCR-RFLP was used to identify COMT and CYP2D6*10 genotypes. Allelic frequencies among healthy volunteer Filipinos were 0.83 and 0.17 for the COMT Val and COMT Met alleles, respectively. Calculated frequencies in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) were 73% for COMT Val/Val, 26% for COMT Val/Met, and 1% for COMT Met/Met genotype. For CYP2D6*10, allelic frequencies in HWE among volunteers were 0.46 for the C allele and 0.54 for the T allele. Twenty percent were identified as homozygous for the wild-type C/C genotype, 56% were identified as heterozygous for the C/T genotype, and 24% were identified as homozygous for the T/T variant genotype. No significant differences in COMT and CYP2D6*10 allele frequencies between cancer patients and healthy volunteers were noted. Our data demonstrated that the allele frequencies of COMT and CYP2D6*10 in the Filipino healthy volunteers were similar with other Asians but markedly different from Caucasian populations. PMID:22724048

  18. Allelic and genotype frequencies of catechol-O-methyltransferase (Val158Met) and CYP2D6*10 (Pro34Ser) single nucleotide polymorphisms in the Philippines.

    PubMed

    Baclig, Michael O; Predicala, Rey Z; Mapua, Cynthia A; Lozano-Kühne, Jingky P; Daroy, Maria Luisa G; Natividad, Filipinas F; Javier, Francis O

    2012-01-01

    A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted to determine the allelic and genotype frequencies in the genes encoding for catechol-O-methyltransferase and CYP2D6*10 among healthy volunteers and patients clinically diagnosed with cancer pain. PCR-RFLP was used to identify COMT and CYP2D6*10 genotypes. Allelic frequencies among healthy volunteer Filipinos were 0.83 and 0.17 for the COMT Val and COMT Met alleles, respectively. Calculated frequencies in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) were 73% for COMT Val/Val, 26% for COMT Val/Met, and 1% for COMT Met/Met genotype. For CYP2D6*10, allelic frequencies in HWE among volunteers were 0.46 for the C allele and 0.54 for the T allele. Twenty percent were identified as homozygous for the wild-type C/C genotype, 56% were identified as heterozygous for the C/T genotype, and 24% were identified as homozygous for the T/T variant genotype. No significant differences in COMT and CYP2D6*10 allele frequencies between cancer patients and healthy volunteers were noted. Our data demonstrated that the allele frequencies of COMT and CYP2D6*10 in the Filipino healthy volunteers were similar with other Asians but markedly different from Caucasian populations.

  19. Association of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Polymorphism and Academic Achievement in a Chinese Cohort

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yeh, Ting-Kuang; Chang, Chun-Yen; Hu, Chung-Yi; Yeh, Ting-Chi; Lin, Ming-Yeh

    2009-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a methylation enzyme that catalyzes the degradation pathway and inactivation of dopamine. It is accepted widely as being involved in the modulation of dopaminergic physiology and prefrontal cortex (PFC) function. The COMT Val158Met polymorphism is associated with variation in COMT activity. COMT 158Met allele…

  20. Child Exposure to Serious Life Events, COMT, and Aggression: Testing Differential Susceptibility Theory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hygen, Beate Wold; Belsky, Jay; Stenseng, Frode; Lydersen, Stian; Guzey, Ismail Cuneyt; Wichstrøm, Lars

    2015-01-01

    Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to individual differences in aggression. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met (COMT), a common, functional polymorphism, has been implicated in aggression and aggression traits, as have childhood experiences of adversity. It is unknown whether these effects are additive or interactional and, in…

  1. Hypnotizability and Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) polymorphysms in Italians

    PubMed Central

    Presciuttini, Silvano; Gialluisi, Alessandro; Barbuti, Serena; Curcio, Michele; Scatena, Fabrizio; Carli, Giancarlo; Santarcangelo, Enrica L.

    2014-01-01

    Higher brain dopamine content depending on lower activity of Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) in subjects with high hypnotizability scores (highs) has been considered responsible for their attentional characteristics. However, the results of the previous genetic studies on association between hypnotizability and the COMT single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4680 (Val158Met) were inconsistent. Here, we used a selective genotyping approach to re-evaluate the association between hypnotizability and COMT in the context of a two-SNP haplotype analysis, considering not only the Val158Met polymorphism, but also the closely located rs4818 SNP. An Italian sample of 53 highs, 49 low hypnotizable subjects (lows), and 57 controls, were genotyped for a segment of 805 bp of the COMT gene, including Val158Met and the closely located rs4818 SNP. Our selective genotyping approach had 97.1% power to detect the previously reported strongest association at the significance level of 5%. We found no evidence of association at the SNP, haplotype, and diplotype levels. Thus, our results challenge the dopamine-based theory of hypnosis and indirectly support recent neuropsychological and neurophysiological findings reporting the lack of any association between hypnotizability and focused attention abilities. PMID:24431998

  2. Epistasis Between Polymorphisms in COMT, ESR1, and GCH1 Influences COMT Enzyme Activity and Pain

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Shad B.; Reenilä, Ilkka; Männistö, Pekka T.; Slade, Gary D.; Maixner, William; Diatchenko, Luda; Nackley, Andrea G.

    2014-01-01

    Abnormalities in the enzymatic activity of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) contribute to chronic pain conditions, such as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Thus, we sought to determine the effects of polymorphisms in COMT and functionally-related pain genes in the COMT pathway (estrogen receptor 1: ESR1, guanosine-5-triphosphate cyclohydrolase 1: GCH1, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase: MTHFR) on COMT enzymatic activity, musculoskeletal pain, and pain-related intermediate phenotypes among TMD cases and healthy controls. Results demonstrate that the COMT rs4680 (val158met) polymorphism is most strongly associated with outcome measures, such that individuals with the minor A allele (met) exhibit reduced COMT activity, increased TMD risk, and increased musculoskeletal pain. Epistatic interactions were observed between the COMT rs4680 polymorphism and polymorphisms in GCH1 and ESR1. Among individuals with the COMT met allele, those with two copies of the GCH1 rs10483639 minor G allele exhibit normalized COMT activity and increased mechanical pain thresholds. Among individuals with the COMT val allele, those with two copies of the ESR1 rs3020377 minor A allele exhibit reduced COMT activity, increased bodily pain, and poorer self-reported health. These data reveal that the GCH1 minor G allele confers a protective advantage among met carriers, while the ESR1 minor A allele is disadvantageous among val carriers. Furthermore, these data suggest that the ability to predict the downstream effects of genetic variation on COMT activity is critically important to understanding the molecular basis of chronic pain conditions. PMID:25218601

  3. Epistasis between polymorphisms in COMT, ESR1, and GCH1 influences COMT enzyme activity and pain.

    PubMed

    Smith, Shad B; Reenilä, Ilkka; Männistö, Pekka T; Slade, Gary D; Maixner, William; Diatchenko, Luda; Nackley, Andrea G

    2014-11-01

    Abnormalities in the enzymatic activity of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) contribute to chronic pain conditions, such as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Thus, we sought to determine the effects of polymorphisms in COMT and functionally related pain genes in the COMT pathway (estrogen receptor 1 [ESR1], guanosine-5-triphosphate cyclohydrolase 1 [GCH1], methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase [MTHFR]) on COMT enzymatic activity, musculoskeletal pain, and pain-related intermediate phenotypes among TMD cases and healthy control subjects. Results show that the COMT rs4680 (val(158)met) polymorphism is most strongly associated with outcome measures, such that individuals with the minor A allele (met) exhibit reduced COMT activity, increased TMD risk, and increased musculoskeletal pain. Epistatic interactions were observed between the COMT rs4680 polymorphism and polymorphisms in GCH1 and ESR1. Among individuals with the COMT met allele, those with 2 copies of the GCH1 rs10483639 minor G allele exhibit normalized COMT activity and increased mechanical pain thresholds. Among individuals with the COMT val allele, those with 2 copies of the ESR1 rs3020377 minor A allele exhibit reduced COMT activity, increased bodily pain, and poorer self-reported health. These data reveal that the GCH1 minor G allele confers a protective advantage among met carriers, whereas the ESR1 minor A allele is disadvantageous among val carriers. Furthermore, these data suggest that the ability to predict the downstream effects of genetic variation on COMT activity is critically important to understanding the molecular basis of chronic pain conditions.

  4. Perception of emotion in facial stimuli: The interaction of ADRA2A and COMT genotypes, and sex.

    PubMed

    Tamm, Gerly; Kreegipuu, Kairi; Harro, Jaanus

    2016-01-04

    Emotional facial stimuli are important social signals that are essential to be perceived and recognized in order to make appropriate decisions and responses in everyday communication. The ability to voluntarily guide attention to perceive and recognize emotions, and react to them varies largely across individuals, and has a strong genetic component (Friedman et al., 2008). Two key genetic variants of the catecholamine system that have been related to emotion perception and attention are the catechol-O-methyl transferase genetic variant (COMT Val158Met) and the α2A-receptor gene promoter polymorphism (ADRA2A C-1291G) accordingly. So far, the interaction of the two with sex in emotion perception has not been studied. Multilevel modeling method was applied to study how COMT Val158Met, ADRA2A C-1291G and sex are associated with measures of emotion perception in a large sample of young adults. Participants (n=506) completed emotion recognition and behavioral emotion detection tasks. It was found that COMT Val158Met genotype in combination with the ADRA2A C-1291G and sex predicts emotion detection, and perception of valence and arousal. In simple visual detection, the ADRA2A C-1291G G-allele leads to slower detection of a highly arousing face (scheming), which is modulated by each additional COMT Val158Met Met-allele and male sex predicting faster responses. The combination of G-allele, Met-allele and male sex also predicts higher perceived negativity in sad faces. No effects of C-1291G, Val158Met, and sex were found on verbal emotion recognition. Applying the findings to study the interplay between catecholamine-O-methyl transferase activity and α2A-receptors in emotion perception disorders (such as ADHD, autism and schizophrenia) in men and women would be the next step towards understanding individual differences in emotion perception.

  5. [The association of COMT and DRD2 gene polymorphisms with a cognitive ability to understand others in schizophrenic patients].

    PubMed

    Alfimova, M V; Golimbet, V E; Korovaĭtseva, G I; Aksenova, E V; Lezheĭko, T V; Abramova, L I; Kolesina, N Iu; Anua, I M; Savel'eva, T M

    2013-01-01

    To evaluate a role of dopamine transmission in the theory of mind (ToM) dysfunction in schizophrenia, authors studied the association of ToM with COMT and DRD2 gene polymorphisms in 209 patients with schizophrenia and 172 healthy people. All subjects performed second-order false belief (FB2) and faux pas stories. The association between the COMT Val158Met polymorphism and performance on FB2 was found. The association was sex-specific. The worse performance was associated with a Met allele in female patients and with the ValVal genotype in male ones. A correlation analysis of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, performance on FB2 task, neurocognitive and clinical symptoms suggests that in female patients the association was modified, in part, by the higher stress sensitivity caused by the severity of clinical symptoms and its consequences for cognitive functioning.

  6. Cortical Dopamine Transmission as Measured with the [11C]FLB 457 – Amphetamine PET Imaging Paradigm Is Not Influenced by COMT Genotype

    PubMed Central

    Narendran, Rajesh; Tumuluru, Divya; May, Maureen A.; Chowdari, Kodavali V.; Himes, Michael L.; Fasenmyer, Kelli; Frankle, W. Gordon; Nimgaonkar, Vishwajit L.

    2016-01-01

    Basic investigations link a Val158Met polymorphism (rs4680) in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene to not only its enzymatic activity, but also to its dopaminergic tone in the prefrontal cortex. Previous PET studies have documented the relationship between COMT Val158Met polymorphism and D1 and D2/3 receptor binding potential (BP), and interpreted them in terms of dopaminergic tone. The use of baseline dopamine D1 and D2/3 receptor binding potential (BPND) as a proxy for dopaminergic tone is problematic because they reflect both endogenous dopamine levels (a change in radiotracer's apparent affinity) and receptor density. In this analysis of 31 healthy controls genotyped for the Val158Met polymorphism (Val/Val, Val/Met, and Met/Met), we used amphetamine-induced displacement of [11C]FLB 457 as a direct measure of dopamine release. Our analysis failed to show a relationship between COMT genotype status and prefrontal cortical dopamine release. COMT genotype was also not predictive of baseline dopamine D2/3 receptor BPND. PMID:27322568

  7. Association of single nucleotide polymorphisms in CYP1B1 and COMT genes with breast cancer susceptibility in Indian women.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Sharawan; Singhal, Naveen Kumar; Singh, Virendra; Rastogi, Neeraj; Srivastava, Pramod Kumar; Singh, Mahendra Pratap

    2009-01-01

    Cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzymes play critical roles in estrogen metabolism. Alterations in the catalytic activity of CYP1B1 and COMT enzymes have been found associated with altered breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women in many populations. The substitution of leucine (Leu) to valine (Val) at codon 432 increases the catalytic activity of CYP1B1, however, substitution of Val to methionine (Met) at codon 158 decreases the catalytic activity of COMT. The present study was performed to evaluate the associations of CYP1B1 Leu(432)Val and/or COMT Val(158)Met polymorphisms with total, premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer risks in Indian women. COMT and CYP1B1 polymorphisms in controls and breast cancer patients were analyzed employing polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) followed by gel electrophoresis. Although CYP1B1 and COMT genotypes did not exhibit statistically significant association with breast cancer risks when analyzed individually, COMT wild type (Val(158)Val) in combination with CYP1B1 heterozygous variant (Leu(432)Val) [OR: 0.21; 95% CI (0.05-0.82), p value; 0.021] and COMT heterozygous variant (Val(158)Met) in combination with CYP1B1 wild type (Leu(432)Leu) [OR: 0.29; 95% CI (0.08-0.96), p value; 0.042] showed significant protective association with premenopausal breast cancer risk. The results demonstrate that CYP1B1 wild type in combination with COMT heterozygous or their inverse combination offer protection against breast cancer in premenopausal Indian women.

  8. [Progress on association between COMT gene and violence behavior in patients with schizophrenia].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Qin-Ting; Zhao, Min; Xie, Bin

    2014-06-01

    The prevalence of violence behavior in patients with schizophrenia is higher than that in common population. Data suggest that genetic factors may play a substantial role for the etiology of the behavior. Among the particular gene polymorphisms that have been considered to be involved in violence behavior, the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene had been the focus of recent research. This article reviews the association research between COMT gene and violence behavior in patients with schizophrenia in several aspects: SNP polymorphism of COMT Val158Met and COMT Ala72Ser, haplotype of COMT gene and DNA methylation of promoter region of COMT gene. The genetic research direction is presented for patients with schizophrenia.

  9. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene modulates private self-consciousness and self-flexibility.

    PubMed

    Wang, Bei; Ru, Wenzhao; Yang, Xing; Yang, Lu; Fang, Pengpeng; Zhu, Xu; Shen, Guomin; Gao, Xiaocai; Gong, Pingyuan

    2016-08-01

    Dopamine levels in the brain influence human consciousness. Inspired by the role of Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) in inactivating dopamine in the brain, we investigated to what extent COMT could modulate individual's self-consciousness dispositions and self-consistency by genotyping the COMT Val158Met (rs4680) polymorphism and measuring self-consciousness and self-consistency and congruence in a college student population. The results indicated that COMT Val158Met polymorphism significantly modulated the private self-consciousness. The individuals with Val/Val genotype, corresponding to lower dopamine levels in the brain, were more likely to be aware of their feelings and beliefs. The results also indicated that this polymorphism modulated one's self-flexibility. The individuals with Val/Val genotype showed higher levels of stereotype in self-concept compared with those with Met/Met genotype. These findings suggest that COMT is a predictor of the individual differences in self-consciousness and self-flexibility.

  10. Comprehensive interrogation of CpG island methylation in the gene encoding COMT, a key estrogen and catecholamine regulator

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme has been widely studied due to its multiple roles in neurological functioning, estrogen biology, and methylation metabolic pathways. Numerous studies have investigated variation in the large COMT gene, with the majority focusing on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This body of work has linked COMT genetic variation with a vast array of conditions, including several neurobehavioral disorders, pain sensitivity, and multiple human cancers. Based on COMT’s numerous biological roles and recent studies suggesting that methylation of the COMT gene impacts COMT gene expression, we comprehensively interrogated methylation in over 200 CpG dinucleotide sequences spanning the length of the COMT gene. Methods Using saliva-derived DNA from a non-clinical sample of human subjects, we tested for associations between COMT CpG methylation and factors reported to interact with COMT genetic effects, including demographic factors and alcohol use. Finally, we tested associations between COMT CpG methylation state and COMT gene expression in breast cancer cell lines. We interrogated >200 CpGs in 13 amplicons spanning the 5’ UTR to the last exon of the CpG dinucleotide-rich COMT gene in n = 48 subjects, n = 11 cell lines and 1 endogenous 18S rRNA control. Results With the exception of the CpG island in the 5’UTR and 1st exon, all other CpG islands were strongly methylated with typical dynamic ranges between 50-90%. In the saliva samples, methylation of multiple COMT loci was associated with socioeconomic status or ethnicity. We found associations between methylation at numerous loci and genotype at the functional Val 158 Met SNP (rs4680), and most of the correlations between methylation and demographic and alcohol use factors were Val 158 Met allele-specific. Methylation at several of these loci also associated with COMT gene expression in breast cancer cell lines. Conclusions We report the first comprehensive

  11. The association study of polymorphisms in DAT, DRD2, and COMT genes and acute extrapyramidal adverse effects in male schizophrenic patients treated with haloperidol.

    PubMed

    Zivković, Maja; Mihaljević-Peles, Alma; Bozina, Nada; Sagud, Marina; Nikolac-Perkovic, Matea; Vuksan-Cusa, Bjanka; Muck-Seler, Dorotea

    2013-10-01

    Extrapyramidal symptoms (EPSs) are common adverse effects of antipsychotics. The development of acute EPSs could depend on the activity of dopaminergic system and its gene variants. The aim of this study was to determine the association between dopaminergic type 2 receptor (DRD2) dopamine transporter (SLC6A3) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene polymorphisms and acute EPSs in 240 male schizophrenic patients treated with haloperidol (15-mg/d) over a period of 2 weeks. Acute EPSs were assessed with Simpson-Angus Scale. Three dopaminergic gene polymorphisms, the DRD2 Taq1A, the SLC6A3 VNTR, and the COMT Val158Met, were determined. Extrapyramidal symptoms occurred in 116 (48.3%) of patients. Statistically significant associations were found for SLC6A3 VNTR and COMT Val158Met polymorphisms and EPS susceptibility. Patients with SLC6A3 9/10 genotype had almost twice the odds to develop EPSs compared with those with all other SLC6A3 genotypes (odds ratio, 1.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.13-3.30), and patients with COMT Val/Met genotype had 1.7 times greater odds to develop EPSs than those with all other COMT genotypes (odds ratio, 1.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.01-2.88). There was no statistically significant association between genotype and allele frequencies of DRD2, SLC6A3, or COMT polymorphisms and the development of particular EPSs.In conclusion, the results of the present study showed for the first time the association between acute haloperidol-induced EPSs and SLC6A3 VNTR and COMT Val158Met polymorphisms. Although the precise biological mechanisms underlying these findings are not yet understood, the results suggest that the dopaminergic gene variations could predict the vulnerability to the development of the acute EPSs in haloperidol-treated schizophrenic patients.

  12. Genetic moderation of the effects of cannabis: catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) affects the impact of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on working memory performance but not on the occurrence of psychotic experiences.

    PubMed

    Tunbridge, Elizabeth M; Dunn, Graham; Murray, Robin M; Evans, Nicole; Lister, Rachel; Stumpenhorst, Katharina; Harrison, Paul J; Morrison, Paul D; Freeman, Daniel

    2015-11-01

    Cannabis use can induce cognitive impairments and psychotic experiences. A functional polymorphism in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene (Val(158)Met) appears to influence the immediate cognitive and psychotic effects of cannabis, or ∆(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), its primary psychoactive ingredient. This study investigated the moderation of the impact of experimentally administered THC by COMT. Cognitive performance and psychotic experiences were studied in participants without a psychiatric diagnosis, using a between-subjects design (THC vs. placebo). The effect of COMT Val(158)Met genotype on the cognitive and psychotic effects of THC, administered intravenously in a double-blind, placebo-controlled manner to 78 participants who were vulnerable to paranoia, was examined. The results showed interactive effects of genotype and drug group (THC or placebo) on working memory, assayed using the Digit Span Backwards task. Specifically, THC impaired performance in COMT Val/Val, but not Met, carriers. In contrast, the effect of THC on psychotic experiences, measured using the Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) positive dimension, was unaffected by COMT genotype. This study is the largest to date examining the impact of COMT genotype on response to experimentally administered THC, and the first using a purely non-clinical cohort. The data suggest that COMT genotype moderates the cognitive, but not the psychotic, effects of acutely administered THC.

  13. Positive symptoms in first-episode psychosis patients experiencing low maternal care and stressful life events: a pilot study to explore the role of the COMT gene.

    PubMed

    Ira, Elisa; De Santi, Katia; Lasalvia, Antonio; Bonetto, Chiara; Zanatta, Gioia; Cristofalo, Doriana; Bertani, Mariaelena; Bissoli, Sarah Saviana; Riolo, Rossana; Gardellin, Francesco; Morandin, Idana; Ramon, Luana; Tansella, Michele; Ruggeri, Mirella; Tosato, Sarah

    2014-09-01

    COMT Val(158)Met moderates the effect of stress on psychotic symptoms. Exposure to stress is also associated with mesolimbic dopamine release in individuals experiencing low maternal care. We therefore test the hypothesis that recent stressful life events are associated with more severe positive symptoms (associated with mesolimbic dopamine release) in first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients who experienced low maternal care during childhood. We hypothesized that COMT Val(158)Met moderates this association. A total of 149 FEP patients recruited within the Psychosis Incident Cohort Outcome Study (PICOS) participated in the present study. Maternal care was assessed by the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI), stressful life events were collected by the List of Events Scale and positive symptoms were assessed by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). We found that low maternal care and recent stressful life events were associated with higher level of positive symptoms at the onset (analysis of variance [ANOVA], p = 0.012), and that patients who were also homozygotes for the COMT Val(158) allele had the highest level of positive symptoms (ANOVA, p = 0.024). Low maternal care and severe stressful life events may contribute to a symptomatology characterized by more severe positive symptoms at the onset, possibly due to an increased mesolimbic dopamine release. Homozygosity for the COMT Val(158) allele seems to confer a biological predisposition to the stress-related hyperactivity of the mesolimbic dopaminergic system. The data imply that the mesolimbic dopaminergic system is involved in the mediation/modulation of the effect of stressful events on the vulnerability for psychosis.

  14. Cannabis use, COMT, BDNF and age at first-episode psychosis.

    PubMed

    Mané, Anna; Bergé, Daniel; Penzol, Maria Jose; Parellada, Mara; Bioque, Miquel; Lobo, Antonio; González-Pinto, Ana; Corripio, Iluminada; Cabrera, Bibiana; Sánchez-Torres, Ana Maria; Saiz-Ruiz, Jerónimo; Bernardo, Miguel; Group, PEPs

    2017-04-01

    Although an interaction between COMT Val158Met and BDNF Val66Met polymorphisms with cannabis use has been proposed with respect to the risk of psychosis emergence, findings remain inconclusive. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the different possible associations between these polymorphisms and early cannabis use and the age at the first episode of psychosis. The relationship between age at psychosis onset and COMT Val158Met and BDNF Val66Met polymorphisms with early cannabis use as well as those factors associated with early cannabis use were investigated. Among 260 Caucasian first-episode psychosis patients, early cannabis use and the presence of the met-allele from the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism were significantly associated with age at psychosis onset. Furthermore, early cannabis use was significantly associated with male gender in the logistic regression analysis. These findings provide evidence of the important role of early cannabis use and the Val66Met BDNF polymorphism on age at psychosis onset and they point out to sex-specific differences in cannabis use patterns.

  15. How to consistently link extraversion and intelligence to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene: on defining and measuring psychological phenotypes in neurogenetic research.

    PubMed

    Wacker, Jan; Mueller, Erik M; Hennig, Jürgen; Stemmler, Gerhard

    2012-02-01

    The evidence for associations between genetic polymorphisms and complex behavioral/psychological phenotypes (traits) has thus far been weak and inconsistent. Using the well-studied Val158Met polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene as an example, we demonstrate that using theoretical models to guide phenotype definition and measuring the phenotypes of interest with a high degree of specificity reveals strong gene-behavior associations that are consistent with prior work and that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Only after statistically controlling for irrelevant portions of phenotype variance did we observe strong (Cohen's d = 0.33-0.70) and significant associations between COMT Val158Met and both cognitive and affective traits in a healthy male sample (N = 201) in Study 1: Carriers of the Met allele scored higher in fluid intelligence (reasoning) but lower in both crystallized intelligence (general knowledge) and the agency facet of extraversion. In Study 2, we conceptually replicated the association of COMT Val158Met with the agency facet of extraversion after partialing irrelevant phenotype variance in a female sample (N = 565). Finally, through reanalysis of a large published data set we showed that Met allele carriers also scored higher in indicators of fluid intelligence after partialing verbal fluency. Because the Met allele codes for a less efficient variant of the enzyme COMT, resulting in higher levels of extrasynaptic prefrontal dopamine, these observations provide further support for a role for dopamine in both intelligence and extraversion. More importantly, the present findings have important implications for the definition of psychological phenotypes in neurogenetic research.

  16. Count on dopamine: influences of COMT polymorphisms on numerical cognition

    PubMed Central

    Júlio-Costa, Annelise; Antunes, Andressa M.; Lopes-Silva, Júlia B.; Moreira, Bárbara C.; Vianna, Gabrielle S.; Wood, Guilherme; Carvalho, Maria R. S.; Haase, Vitor G.

    2013-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is an enzyme that is particularly important for the metabolism of dopamine. Functional polymorphisms of COMT have been implicated in working memory and numerical cognition. This is an exploratory study that aims at investigating associations between COMT polymorphisms, working memory, and numerical cognition. Elementary school children from 2th to 6th grades were divided into two groups according to their COMT val158met polymorphism [homozygous for valine allele (n = 61) vs. heterozygous plus methionine homozygous children or met+ group (n = 94)]. Both groups were matched for age and intelligence. Working memory was assessed through digit span and Corsi blocks. Symbolic numerical processing was assessed through transcoding and single-digit word problem tasks. Non-symbolic magnitude comparison and estimation tasks were used to assess number sense. Between-group differences were found in symbolic and non-symbolic numerical tasks, but not in working memory tasks. Children in the met+ group showed better performance in all numerical tasks while val homozygous children presented slower development of non-symbolic magnitude representations. These results suggest COMT-related dopaminergic modulation may be related not only to working memory, as found in previous studies, but also to the development of magnitude processing and magnitude representations. PMID:23966969

  17. The role of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene in personality and related psychopathological disorders.

    PubMed

    Montag, Christian; Jurkiewicz, Magdalena; Reuter, Martin

    2012-05-01

    This review provides a short overview of the most significant biologically oriented theories of human personality. Personality concepts of Eysenck, Gray and McNaughton, Cloninger and Panksepp will be introduced and the focal evidence for the heritability of personality will be summarized. In this context, a synopsis of a large number of COMT genetic association studies (with a focus on the COMT Val158Met polymorphism) in the framework of the introduced biologically oriented personality theories will be given. In line with the theory of a continuum model between healthy anxious behavior and related psychopathological behavior, the role of the COMT gene in anxiety disorders will be discussed. A final outlook considers new research strategies such as genetic imaging and epigenetics for a better understanding of human personality.

  18. The Role of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Gene in Personality and Related Psychopathological Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Montag, Christian; Jurkiewicz, Magdalena; Reuter, Martin

    2015-01-01

    This review provides a short overview of the most significant biologically oriented theories of human personality. Personality concepts of Eysenck, Gray and McNaughton, Cloninger and Panksepp will be introduced and the focal evidence for the heritability of personality will be summarized. In this context, a synopsis of a large number of COMT genetic association studies (with a focus on the COMT Val158Met polymorphism) in the framework of the introduced biologically oriented personality theories will be given. In line with the theory of a continuum model between healthy anxious behavior and related psychopathological behavior, the role of the COMT gene in anxiety disorders will be discussed. A final outlook considers new research strategies such as genetic imaging and epigenetics for a better understanding of human personality. PMID:22483293

  19. Synergistic effects of COMT and TPH2 on social cognition.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chieh-Hsin; Tseng, Yu-Lun; Huang, Chieh-Liang; Chang, Yue-Cune; Tsai, Guochuan E; Lane, Hsien-Yuan

    2013-01-01

    Whether genetic factors affect social cognition, particularly emotion management, requires elucidation. This study investigates whether social cognition varies with genetic variations of COMT and tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH2), which modulate dopamine and serotonin neurotransmissions respectively, and thereby emotion regulation. NIMH-recommended "managing emotions branch and 2 subtasks" of MSCEIT and six neurocognition domains, and genotypes of COMT Val158Met and TPH2 G703T were measured in 150 Han-Chinese healthy adults. Subjects carrying the M allele (M group) of COMT exceeded Val/Val homozygotes (V group) in managing emotions branch (p = 0.032) and emotional relation subtask (p = 0.037). TPH2 T/T homozygotes (T group) excelled those with the G allele (G group) in emotional management subtask (p = 0.025). Subjects with M+T variation surpassed the other 3 groups (M+G, V+T and V+G) in managing emotion branch (p = 0.002), emotional relation subtask (p = 0.023), and emotional management subtask (p = 0.002). The findings remained after control for gender, age, education, and neurocognitive functions. Synergistically, the effect size of COMT-TPH2 combination surmounted the sum of separate effect sizes of COMT and TPH2. The findings suggest that genetic variations of COMT and TPH2 have synergistic effects on social cognition in the general population.

  20. COMT genotype affects brain white matter pathways in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Hong, Soon-Beom; Zalesky, Andrew; Park, Subin; Yang, Young-Hui; Park, Min-Hyeon; Kim, BoAh; Song, In-Chan; Sohn, Chul-Ho; Shin, Min-Sup; Kim, Bung-Nyun; Cho, Soo-Churl; Kim, Jae-Won

    2015-01-01

    Increased dopamine availability may be associated with impaired structural maturation of brain white matter connectivity. This study aimed to derive a comprehensive, whole-brain characterization of large-scale axonal connectivity differences in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) associated with catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism. Using diffusion tensor imaging, whole-brain tractography, and an imaging connectomics approach, we characterized altered white matter connectivity in youth with ADHD who were COMT Val-homozygous (N = 29) compared with those who were Met-carriers (N = 29). Additionally, we examined whether dopamine transporter gene (DAT1) and dopamine D4 receptor gene (DRD4) polymorphisms were associated with white matter differences. Level of attention was assessed using the continuous performance test before and after an 8-week open-label trial of methylphenidate (MPH). A network of white matter connections linking 18 different brain regions was significantly weakened in youth with ADHD who were COMT Met-carriers compared to those who were Val-homozygous (P < 0.05, family-wise error-corrected). A measure of white matter integrity, fractional anisotropy, was correlated with impaired pretreatment performance in continuous performance test omission errors and response time variability, as well as with improvement in continuous performance test response time variability after MPH treatment. Altered white matter connectivity was exclusively based on COMT genotypes, and was not evident in DAT1 or DRD4. We demonstrated that white matter connectivity in youth with ADHD is associated with COMT Val158Met genotypes. The present findings suggest that different layers of dopamine-related genes and interindividual variability in the genetic polymorphisms should be taken into account when investigating the human connectome.

  1. Emotional symptoms in children: The effect of maternal depression, life events, and COMT genotype.

    PubMed

    Evans, Jonathan; Xu, Ke; Heron, Jon; Enoch, Mary-Anne; Araya, Ricardo; Lewis, Glyn; Timpson, Nic; Davies, Simon; Nutt, David; Goldman, David

    2009-03-05

    Early adversity predicts anxiety and depression but variation in response to adversity is not understood. We investigated whether association between early adversity and emotional symptoms in young children differs according to variation of the COMT gene. The main outcome measure was the emotionality subscale of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) completed by mothers for 8,431 children aged 6-7 years old in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Adversity measures included exposure to maternal postpartum depressive symptoms and adverse life events for children. DNA from the children was genotyped for five COMT polymorphisms including the COMT Val158Met locus. Maternal depression increased the odds of high emotionality in the children, (OR 1.99, 95% CI 1.73-2.29, P < 0.001) as did life events score, (OR 1.21 for each s.d. increase in life event score, 95% CI 1.15-1.27, P < 0.001). There was no main effect of Val158Met genotype on emotional symptoms (OR for effect of each copy of the methionine allele was 1.04, 95% CI 0.97-1.10, P = 0.284). The relationship between adversity and emotional symptoms did not vary by genotype (G x E for maternal depression chi(2) = 3.17, P = 0.205; G x E for life events chi(2) = 1.69, P = 0.430). There was no main effect of COMT haplotype, nor was there an interaction with adversity. Early adversity predicts emotional symptoms in children aged 6-7 years. Although some studies indicate a role for COMT in emotionality, anxiety, and depression in adults, no direct effect or interaction of COMT genotype was observed in this large sample of young children.

  2. Influence of COMT genotype and affective distractors on the processing of self-generated thought

    PubMed Central

    Dumontheil, Iroise; Wood, Nicholas W.; Blakemore, Sarah-Jayne

    2015-01-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme is a major determinant of prefrontal dopamine levels. The Val158Met polymorphism affects COMT enzymatic activity and has been associated with variation in executive function and affective processing. This study investigated the effect of COMT genotype on the flexible modulation of the balance between processing self-generated and processing stimulus-oriented information, in the presence or absence of affective distractors. Analyses included 124 healthy adult participants, who were also assessed on standard working memory (WM) tasks. Relative to Val carriers, Met homozygotes made fewer errors when selecting and manipulating self-generated thoughts. This effect was partly accounted for by an association between COMT genotype and visuospatial WM performance. We also observed a complex interaction between the influence of affective distractors, COMT genotype and sex on task accuracy: male, but not female, participants showed a sensitivity to the affective distractors that was dependent on COMT genotype. This was not accounted for by WM performance. This study provides novel evidence of the role of dopaminergic genetic variation on the ability to select and manipulate self-generated thoughts. The results also suggest sexually dimorphic effects of COMT genotype on the influence of affective distractors on executive function. PMID:25190703

  3. Lack of association between COMT gene and deficit/nondeficit schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Wonodi, Ikwunga; Mitchell, Braxton D; Stine, O Colin; Hong, L Elliot; Elliott, Amie; Kirkpatrick, Brian; Carpenter, William T; Thaker, Gunvant K; Buchanan, Robert W

    2006-01-01

    Background The dopamine dysregulation hypothesis of schizophrenia posits that positive, negative and cognitive symptoms correlate with cortical/subcortical imbalances in dopaminergic transmission. A functional polymorphism (Val158Met) in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is implicated in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia by its effect on prefrontal dopamine transmission, and its unique impact on prefrontal cognitive and behavioral phenotypes. Cognitive impairments and negative symptoms in schizophrenia have been hypothesized to be associated with hypodopaminergic states. Schizophrenia patients with the deficit syndrome are characterized by primary enduring negative symptoms, impairment on neurocognitive tasks sensitive to frontal and parietal cortical functioning, and poorer functional outcome compared to non-deficit patients. Methods Eighty-six schizophrenia cases that met DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia were recruited. Additional categorization into deficit and nondeficit syndrome was performed using the Schedule for the Deficit Syndrome (SDS). A healthy comparison group (n = 50) matched to cases on age and ethnicity was recruited. Allele and genotype frequencies of the Val158Met polymorphism were compared among healthy controls, and schizophrenia cases with the deficit (n = 21), and nondeficit syndrome (n = 65). Results There was a significant difference in Val/Val genotype frequencies between schizophrenia cases (combined deficit/nondeficit) and healthy controls (p = 0.004). No significant differences in allele or genotype frequencies were observed between deficit and nondeficit cases. Conclusion Results from this preliminary analysis failed to show an effect of COMT gene on deficit schizophrenia. PMID:17173666

  4. COMT-by-Sex Interaction Effect on Psychosis Proneness

    PubMed Central

    de Castro-Catala, Marta; Barrantes-Vidal, Neus; Sheinbaum, Tamara; Moreno-Fortuny, Artal; Kwapil, Thomas R.; Rosa, Araceli

    2015-01-01

    Schizotypy phenotypes in the general population share etiopathogenic mechanisms and risk factors with schizophrenia, supporting the notion of psychosis as a continuum ranging from nonclinical to clinical deviance. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a candidate susceptibility gene for schizophrenia that is involved in the regulation of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex. Several recent studies have reported a sex difference in the impact of COMT genotype on psychiatric and cognitive phenotypes and personality traits. The present study investigated the association of COMT Val158Met (rs4680) with psychometric positive and negative schizotypy and psychotic experiences in a sample of 808 nonclinical young adults. The main finding was that sex moderates the association of COMT genotype with the negative dimension of both schizotypy and psychotic experiences. Male subjects carrying the Val allele tended to score higher on the negative dimension of both trait and symptom-like measures. The results from the present study are consistent with recent work suggesting an association between negative schizotypy and diminished prefrontal dopamine availability. They support the idea that a biological differentiation underlies the positive and negative schizotypy dimensions. Additionally, these findings contribute to the growing literature on sex-specific effects of COMT on the predisposition to psychiatric disorders and personality traits. PMID:25722988

  5. Distribution of the Val108/158Met polymorphism of the COMT gene in healthy Mexican population.

    PubMed

    González-Castro, Thelma Beatriz; Tovilla-Zárate, Carlos; Juárez-Rojop, Isela; Pool García, Sherezada; Genis, Alma; Nicolini, Humberto; López Narváez, Lilia

    2013-09-10

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inactivates the catecholamines adrenaline, noradrenaline and dopamine. On the other hand, some studies have reported that the enzymatic activity of COMT is partly genetically determined. With regard to the COMT gene, the most studied polymorphism is the functional variant Val108/158Met (rs4680), which results in substantial three- to four-fold variations in enzyme activity. To date, the rs4680 polymorphism of COMT has been associated with a number of disorders. In addition, this polymorphism has been found to have important differences in frequency according to the studied population. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to evaluate the frequency of a common single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) Val108/158Met of the COMT gene in the Mexican population. Accordingly, we recruited 431 healthy volunteers. Our sample consisted of 111 healthy individuals from Mexico City and 320 individuals from the state of Tabasco, Mexico. We observed that Met was the most common allele, ranging from 57% (Tabasco) to 85% (Mexico City). In addition, we analyzed the frequency of Val108/158Met polymorphism of Caucasian (54% Met allele), Asian (29% Met allele) and African (34% Met allele) populations separately and also in comparison with Mexican (63% Met allele) population. In conclusion, the distribution of the Val108/158Met polymorphism distinguishes the Mexican population studied from other populations, but it is necessary to increase the size of the sample to get more conclusive results.

  6. COMT influences on prefrontal and striatal b responses during working memory among individuals with schizophrenia, their siblings and healthy controls

    PubMed Central

    Ceaser, Alan; Csernansky, John G.; Barch, Deanna M.

    2013-01-01

    Recent theories have suggested that cortico-striatal interactions may play an important part in mediating working memory demands and may impact clinical symptomology of schizophrenia. These effects are thought to occur through changes in dopamine signaling from the midbrain and via feedback from the frontal cortex. The COMT Val158Met polymorphism may prove useful for studying these effects in vivo. In this study, patients with schizophrenia, their well siblings, and healthy controls were genotyped and scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while they performed a working memory task. We found that patients and their siblings, but not controls, who were Val homozygotes displayed greater activity of the DLPFC, striatum, and the cerebellum during the task than respective Met carriers. Our findings support and extend previous studies of COMT effects on cognition and neural activity, and suggest that changes in dopamine availability may impact cortico-striatal functioning of individuals at risk for schizophrenia differentially. PMID:23030509

  7. COMT polymorphism and memory dedifferentiation in old age.

    PubMed

    Papenberg, Goran; Bäckman, Lars; Nagel, Irene E; Nietfeld, Wilfried; Schröder, Julia; Bertram, Lars; Heekeren, Hauke R; Lindenberger, Ulman; Li, Shu-Chen

    2014-06-01

    According to a neurocomputational theory of cognitive aging, senescent changes in dopaminergic modulation lead to noisier and less differentiated processing. The authors tested a corollary hypothesis of this theory, according to which genetic predispositions of individual differences in prefrontal dopamine (DA) signaling may affect associations between memory functions, particularly in old age. Latent correlations between factors of verbal episodic memory and spatial working memory were compared between individuals carrying different allelic variants of the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism, which influences DA availability in prefrontal cortex. In younger adults (n = 973), correlations between memory functions did not differ significantly among the 3 COMT genotypes (r = .35); in older adults (n = 1333), however, the correlation was significantly higher in Val homozygotes (r = .70), whose prefrontal DA availability is supposedly the lowest of all groups examined, than in heterozygotes and Met homozygotes (both rs = .29). Latent means of the episodic memory and working memory factors did not differ by COMT status within age groups. However, when restricting the analysis to the low-performing tertile of older adults (n = 443), we found that Val homozygotes showed lower levels of performance in both episodic memory and working memory than heterozygotes and Met homozygotes. In line with the neurocomputational theory, the observed dedifferentiation of memory functions in older Val homozygotes suggests that suboptimal dopaminergic modulation may underlie multiple facets of memory declines during aging. Future longitudinal work needs to test this conjecture more directly.

  8. Genetic Variation in the Catechol-O-Methyl Transferase Val108/158Met Is Linked to the Caudate and Posterior Cingulate Cortex Volume in Healthy Subjects: Voxel-Based Morphometry Analysis of Brain Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Keita; Kakeda, Shingo; Yoshimura, Reiji; Ide, Satoru; Hayashi, Kenji; Katsuki, Asuka; Umene-Nakano, Wakako; Watanabe, Rieko; Abe, Osamu; Korogi, Yukunori

    2015-01-01

    The effect of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism on brain morphology has been investigated but remains controversial. We hypothesized that a comparison between Val/Val and Val/Met individuals, which may represent the most different combinations concerning the effects of the COMT genotype, may reveal new findings. We investigated the brain morphology using 3-Tesla magnetic resonance imaging in 27 Val/Val and 22 Val/Met individuals. Voxel-based morphometry revealed that the volumes of the bilateral caudate and posterior cingulate cortex were significantly smaller in Val/Val individuals than in Val/Met individuals [right caudate: false discovery rate (FDR)-corrected p = 0.048; left caudate: FDR-corrected p = 0.048; and bilateral posterior cingulate cortex: FDR-corrected p = 0.048]. This study demonstrates that interacting functional variants of COMT affect gray matter regional volumes in healthy subjects. PMID:26566126

  9. Genetic variation in COMT activity impacts learning and dopamine release capacity in the striatum

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Eleanor H.; Morud, Julia; Winiger, Vanessa; Biezonski, Dominik; Zhu, Judy P.; Bach, Mary Elizabeth; Malleret, Gael; Polan, H. Jonathan; Ng-Evans, Scott; Phillips, Paul E.M.; Kellendonk, Christoph; Kandel, Eric R.

    2014-01-01

    A common genetic polymorphism that results in increased activity of the dopamine regulating enzyme COMT (the COMT Val158 allele) has been found to associate with poorer cognitive performance and increased susceptibility to develop psychiatric disorders. It is generally assumed that this increase in COMT activity influences cognitive function and psychiatric disease risk by increasing dopamine turnover in cortical synapses, though this cannot be directly measured in humans. Here we explore a novel transgenic mouse model of increased COMT activity, equivalent to the relative increase in activity observed with the human COMT Val158 allele. By performing an extensive battery of behavioral tests, we found that COMT overexpressing mice (COMT-OE mice) exhibit cognitive deficits selectively in the domains that are affected by the COMT Val158 allele, stimulus–response learning and working memory, functionally validating our model of increased COMT activity. Although we detected no changes in the level of markers for dopamine synthesis and dopamine transport, we found that COMT-OE mice display an increase in dopamine release capacity in the striatum. This result suggests that increased COMT activity may not only affect dopamine signaling by enhancing synaptic clearance in the cortex, but may also cause changes in presynaptic dopamine function in the striatum. These changes may underlie the behavioral deficits observed in the mice and might also play a role in the cognitive deficits and increased psychiatric disease risk associated with genetic variation in COMT activity in humans. PMID:24639487

  10. Association of COMT and PRODH gene variants with intelligence quotient (IQ) and executive functions in 22q11.2DS subjects.

    PubMed

    Carmel, Miri; Zarchi, Omer; Michaelovsky, Elena; Frisch, Amos; Patya, Miriam; Green, Tamar; Gothelf, Doron; Weizman, Abraham

    2014-09-01

    The 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) carries the highest genetic risk factor for the development of schizophrenia. We investigated the association of genetic variants in two schizophrenia candidate genes with executive function (EF) and IQ in 22q11.2DS individuals. Ninety two individuals with 22q11.2 deletion were studied for the genetic association between COMT and PRODH variants and EF and IQ. Subjects were divided into children (under 12 years old), adolescents (between 12 and 18 years old) and adults (older than 18 years), and genotyped for the COMT Val158Met (rs4680) and PRODH Arg185Trp (rs4819756) polymorphisms. The participants underwent psychiatric evaluation and EF assessment. Our main finding is a significant influence of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism on both IQ and EF performance. Specifically, 22q11.2DS subjects with Met allele displayed higher IQ scores in all age groups compared to Val carriers, reaching significance in both adolescents and adults. The Met allele carriers performed better than Val carriers in EF tasks, being statistically significant in the adult group. PRODH Arg185Trp variant did not affect IQ or EF in our 22q11.2DS cohort. In conclusion, functional COMT variant, but not PRODH, affects IQ and EF in 22q11.2DS subjects during neurodevelopment with a maximal effect at adulthood. Future studies should monitor the cognitive performance of the same individuals from childhood to old age.

  11. Motor impulsivity in Parkinson disease: associations with COMT and DRD2 polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Ziegler, David A; Ashourian, Paymon; Wonderlick, Julien S; Sarokhan, Alison K; Prelec, Drazen; Scherzer, Clemens R; Corkin, Suzanne

    2014-06-01

    Parkinson disease (PD) is an age-related degenerative disease of the brain, characterized by motor, cognitive, and psychiatric symptoms. Neurologists and neuroscientists now understand that several symptoms of the disease, including hallucinations and impulse control behaviors, stem from the dopaminergic medications used to control the motor aspects of PD. Converging evidence from animals and humans suggests that individual differences in the genes that affect the dopamine system influence the response of PD patients to dopaminergic medication. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that patients taking dopamine replacement therapy who carry candidate alleles that increase dopamine signaling, exhibit greater amounts of motor impulsivity. We examined the relation between inhibitory ability (measured by the Stop Signal Task) and polymorphisms of COMT Val158Met and DRD2 C957T in patients with idiopathic PD. On the Stop Signal Task, carriers of COMT Val/Met and Met/Met genotypes were more impulsive than Val/Val carriers, but we did not find a link between DRD2 polymorphisms and inhibitory ability. These results support the hypothesis that the Met allele of COMT confers an increased risk for behavioral impulsivity in PD patients, whereas DRD2 polymorphisms appear to be less important in determining whether PD patients exhibit a dopamine overdose in the form of motor impulsivity.

  12. Disorganization, COMT, and Children's Social Behavior: The Norwegian Hypothesis of Legacy of Disorganized Attachment

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhi; Hygen, Beate W.; Widaman, Keith F.; Berg-Nielsen, Turid S.; Wichstrøm, Lars; Belsky, Jay

    2016-01-01

    Why is disorganized attachment associated with punitive-controlling behavior in some, but caregiving-controlling in others? Hygen et al. (2014) proposed that variation in the Catechol-O-methyl transferase(COMT) Val158Met genotype explains this variation, providing preliminary data to this effect. We offer a conceptual replication, analyzing data on 560 children (males: 275) drawn from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. As predicted, competitive model-fitting indicated that disorganized infants carrying Met alleles engage in more positive behavior and less negative behavior than other children at age 5 and 11, with the reverse true of Val/Val homozygotes, seemingly consistent with caregiving-controlling and punitive-controlling styles, respectively, but only in the case of maternal and not teacher reports, thereby confirmating a relationship-specific hypothesis. PMID:27462283

  13. Modification of Depression by COMT val[superscript 158]Met Polymorphism in Children Exposed to Early Severe Psychosocial Deprivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Drury, Stacy S.; Theall, Katherine P.; Smyke, Anna T.; Keats, Bronya J. B.; Egger, Helen L.; Nelson, Charles A.; Fox, Nathan A.; Marshall, Peter J.; Zeanah, Charles H.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: To examine the impact of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) val[superscript 158]met allele on depressive symptoms in young children exposed to early severe social deprivation as a result of being raised in institutions. Methods: One hundred thirty six children from the Bucharest Early Intervention Project (BEIP) were randomized…

  14. The relationship between childhood abuse and dissociation. Is it influenced by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity?

    PubMed

    Savitz, Jonathan B; van der Merwe, Lize; Newman, Timothy K; Solms, Mark; Stein, Dan J; Ramesar, Rajkumar S

    2008-03-01

    Dissociation is a failure of perceptual, memorial and emotional integration that is associated with a variety of psychiatric disorders. Dissociative processes are usually attributed to the sequelae of childhood trauma although there are data to suggest that genetic influences are also important. Bipolar disorder (BD), a condition with a strong genetic basis, has also been associated with early psychological trauma. Since childhood trauma is a risk factor for both BD and dissociation, we tested for potential gene-childhood abuse interactions on dissociation in a pilot sample of BD probands and their affected and unaffected relatives (n=178). Dissociation was measured with the Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES II) and childhood maltreatment with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ). The BD and recurrent unipolar depression (MDE-R) groups showed higher levels of self-reported abuse and dissociation than their unaffected relatives. The low-activity Met allele of the Val66Met polymorphism of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene was associated with lower levels of self-reported dissociation. Further, the functional catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphism interacted significantly with total CTQ abuse scores to impact perceived dissociation. The Val/Val genotype was associated with increasing levels of dissociation in participants exposed to higher levels of childhood trauma. The opposite was observed in people with Met/Met genotypes who displayed decreased dissociation with increasing self-reported childhood trauma. The current findings support the involvement of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism in mediating the relationship between trauma and psychopathology.

  15. COMT polymorphism modulates the resting-state EEG alpha oscillatory response to acute nicotine in male non-smokers

    PubMed Central

    Bowers, H.; Smith, D.; de la Salle, S.; Choueiry, J.; Impey, D.; Philippe, T.; Dort, H.; Millar, A.; Daigle, M.; Albert, P. R.; Beaudoin, A.; Knott, V.

    2015-01-01

    Performance improvements in cognitive tasks requiring executive functions are evident with nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) agonists, and activation of the underlying neural circuitry supporting these cognitive effects is thought to involve dopamine neurotransmission. As individual difference in response to nicotine may be related to a functional polymorphism in the gene encoding catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme that strongly influences cortical dopamine metabolism, this study examined the modulatory effects of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism on the neural response to acute nicotine as measured with resting-state electroencephalographic (EEG) oscillations. In a sample of 62 healthy non-smoking adult males, a single dose (6 mg) of nicotine gum administered in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design was shown to affect α oscillatory activity, increasing power of upper α oscillations in frontocentral regions of Met/Met homozygotes and in parietal/occipital regions of Val/Met heterozygotes. Peak α frequency was also found to be faster with nicotine (vs. placebo) treatment in Val/Met heterozygotes, who exhibited a slower α frequency compared to Val/Val homozygotes. The data tentatively suggest that interindividual differences in brain α oscillations and their response to nicotinic agonist treatment are influenced by genetic mechanisms involving COMT. PMID:26096691

  16. Impact of Interacting Functional Variants in COMT on Regional Gray Matter Volume in Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Honea, Robyn; Verchinski, Beth A.; Pezawas, Lukas; Kolachana, Bhaskar S.; Callicott, Joseph H.; Mattay, Venkata S.; Weinberger, Daniel R.; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas

    2009-01-01

    Background Functional variants in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene have been shown to impact cognitive function, cortical physiology and risk for schizophrenia. A recent study showed that previously reported effects of the functional val158met SNP (rs4680) on brain function are modified by other functional SNPs and haplotypes in the gene, though it was unknown if these effects are also seen in brain structure. Methods We used voxel-based morphometry to investigate the impact of multiple functional variants in COMT on gray matter volume in a large group of 151 healthy volunteers from the CBDB/NIMH Genetic Study of Schizophrenia. Results We found that the previously described rs4680 val risk variant affects hippocampal and dorsolateral prefrontal (DLPFC) gray matter volume. In addition, we found that this SNP interacts with a variant in the P2 promoter region (rs2097603) in predicting changes in hippocampal gray matter volume consistent with a nonlinear effect of extracellular dopamine. Conclusions We report evidence that interacting functional variants in COMT affect gray matter regional volume in hippocampus and DLPFC, providing further in vivo validation of the biological impact of complex genetic variation in COMT on neural systems relevant for the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and extending observations of nonlinear dependence of prefrontal neurons on extracellular dopamine to the domain of human brain structure. PMID:19071221

  17. Sex Differences in COMT Polymorphism Effects on Prefrontal Inhibitory Control in Adolescence

    PubMed Central

    White, Thomas P; Loth, Eva; Rubia, Katya; Krabbendam, Lydia; Whelan, Robert; Banaschewski, Tobias; Barker, Gareth J; Bokde, Arun LW; Büchel, Christian; Conrod, Patricia; Fauth-Bühler, Mira; Flor, Herta; Frouin, Vincent; Gallinat, Jürgen; Garavan, Hugh; Gowland, Penny; Heinz, Andreas; Ittermann, Bernd; Lawrence, Claire; Mann, Karl; Paillère, Marie-Laure; Nees, Frauke; Paus, Tomas; Pausova, Zdenka; Rietschel, Marcella; Robbins, Trevor; Smolka, Michael N; Shergill, Sukhwinder S; Schumann, Gunter

    2014-01-01

    Catecholamine-0-methyl-transferase (COMT) gene variation effects on prefrontal blood oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) activation are robust; however, despite observations that COMT is estrogenically catabolized, sex differences in its prefrontal repercussions remain unclear. Here, in a large sample of healthy adolescents stratified by sex and Val158Met genotype (n=1133), we examine BOLD responses during performance of the stop-signal task in right-hemispheric prefrontal regions fundamental to inhibitory control. A significant sex-by-genotype interaction was observed in pre-SMA during successful-inhibition trials and in both pre-SMA and inferior frontal cortex during failed-inhibition trials with Val homozygotes displaying elevated activation compared with other genotypes in males but not in females. BOLD activation in the same regions significantly mediated the relationship between COMT genotype and inhibitory proficiency as indexed by stop-signal reaction time in males alone. These sexually dimorphic effects of COMT on inhibitory brain activation have important implications for our understanding of the contrasting patterns of prefrontally governed psychopathology observed in males and females. PMID:24820538

  18. Dopamine Inactivation Efficacy Related to Functional DAT1 and COMT Variants Influences Motor Response Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Bender, Stephan; Rellum, Thomas; Freitag, Christine; Resch, Franz; Rietschel, Marcella; Treutlein, Jens; Jennen-Steinmetz, Christine; Brandeis, Daniel; Banaschewski, Tobias; Laucht, Manfred

    2012-01-01

    Background Dopamine plays an important role in orienting, response anticipation and movement evaluation. Thus, we examined the influence of functional variants related to dopamine inactivation in the dopamine transporter (DAT1) and catechol-O-methyltransferase genes (COMT) on the time-course of motor processing in a contingent negative variation (CNV) task. Methods 64-channel EEG recordings were obtained from 195 healthy adolescents of a community-based sample during a continuous performance task (A-X version). Early and late CNV as well as motor postimperative negative variation were assessed. Adolescents were genotyped for the COMT Val158Met and two DAT1 polymorphisms (variable number tandem repeats in the 3′-untranslated region and in intron 8). Results The results revealed a significant interaction between COMT and DAT1, indicating that COMT exerted stronger effects on lateralized motor post-processing (centro-parietal motor postimperative negative variation) in homozygous carriers of a DAT1 haplotype increasing DAT1 expression. Source analysis showed that the time interval 500–1000 ms after the motor response was specifically affected in contrast to preceding movement anticipation and programming stages, which were not altered. Conclusions Motor slow negative waves allow the genomic imaging of dopamine inactivation effects on cortical motor post-processing during response evaluation. This is the first report to point towards epistatic effects in the motor system during response evaluation, i.e. during the post-processing of an already executed movement rather than during movement programming. PMID:22649558

  19. [Polymorphisms of CYP1B1 and COMT in breast and endometrial cancer].

    PubMed

    Zimarina, T C; Kristensen, V N; Imianitov, E N; Bershteĭn, L M

    2004-01-01

    CYP1B1 and COMT code for the key enzymes of catecholestrogen biosynthesis and metabolism, and their polymorphisms determine a variation of enzymic activities. RFLP analysis was used to study the allele and genotype frequency distributions of CYP1B1 polymorphisms Arg48Gly, Ala119Ser, and Val432Leu and COMT polymorphism Val158Met in 210 breast cancer patients, 138 endometrial cancer patients, and 152 healthy women. The COMT polymorphism showed no significant association with breast or endometrial cancer. For the first time, such association was observed for the CYP1B1 polymorphisms. CYP1B1 allele C (Arg48), which codes for the enzyme more active in estradiol 4-hydroxylation, was associated with higher risk of breast (OR = 3.22, CI 2.34-4.43, p = 0.000) and endometrial (OR = 2.43, CI 1.72-3.44, p = 0.000) cancer. Similar data were obtained for CYP1B1 allele G (Ala119): OR = 2.18, CI 1.58-3.01, p = 0.000 in breast cancer and OR = 2.52, CI 1.78-3.56, p = 0.000 in endometrial cancer. Risk of endometrial, but not breast, cancer was significantly higher in carriers of CYP1B1 genotype Val432/Val. This was explained by stronger estrogen dependence and, consequently, higher estrogen reactivity of the endometrium as compared with the mammary gland.

  20. COMT x DRD4 epistasis impacts prefrontal cortex function underlying response control.

    PubMed

    Heinzel, Sebastian; Dresler, Thomas; Baehne, Christina G; Heine, Monika; Boreatti-Hümmer, Andrea; Jacob, Christian P; Renner, Tobias J; Reif, Andreas; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Fallgatter, Andreas J; Ehlis, Ann-Christine

    2013-06-01

    The prefrontal cortex plays a major role in cognitive control, but it is unclear how single genes and gene-gene interactions (genetic epistasis) impact neural and behavioral phenotypes. Both dopamine (DA) availability ("inverted U-model") and excitatory versus inhibitory DA receptor stimulation ("dual-state theory") have been linked to important principles of prefrontal processing. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT; Val158Met) and DA D4-receptor (DRD4; 48 bp VNTR) genotypes were analyzed for effects on behavioral and neural correlates of prefrontal response control (NoGo-anteriorization, NGA) using a Go-NoGo task and electroencephalography (114 controls and 181 patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder).  DRD4 and COMT epistatically interacted on the NGA, whereas single genes and diagnosis showed no significant impact. Subjects with presumably relatively increased D4-receptor function (DRD4: no 7R-alleles) displayed an inverted U-relationship between the NGA and increasing COMT-dependent DA levels, whereas subjects with decreased D4-sensitivity (7R) showed a U-relationship. This interaction was supported by 7R-allele dose effects and mirrored by reaction time variability (non-significant after multiple testing correction). Combining previous theories of prefrontal DA functioning, neural stability at intermediate DA levels may be accompanied by the risk of overly decreased neural flexibility if inhibitory DA receptor function is additionally decreased. Our findings might help to disentangle the genetic basis of dopaminergic mechanisms underlying prefrontal (dys)function.

  1. Different Roles of COMT and HTR2A Genotypes in Working Memory Subprocesses

    PubMed Central

    Kondo, Hirohito M.; Nomura, Michio; Kashino, Makio

    2015-01-01

    Working memory is linked to the functions of the frontal areas, in which neural activity is mediated by dopaminergic and serotonergic tones. However, there is no consensus regarding how the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems influence working memory subprocesses. The present study used an imaging genetics approach to examine the interaction between neurochemical functions and working memory performance. We focused on functional polymorphisms of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met and serotonin 2A receptor (HTR2A) -1438G/A genes, and devised a delayed recognition task to isolate the encoding, retention, and retrieval processes for visual information. The COMT genotypes affected recognition accuracy, whereas the HTR2A genotypes were associated with recognition response times. Activations specifically related to working memory were found in the right frontal and parietal areas, such as the middle frontal gyrus (MFG), inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), and inferior parietal lobule (IPL). MFG and ACC/IPL activations were sensitive to differences between the COMT genotypes and between the HTR2A genotypes, respectively. Structural equation modeling demonstrated that stronger connectivity in the ACC-MFG and ACC-IFG networks is related to better task performance. The behavioral and fMRI results suggest that the dopaminergic and serotonergic systems play different roles in the working memory subprocesses and modulate closer cooperation between lateral and medial frontal activations. PMID:25974269

  2. Clinical Pharmacology of 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, “Ecstasy”): The Influence of Gender and Genetics (CYP2D6, COMT, 5-HTT)

    PubMed Central

    O’Mathúna, Brian; Torrens, Marta; Mustata, Cristina; Pérez-Mañá, Clara; Langohr, Klaus; Cuyàs, Elisabet; Carbó, Marcel·lí; de la Torre, Rafael

    2012-01-01

    The synthetic psychostimulant MDMA (±3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, ecstasy) acts as an indirect serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine agonist and as a mechanism-based inhibitor of the cytochrome P-450 2D6 (CYP2D6). It has been suggested that women are more sensitive to MDMA effects than men but no clinical experimental studies have satisfactorily evaluated the factors contributing to such observations. There are no studies evaluating the influence of genetic polymorphism on the pharmacokinetics (CYP2D6; catechol-O-methyltransferase, COMT) and pharmacological effects of MDMA (serotonin transporter, 5-HTT; COMT). This clinical study was designed to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and physiological and subjective effects of MDMA considering gender and the genetic polymorphisms of CYP2D6, COMT, and 5-HTT. A total of 27 (12 women) healthy, recreational users of ecstasy were included (all extensive metabolizers for CYP2D6). A single oral weight-adjusted dose of MDMA was administered (1.4 mg/kg, range 75–100 mg) which was similar to recreational doses. None of the women were taking oral contraceptives and the experimental session was performed during the early follicular phase of their menstrual cycle. Principal findings show that subjects reached similar MDMA plasma concentrations, and experienced similar positive effects, irrespective of gender or CYP2D6 (not taking into consideration poor or ultra-rapid metabolizers) or COMT genotypes. However, HMMA plasma concentrations were linked to CYP2D6 genotype (higher with two functional alleles). Female subjects displayed more intense physiological (heart rate, and oral temperature) and negative effects (dizziness, sedation, depression, and psychotic symptoms). Genotypes of COMT val158met or 5-HTTLPR with high functionality (val/val or l/*) determined greater cardiovascular effects, and with low functionality (met/* or s/s) negative subjective effects (dizziness, anxiety, sedation). In conclusion, the contribution of

  3. Adipose tissue PCB levels and CYP1B1 and COMT genotypes in relation to breast cancer risk in postmenopausal Danish women.

    PubMed

    Bräuner, Elvira V; Loft, Steffen; Wellejus, Anja; Autrup, Herman; Tjønneland, Anne; Raaschou-Nielsen, Ole

    2014-01-01

    Exposure to PCBs may be an etiologic factor for breast cancer. The cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzymes are involved in estrogen metabolism and PCB metabolism, both of which may relate to breast cancer susceptibility. Polymorphisms in genes regulating these enzymes control efficiency. Our objective was to assess whether CYP1B1 and COMT gene polymorphisms modulate the effect of PCBs in breast cancer risk, among postmenopausal Danish women. Neither CYP1B1 Leu432Val polymorphisms nor adipose tissue PCBs were independently associated with breast cancer risk. When assessing the independent effect of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, we observed reduced risk for breast cancer amongst hormone replacement therapy using women who were homozygous carriers of the variant allele compared with those carrying the wild-type variant (RR = 0.41; 95% CI: 0.29-0.89). We found no statistically significant interactions between any of the PCB groups and CYP1B1 or COMT polymorphisms on the risk of breast cancer.

  4. Why Some People Discount More than Others: Baseline Activation in the Dorsal PFC Mediates the Link between COMT Genotype and Impatient Choice.

    PubMed

    Gianotti, Lorena R R; Figner, Bernd; Ebstein, Richard P; Knoch, Daria

    2012-01-01

    Individuals differ widely in how steeply they discount future rewards. The sources of these stable individual differences in delay discounting (DD) are largely unknown. One candidate is the COMT Val158Met polymorphism, known to modulate prefrontal dopamine levels and affect DD. To identify possible neural mechanisms by which this polymorphism may contribute to stable individual DD differences, we measured 73 participants' neural baseline activation using resting electroencephalogram (EEG). Such neural baseline activation measures are highly heritable and stable over time, thus an ideal endophenotype candidate to explain how genes may influence behavior via individual differences in neural function. After EEG-recording, participants made a series of incentive-compatible intertemporal choices to determine the steepness of their DD. We found that COMT significantly affected DD and that this effect was mediated by baseline activation level in the left dorsal prefrontal cortex (DPFC): (i) COMT had a significant effect on DD such that the number of Val alleles was positively correlated with steeper DD (higher numbers of Val alleles means greater COMT activity and thus lower dopamine levels). (ii) A whole-brain search identified a cluster in left DPFC where baseline activation was correlated with DD; lower activation was associated with steeper DD. (iii) COMT had a significant effect on the baseline activation level in this left DPFC cluster such that a higher number of Val alleles was associated with lower baseline activation. (iv) The effect of COMT on DD was explained by the mediating effect of neural baseline activation in the left DPFC cluster. Our study thus establishes baseline activation level in left DPFC as salient neural signature in the form of an endophenotype that mediates the link between COMT and DD.

  5. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Genotype Affects Age-Related Changes in Plasticity in Working Memory: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Riemer, Thomas G.; Schulte, Stefanie; Onken, Johanna; Heinz, Andreas; Rapp, Michael A.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives. Recent work suggests that a genetic variation associated with increased dopamine metabolism in the prefrontal cortex (catechol-O-methyltransferase Val158Met; COMT) amplifies age-related changes in working memory performance. Research on younger adults indicates that the influence of dopamine-related genetic polymorphisms on working memory performance increases when testing the cognitive limits through training. To date, this has not been studied in older adults. Method. Here we investigate the effect of COMT genotype on plasticity in working memory in a sample of 14 younger (aged 24–30 years) and 25 older (aged 60–75 years) healthy adults. Participants underwent adaptive training in the n-back working memory task over 12 sessions under increasing difficulty conditions. Results. Both younger and older adults exhibited sizeable behavioral plasticity through training (P < .001), which was larger in younger as compared to older adults (P < .001). Age-related differences were qualified by an interaction with COMT genotype (P < .001), and this interaction was due to decreased behavioral plasticity in older adults carrying the Val/Val genotype, while there was no effect of genotype in younger adults. Discussion. Our findings indicate that age-related changes in plasticity in working memory are critically affected by genetic variation in prefrontal dopamine metabolism. PMID:24772423

  6. COMT and prenatal maternal smoking in associations with conduct problems and crime: the Pelotas 1993 birth cohort study.

    PubMed

    Salatino-Oliveira, Angélica; Murray, Joseph; Kieling, Christian; Genro, Júlia Pasqualini; Polanczyk, Guilherme; Anselmi, Luciana; Wehrmeister, Fernando; de Barros, Fernando C; Menezes, Ana Maria Baptista; Rohde, Luis Augusto; Hutz, Mara Helena

    2016-07-18

    Conduct problems in childhood and adolescence are significant precursors of crime and violence in young adulthood. The purpose of the current study is to test the interaction between prenatal maternal smoking and COMT Val(158)Met in conduct problems and crime in the 1993 Pelotas Birth Cohort Study. Conduct problems were assessed through the parent version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire at ages 11 and 15 years. A translated version of a confidential self-report questionnaire was used to collect criminal data at 18 years of age. Negative binomial regression analyses showed an association between prenatal maternal smoking and SDQ conduct problem scores (IRR = 1.24; 95% CI: 1.14-1.34; p < 0.001) at 11 years of age. However, no evidence was found for an association between COMT genotypes and conduct scores or for an interaction between maternal smoking and this gene in predicting conduct problems. Very similar results were obtained using the 15 years conduct scores and crime measure at age 18. Prenatal maternal smoking was associated with crime (IRR = 1.28; 95% CI: 1.09-1.48; p = 0.002) but neither COMT genotypes nor the possible interaction between gene and maternal smoking were significantly associated with crime. Replications of GxE findings across different social contexts are critical for testing the robustness of findings.

  7. COMT and prenatal maternal smoking in associations with conduct problems and crime: the Pelotas 1993 birth cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Salatino-Oliveira, Angélica; Murray, Joseph; Kieling, Christian; Genro, Júlia Pasqualini; Polanczyk, Guilherme; Anselmi, Luciana; Wehrmeister, Fernando; de Barros, Fernando C.; Menezes, Ana Maria Baptista; Rohde, Luis Augusto; Hutz, Mara Helena

    2016-01-01

    Conduct problems in childhood and adolescence are significant precursors of crime and violence in young adulthood. The purpose of the current study is to test the interaction between prenatal maternal smoking and COMT Val158Met in conduct problems and crime in the 1993 Pelotas Birth Cohort Study. Conduct problems were assessed through the parent version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire at ages 11 and 15 years. A translated version of a confidential self-report questionnaire was used to collect criminal data at 18 years of age. Negative binomial regression analyses showed an association between prenatal maternal smoking and SDQ conduct problem scores (IRR = 1.24; 95% CI: 1.14–1.34; p < 0.001) at 11 years of age. However, no evidence was found for an association between COMT genotypes and conduct scores or for an interaction between maternal smoking and this gene in predicting conduct problems. Very similar results were obtained using the 15 years conduct scores and crime measure at age 18. Prenatal maternal smoking was associated with crime (IRR = 1.28; 95% CI: 1.09–1.48; p = 0.002) but neither COMT genotypes nor the possible interaction between gene and maternal smoking were significantly associated with crime. Replications of GxE findings across different social contexts are critical for testing the robustness of findings. PMID:27426045

  8. Inhibition of Catechol-O-methyl Transferase (COMT) by Tolcapone Restores Reductions in Microtubule-associated Protein 2 (MAP2) and Synaptophysin (SYP) Following Exposure of Neuronal Cells to Neurotropic HIV

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Ting Ting; Chana, Gursharan; Gorry, Paul R.; Ellett, Anne; Bousman, Chad A.; Churchill, Melissa J.; Gray, Lachlan R.; Everall, Ian P.

    2015-01-01

    This investigation aimed to assess whether inhibition of cathecol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) by Tolcapone could provide neuroprotection against HIV-associated neurodegenerative effects. This study was conducted based on previous work, which showed that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at position 158 (val158met) in COMT, resulted in 40% lower COMT activity. Importantly, this reduction confers a protective effect against HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), which have been linked to HIV-associated brain changes. SH-SY5Y differentiated neurons were exposed to macrophage-propagated HIV (neurotropic MACS2-Br strain) in the presence or absence of Tolcapone for 6 days. RNA was extracted and qPCR was performed using Qiagen RT2-custom-array consisting of genes for neuronal and synaptic integrity, COMT and pro-inflammatory markers. Immunofluorescence was conducted to validate the gene expression changes at the protein level. Our findings demonstrated that HIV significantly increased the mRNA expression of COMT while reduced the expression of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) (p=0.0015) and synaptophysin (SYP) (p=0.012) compared to control. A concomitant exposure of Tolcapone ameliorated the perturbed expression of MAP2 (p=0.009) and COMT (p=0.024) associated with HIV. Immunofluorescence revealed a trend reduction of SYP and MAP2 with exposure to HIV, and that concomitant exposure of Tolcapone increased SYP (p=0.016) compared to HIV alone. Our findings demonstrated in vitro that inhibition of COMT can ameliorate HIV-associated neurodegenerative changes that resulted in the decreased expression of the structural and synaptic components MAP2 and SYP. As HIV-associated dendritic and synaptic damage are contributors to HAND, inhibition of COMT may represent a potential strategy for attenuating or preventing some of the symptoms of HAND. PMID:26037113

  9. Inhibition of catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) by tolcapone restores reductions in microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) and synaptophysin (SYP) following exposure of neuronal cells to neurotropic HIV.

    PubMed

    Lee, Ting Ting; Chana, Gursharan; Gorry, Paul R; Ellett, Anne; Bousman, Chad A; Churchill, Melissa J; Gray, Lachlan R; Everall, Ian P

    2015-10-01

    This investigation aimed to assess whether inhibition of cathecol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) by tolcapone could provide neuroprotection against HIV-associated neurodegenerative effects. This study was conducted based on a previous work, which showed that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at position 158 (val158met) in COMT, resulted in 40 % lower COMT activity. Importantly, this reduction confers a protective effect against HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND), which have been linked to HIV-associated brain changes. SH-SY5Y-differentiated neurons were exposed to macrophage-propagated HIV (neurotropic MACS2-Br strain) in the presence or absence of tolcapone for 6 days. RNA was extracted, and qPCR was performed using Qiagen RT2 custom array consisting of genes for neuronal and synaptic integrity, COMT and pro-inflammatory markers. Immunofluorescence was conducted to validate the gene expression changes at the protein level. Our findings demonstrated that HIV significantly increased the messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of COMT while reducing the expression of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) (p = 0.0015) and synaptophysin (SYP) (p = 0.012) compared to control. A concomitant exposure of tolcapone ameliorated the perturbed expression of MAP2 (p = 0.009) and COMT (p = 0.024) associated with HIV. Immunofluorescence revealed a trend reduction of SYP and MAP2 with exposure to HIV and that concomitant exposure of tolcapone increased SYP (p = 0.016) compared to HIV alone. Our findings demonstrated in vitro that inhibition of COMT can ameliorate HIV-associated neurodegenerative changes that resulted in the decreased expression of the structural and synaptic components MAP2 and SYP. As HIV-associated dendritic and synaptic damage are contributors to HAND, inhibition of COMT may represent a potential strategy for attenuating or preventing some of the symptoms of HAND.

  10. COMT genotype influences prefrontal response to emotional distraction.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Sonia J; Cohen, Jonathan D; Fossella, John; Casey, B J; Farah, Martha J

    2006-03-01

    Early studies of genetic effects on brain activity have been conducted to investigate primarily either the influence of polymorphisms in dopaminergic genes, especially the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, on prefrontal cognitive processes such as working memory, or that of polymorphisms in the serotonin transporter gene on the amygdala response to threatening stimuli. Here, we address genetic influences on the neural systems underlying cognitive-affective interactions. Specifically, we assess the effect of the CO MT val158met polymorphism onfrontal regulation of attentionunder emotional distraction. Healthy volunteers were scanned while performing a house-matching task with affectively negative versus neutral distractors. Effects of val allele load were examined on frontal regions associated with attentional control and emotion regulation, and on parahippocampal regions associated with perception of houses. As we predicted, val load correlated positively with activity in control- and task-related regions during performance under emotional distraction. These findings provide an initial step toward identifying genetic contributions to interindividual variability in recruitment of mechanisms that regulate affective processing.

  11. Personality in Relation to Genetic Liability for Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder: Differential Associations with the COMT Val108/158Met Polymorphism

    PubMed Central

    Silberschmidt, Amy L.; Sponheim, Scott R.

    2009-01-01

    Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder may share aspects of genetic etiology. Evidence supports the Val108/158Met polymorphism of the Catechol-o-Methyltransferase (COMT) gene as potentially contributing to the etiology of both disorders. To determine whether the COMT gene is associated with personality traits related to genetic risk for either schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, we examined dimensions of personality psychopathology in biological relatives of individuals with the disorders. Specifically, we contrasted personality characteristics of first-degree relatives of people with schizophrenia, first-degree relatives of people with bipolar-I disorder, and nonpsychiatric control participants using scores from the Dimensional Assessment of Personality Pathology – Brief Questionnaire (DAPP-BQ). We also characterized the COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism of subjects. Compared to controls, relatives of schizophrenia patients scored lower on stimulus seeking and higher on restrictive expression and social avoidance. Compared to relatives of bipolar patients, relatives of schizophrenia patients had lower scores on narcissism, rejectionality (i.e., rejection of ideas of others), stimulus seeking, passive-aggressive oppositionality, and self-harm. The subset of relatives of schizophrenia patients who were COMT val homozygotes exhibited lower scores on narcissism, rejectionality, and stimulus seeking than met homozygote relatives of schizophrenia patients and control participants. Although relatives of bipolar patients showed scale elevations consistent with emotional dysregulation, the scores failed to be associated with the Val108/158Met polymorphism. Abnormally low narcissism and rejectionality in val homozygote relatives of schizophrenia patients suggests that the val allele of the COMT polymorphism may be associated with an underdeveloped self-concept phenomenologically similar to made volition and passivity experiences comprising first-rank symptoms of schizophrenia

  12. Evidence for a common biological basis of the Absorption trait, hallucinogen effects, and positive symptoms: epistasis between 5-HT2a and COMT polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Ott, Ulrich; Reuter, Martin; Hennig, Juergen; Vaitl, Dieter

    2005-08-05

    Absorption represents a disposition to experience altered states of consciousness characterized by intensively focused attention. It is correlated with hypnotic susceptibility and includes phenomena ranging from vivid perceptions and imaginations to mystical experiences. Based on the assumption that drug-induced and naturally occurring mystical experiences share common neural mechanisms, we hypothesized that Absorption is influenced by the T102C polymorphism affecting the 5-HT2a receptor, which is known to be an important target site of hallucinogens like LSD. Based on the pivotal role ascribed to the prefrontal executive control network for absorbed attention and positive symptoms in schizophrenia, it was further hypothesized that Absorption is associated with the VAL158MET polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene affecting the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system. The Tellegen Absorption Scale was administered to 336 subjects (95 male, 241 female). Statistical analysis revealed that the group with the T/T genotype of the T102C polymorphism, implying a stronger binding potential of the 5-HT2a receptor, indeed had significantly higher Absorption scores (F = 10.00, P = 0.002), while no main effect was found for the COMT polymorphism. However, the interaction between T102C and COMT genotypes yielded significance (F = 3.89; P = 0.049), underlining the known functional interaction between the 5-HT and the dopaminergic system. These findings point to biological foundations of the personality trait of Absorption.

  13. Monoamine Oxidase A (MAOA) and Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Gene Polymorphisms Interact with Maternal Parenting in Association with Adolescent Reactive Aggression but not Proactive Aggression: Evidence of Differential Susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wenxin; Cao, Cong; Wang, Meiping; Ji, Linqin; Cao, Yanmiao

    2016-04-01

    To date, whether and how gene-environment (G × E) interactions operate differently across distinct subtypes of aggression remains untested. More recently, in contrast with the diathesis-stress hypothesis, an alternative hypothesis of differential susceptibility proposes that individuals could be differentially susceptible to environments depending on their genotypes in a "for better and for worse" manner. The current study examined interactions between monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) T941G and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met polymorphisms with maternal parenting on two types of aggression: reactive and proactive. Moreover, whether these potential G × E interactions would be consistent with the diathesis-stress versus the differential susceptibility hypothesis was tested. Within the sample of 1399 Chinese Han adolescents (47.2 % girls, M age = 12.32 years, SD = 0.50), MAOA and COMT genes both interacted with positive parenting in their associations with reactive but not proactive aggression. Adolescents with T alleles/TT homozygotes of MAOA gene or Met alleles of COMT gene exhibited more reactive aggression when exposed to low positive parenting, but less reactive aggression when exposed to high positive parenting. These findings provide the first evidence for distinct G × E interaction effects on reactive versus proactive aggression and lend further support for the differential susceptibility hypothesis.

  14. Genetic polymorphisms of DAT1 and COMT differentially associate with actigraphy-derived sleep-wake cycles in young adults.

    PubMed

    Valomon, Amandine; Holst, Sebastian C; Bachmann, Valérie; Viola, Antoine U; Schmidt, Christina; Zürcher, Jurian; Berger, Wolfgang; Cajochen, Christian; Landolt, Hans-Peter

    2014-06-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that dopamine plays a key role in sleep-wake regulation. Cerebral dopamine levels are regulated primarily by the dopamine transporter (DAT) in the striatum and by catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT) in the prefrontal cortex. We hypothesized that the variable-number-tandem-repeat (VNTR) polymorphism in the 3'-untranslated region of the gene encoding DAT (DAT1, SLC6A3; rs28363170) and the Val158Met polymorphism of COMT (rs4680) differently affect actigraphy-derived rest-activity cycles and sleep estimates in healthy adults (65 men; 45 women; age range: 19-35 years). Daytime sleepiness, continuous rest-actigraphy and sleep diary data during roughly 4-weeks were analyzed. Nine-repeat (9R) allele carriers of DAT1 (n = 48) more often reported elevated sleepiness (Epworth sleepiness score ≥10) than 10-repeat (10R) allele homozygotes (n = 62, p < 0.02). Moreover, male 9R allele carriers showed higher wrist activity, whereas this difference was not present in women ("DAT1 genotype" × "gender" interaction: p < 0.005). Rest-activity patterns did not differ among COMT genotypes. Nevertheless, a significant "COMT genotype" × "type of day" (workdays vs. rest days) interaction for sleep duration was observed (p = 0.04). The Val/Val (n = 36) and Met/Met (n = 24) homozygotes habitually prolonged sleep on rest days compared to workdays by more than 30 min, while Val/Met heterozygotes (n = 50) did not significantly extend their sleep (mean difference: 7 min). Moreover, whereas the proportion of women among the genotype groups did not differ, COMT genotype affected body-mass-index (BMI), such that Val/Met individuals had lower BMI than the homozygous genotypes (p < 0.04). While awaiting independent replication and confirmation, our data support an association of genetically-determined differences in cerebral dopaminergic neurotransmission with daytime sleepiness and individual rest-activity profiles

  15. Functional Analysis of Genetic Variation in Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT): Effects on mRNA, Protein, and Enzyme Activity in Postmortem Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jingshan; Lipska, Barbara K.; Halim, Nader; Ma, Quang D.; Matsumoto, Mitsuyuki; Melhem, Samer; Kolachana, Bhaskar S.; Hyde, Thomas M.; Herman, Mary M.; Apud, Jose; Egan, Michael F.; Kleinman, Joel E.; Weinberger, Daniel R.

    2004-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a key enzyme in the elimination of dopamine in the prefrontal cortex of the human brain. Genetic variation in the COMT gene (MIM 116790) has been associated with altered prefrontal cortex function and higher risk for schizophrenia, but the specific alleles and their functional implications have been controversial. We analyzed the effects of several single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within COMT on mRNA expression levels (using reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction analysis), protein levels (using Western blot analysis), and enzyme activity (using catechol methylation) in a large sample (n = 108) of postmortem human prefrontal cortex tissue, which predominantly expresses the -membrane-bound isoform. A common coding SNP, Val158Met (rs4680), significantly affected protein abundance and enzyme activity but not mRNA expression levels, suggesting that differences in protein integrity account for the difference in enzyme activity between alleles. A SNP in intron 1 (rs737865) and a SNP in the 3′ flanking region (rs165599)—both of which have been reported to contribute to allelic expression differences and to be associated with schizophrenia as part of a haplotype with Val—had no effect on mRNA expression levels, protein immunoreactivity, or enzyme activity. In lymphocytes from 47 subjects, we confirmed a similar effect on enzyme activity in samples with the Val/Met genotype but no effect in samples with the intron 1 or 3′ SNPs. Separate analyses revealed that the subject's sex, as well as the presence of a SNP in the P2 promoter region (rs2097603), had small effects on COMT enzyme activity. Using site-directed mutagenesis of mouse COMT cDNA, followed by in vitro translation, we found that the conversion of Leu at the homologous position into Met or Val progressively and significantly diminished enzyme activity. Thus, although we cannot exclude a more complex genetic basis for functional effects of COMT, Val is a

  16. Impact of aerobic exercise training on cognitive functions and affect associated to the COMT polymorphism in young adults.

    PubMed

    Stroth, Sanna; Reinhardt, Ralf K; Thöne, Jan; Hille, Katrin; Schneider, Matthias; Härtel, Sascha; Weidemann, Wolfgang; Bös, Klaus; Spitzer, Manfred

    2010-10-01

    Physical fitness can serve as a means to enhance cognitive functioning by modulating particular aspects of brain functioning. However, mechanisms underlying this modulating effect remain widely unresolved. To examine the impact and to clarify the mechanisms of physical fitness training in a young and healthy population, it was investigated whether an increase in fitness would result in improvements in executive control processes and positive and negative affect. Moreover, genotype of the Val158Met polymorphism in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) as an index of relative central dopamine bioavailability was determined to elucidate dopamine tuning efficiency and its association with performance in the applied cognitive tasks. Seventy-five individuals participated and underwent an incremental fitness test to assess physical fitness. An exercising group subsequently engaged in a 17 weeks running training consisting of three running sessions at moderate to high, individually adjusted intensities. Associated with increased fitness improved cognitive flexibility and cognitive control were observed, whereas working memory remained unaffected. In runners, Val/Val participants improved cognitive performance to a greater extent compared to individuals carrying a Met allele. From the present results it is concluded that an increase in physical fitness provides a means to improve cognitive functioning via dopaminergic modulation.

  17. Supraphysiological hormonal status, anxiety disorders, and COMT Val/Val genotype are associated with reduced sensorimotor gating in women.

    PubMed

    Comasco, Erika; Hellgren, Charlotte; Olivier, Jocelien; Skalkidou, Alkistis; Sundström Poromaa, Inger

    2015-10-01

    Pregnancy is a period characterized by a supraphysiological hormonal status, and greater anxiety proneness, which can lead to peripartum affective symptoms with dramatic consequences not only for the woman but also for the child. Clinical psychiatry is heavily hampered by the paucity of objective and biology-based intermediate phenotypes. Prepulse inhibition (PPI) of the startle response, a neurophysiological measure of sensorimotor gating, has been poorly investigated in relation to anxiety and in pregnant women. In the present study, the PPI of healthy non-pregnant women (n = 82) and late pregnant women (n = 217) was investigated. Age, BMI, depression and anxiety symptoms, tobacco use, and antidepressant medication were considered. We investigated and provided evidence of lower PPI: (i) in healthy pregnant women compared to healthy non-pregnant controls, (ii) in pregnant women with anxiety disorders compared to healthy pregnant women, (iii) in pregnant women with anxiety disorders using SSRI compared to un-medicated pregnant women with anxiety disorders, and (iv) in healthy pregnant women carrying the COMT Val158Met Val/Val genotype compared to Met carriers. Altogether, a reduced sensorimotor gating as an effect of supraphysiological hormonal status, anxiety disorders, SSRIs, and catecholaminergic genotype, implicate the putative relevance of lower PPI as an objective biological correlate of anxiety proneness in pregnant women. These findings call for prospective studies to dissect the multifactorial influences on PPI in relation to mental health of pregnant women.

  18. The Flexible Mind Is Associated with the Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Val[superscript 158]Met Polymorphism: Evidence for a Role of Dopamine in the Control of Task-Switching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colzato, Lorenza S.; Waszak, Florian; Nieuwenhuis, Sander; Posthuma, Danielle; Hommel, Bernhard

    2010-01-01

    Genetic variability related to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene Val[superscript 128]Met polymorphism) has received increasing attention as a possible modulator of cognitive control functions. Recent evidence suggests that the Val[superscript 128]Met genotype may differentially affect cognitive stability and flexibility, in such a way…

  19. COMT Val[superscript 108/158] Met Gene Variant, Birth Weight, and Conduct Disorder in Children with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sengupta, Sarojini M.; Grizenko, Natalie; Schmitz, Norbert; Schwartz, George; Amor, Leila Ben; Bellingham, Johanne; de Guzman, Rosherrie; Polotskaia, Anna; Stepanian, Marina Ter; Thakur, Geeta; Joober, Ridha

    2006-01-01

    Objective: In a recent study, Thapar and colleagues reported that COMT "gene variant and birth weight predict early-onset antisocial behavior in children" with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. We have attempted to replicate these findings in a group of ADHD children using a similar research design. Method: Children (n = 191)…

  20. Soy isoflavones, CYP1A1, CYP1B1, and COMT polymorphisms, and breast cancer: a case-control study in southwestern China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qiong; Li, Hui; Tao, Ping; Wang, Yuan-Ping; Yuan, Ping; Yang, Chun-Xia; Li, Jia-Yuan; Yang, Fei; Lee, Hui; Huang, Yuan

    2011-08-01

    CYP1A1, CYP1B1, and COMT are key enzymes involved in estrogen metabolism. Soy isoflavones, phytoestrogens found in soy foods, may modify the activity of these enzymes. A case-control study was conducted to assess the associations between soy isoflavone intake and the CYP1A1 Ile462Val, CYP1B1 Val432Leu, and COMT Val158Met polymorphisms and breast cancer, as well as their combined effects on breast cancer. A total of 400 newly diagnosed breast cancer cases and 400 healthy controls were recruited. Participants' daily intake of soy isoflavones (DISI [mg/day]) was calculated and transformed to energy-adjusted DISI by the residual method. Gene sequencing was used to analyze CYP1A1, CYP1B1, and COMT polymorphisms. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were estimated by conditional logistic regression. A strong protective dose-dependent effect of energy-adjusted DISI on breast cancer was found in both pre- and postmenopausal women (P(trend) < 0.05). Among all women and in the postmenopausal subgroup, COMT Met/Met and CYP1B1 Leu/Leu susceptible genotype carriers had higher risk of breast cancer (aORs > 1, OR 95% CIs exclude 1). In premenopausal women, only carrying CYP1B1 Leu/Leu was associated with breast cancer risk (aOR = 2.05, 95% CI: 1.11-3.79). Carrying CYP1A1 Val/Val was related to breast cancer risk only among all women. A stratified analysis was performed at two levels of energy-adjusted DISI, with wildtype homozygous genotypes and low energy-adjusted DISI as the reference. In the high energy-adjusted DISI subgroup, carrying the CYP1B1 Leu/Leu genotype did not affect breast cancer risk in either all women or in the menopausal subgroups, compared with the reference. Overall, in Han Chinese women, carrying CYP1A1 Val/Val and COMT Met/Met appears to be associated with breast cancer risk, especially in postmenopausal women. CYP1B1 susceptible genotypes (Val/Leu or Leu/Leu) also contribute to increased breast cancer risk

  1. No Association of BDNF, COMT, MAOA, SLC6A3, and SLC6A4 Genes and Depressive Symptoms in a Sample of Healthy Colombian Subjects

    PubMed Central

    González-Giraldo, Yeimy; Camargo, Andrés; López-León, Sandra; Forero, Diego A.

    2015-01-01

    Background. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the second cause of years lived with disability around the world. A large number of studies have been carried out to identify genetic risk factors for MDD and related endophenotypes, mainly in populations of European and Asian descent, with conflicting results. The main aim of the current study was to analyze the possible association of five candidate genes and depressive symptoms in a Colombian sample of healthy subjects. Methods and Materials. The Spanish adaptation of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was applied to one hundred eighty-eight healthy Colombian subjects. Five functional polymorphisms were genotyped using PCR-based assays: BDNF-Val66Met (rs6265), COMT-Val158Met (rs4680), SLC6A4-HTTLPR (rs4795541), MAOA-uVNTR, and SLC6A3-VNTR (rs28363170). Result. We did not find significant associations with scores of depressive symptoms, derived from the HADS, for any of the five candidate genes (nominal p values >0.05). In addition, we did not find evidence of significant gene-gene interactions. Conclusion. This work is one of the first studies of candidate genes for depressive symptoms in a Latin American sample. Study of additional genetic and epigenetic variants, taking into account other pathophysiological theories, will help to identify novel candidates for MDD in populations around the world. PMID:26557993

  2. No Association of BDNF, COMT, MAOA, SLC6A3, and SLC6A4 Genes and Depressive Symptoms in a Sample of Healthy Colombian Subjects.

    PubMed

    González-Giraldo, Yeimy; Camargo, Andrés; López-León, Sandra; Forero, Diego A

    2015-01-01

    Background. Major depressive disorder (MDD) is the second cause of years lived with disability around the world. A large number of studies have been carried out to identify genetic risk factors for MDD and related endophenotypes, mainly in populations of European and Asian descent, with conflicting results. The main aim of the current study was to analyze the possible association of five candidate genes and depressive symptoms in a Colombian sample of healthy subjects. Methods and Materials. The Spanish adaptation of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was applied to one hundred eighty-eight healthy Colombian subjects. Five functional polymorphisms were genotyped using PCR-based assays: BDNF-Val66Met (rs6265), COMT-Val158Met (rs4680), SLC6A4-HTTLPR (rs4795541), MAOA-uVNTR, and SLC6A3-VNTR (rs28363170). Result. We did not find significant associations with scores of depressive symptoms, derived from the HADS, for any of the five candidate genes (nominal p values >0.05). In addition, we did not find evidence of significant gene-gene interactions. Conclusion. This work is one of the first studies of candidate genes for depressive symptoms in a Latin American sample. Study of additional genetic and epigenetic variants, taking into account other pathophysiological theories, will help to identify novel candidates for MDD in populations around the world.

  3. Imaging oxytocin × dopamine interactions: an epistasis effect of CD38 and COMT gene variants influences the impact of oxytocin on amygdala activation to social stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Sauer, Carina; Montag, Christian; Reuter, Martin; Kirsch, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Although oxytocin (OT) has become a major target for the investigation of positive social processes, it can be assumed that it exerts its effects in concert with other neurotransmitters. One candidate for such an interaction is dopamine (DA). For both systems, genetic variants have been identified that influence the availability of the particular substance. A variant of the gene coding for the transmembrane protein CD38 (rs3796863), which is engaged in OT secretion, has been associated with OT plasma level. The common catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) val158met polymorphism is known to influence COMT activity and therefore the degradation of DA. The present study aimed to investigate OT × DA interactions in the context of an OT challenge study. Hence, we tested the influence of the above mentioned genetic variants and their interaction on the activation of different brain regions (amygdala, VTA, ventral striatum and fusiform gyrus) during the presentation of social stimuli. In a pharmacological cross-over design 55 participants were investigated under OT and placebo (PLA) by means of fMRI. Brain imaging results revealed no significant effects for VTA or ventral striatum. Regarding the fusiform gyrus, we could not find any effects apart from those already described in Sauer et al. (2012). Analyses of amygdala activation resulted in no gene main effect, no gene × substance interaction but a significant gene × gene × substance interaction. While under PLA the effect of CD38 on bilateral amygdala activation to social stimuli was modulated by the COMT genotype, no such epistasis effect was found under OT. Our results provide evidence for an OT × DA interaction during responses to social stimuli. We postulate that the effect of central OT secretion on amygdala response is modulated by the availability of DA. Therefore, for an understanding of the effect of social hormones on social behavior, interactions of OT with other transmitter systems have to be taken into

  4. Interaction effects of the COMT and DRD4 genes with anxiety-related traits on selective attention.

    PubMed

    Alfimova, Margarita; Korovaitseva, Galina; Lezheiko, Tatiana; Golimbet, Vera

    2014-01-01

    The study investigated whether the DRD4 and COMT genes can modify relations between trait anxiety and selective attention. Two hundreds and sixty-six subjects performed a visual search task in which they had to find words looking through a sheet with rows of letters. After finishing the first sheet the subject was presented the second one, this time with an instruction to perform the task as quickly and accurate as possible. To study top-down attention, the number of correctly identified words (accuracy) and the time for completion of each trial were analyzed. To study bottom-up attention, the letters 'o' and 'n' were written in green, whilst the others were in black, and subjects were asked whether they had noticed that 2-3 minutes after the task completion. Genotypes for the COMT Val158Met and DRD4 VNTR-48 polymorphisms and TCI Harm Avoidance and MMPI Depression scales' scores were obtained as well. High anxious individuals showed a more pronounced increase in accuracy in the second trial and more profound processing of irrelevant stimuli (colored letters). There was a significant interaction effect of DRD4 and Harm avoidance on the accuracy dynamics F(1, 210), = 7.65, p = .006, η2 = .04. Among DRD4 long allele carriers, high anxious subjects significantly improved accuracy (p = .013) and tended to slow speed, while those with lower Harm avoidance demonstrated the opposite trend. These effects were more robust in less educated individuals. It was concluded that the DRD4 polymorphism may modify the influence of trait anxiety on the speed-accuracy tradeoff.

  5. Genetic polymorphisms in CYP1A1, CYP1B1 and COMT genes in Greenlandic Inuit and Europeans

    PubMed Central

    Ghisari, Mandana; Long, Manhai; Bonefeld-Jørgensen, Eva C.

    2013-01-01

    Background The Indigenous Arctic population is of Asian descent, and their genetic background is different from the Caucasian populations. Relatively little is known about the specific genetic polymorphisms in genes involved in the activation and detoxification mechanisms of environmental contaminants in Inuit and its relation to health risk. The Greenlandic Inuit are highly exposed to legacy persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs), and an elucidation of gene–environment interactions in relation to health risks is needed. Objectives The aim of this study was to determine and compare the genotype and allele frequencies of the cytochrome P450 CYP1A1 Ile462Val (rs1048943), CYP1B1 Leu432Val (rs1056836) and catechol-O-methyltransferase COMT Val158Met (rs4680) in Greenlandic Inuit (n=254) and Europeans (n=262) and explore the possible relation between the genotypes and serum levels of POPs. Results The genotype and allele frequency distributions of the three genetic polymorphisms differed significantly between the Inuit and Europeans. For Inuit, the genotype distribution was more similar to those reported for Asian populations. We observed a significant difference in serum polychlorinated biphenyl (CB-153) and the pesticide 1,1-dichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-ethylene (p,p′-DDE) levels between Inuit and Europeans, and for Inuit also associations between the POP levels and genotypes for CYP1A1, CYP1B1 and COMT. Conclusion Our data provide new information on gene polymorphisms in Greenlandic Inuit that might support evaluation of susceptibility to environmental contaminants and warrant further studies. PMID:23785672

  6. Changes in 2-hydroxyestrone and 16alpha-hydroxyestrone metabolism with flaxseed consumption: modification by COMT and CYP1B1 genotype.

    PubMed

    McCann, Susan E; Wactawski-Wende, Jean; Kufel, Kari; Olson, James; Ovando, Bladimir; Kadlubar, Susan Nowell; Davis, Warren; Carter, Lisa; Muti, Paola; Shields, Peter G; Freudenheim, Jo L

    2007-02-01

    Consumption of the phytoestrogen lignans, structurally similar to estrogen, has been associated with alterations in gene expression and estrogen metabolism. Furthermore, lignan consumption, subsequent changes in metabolizing enzyme expression, and genetic variability in these enzymes may alter estrogen metabolism and modify disease risk. Therefore, we investigated the effect of flaxseed on hydroxyestrone metabolite excretion by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and cytochrome P450 1B1 (CYP1B1) genotype. We conducted an intervention among 132 healthy, postmenopausal women, ages 46 to 75 years. Participants consumed 10 g ground flaxseed daily for 7 consecutive days. Blood and urine samples were collected at baseline and after the 7-day intervention. COMT Val(158)Met and CYP1B1 Leu(432)Val genotypes were determined using PCR-RFLP methods. Urinary 2-hydroxyestrone (2OHE1) and 16alpha-hydroxyestrone (16OHE1) were quantified by ELISA assay. The effect of genotype on intervention-related changes in estrogen metabolites was assessed with the Kruskal-Wallis test. Compared with baseline levels, postintervention levels of urinary 2OHE1 (ng/mg creatinine; mean +/- SD, 16.1 +/- 10.6 versus 9.3 +/- 6.9, postintervention and baseline, respectively; P < 0.01) and 2OHE1/16OHE1 ratios (mean +/- SD, 2.73 +/- 1.47 versus 1.54 +/- 0.75, postintervention and baseline, respectively; P < 0.01) were significantly higher. The change in 2OHE1/16OHE1 increased with increasing numbers of variant alleles for COMT (mean change: Val/Val, 0.90; Val/Met, 1.15; and Met/Met, 1.50; P = 0.17, Kruskal-Wallis) and especially CYP1B1 (mean change: Leu/Leu, 0.89; Leu/Val, 1.32; and Val/Val, 1.51; P = 0.04, Kruskal-Wallis). Our findings suggest that variation in hormone-related genes may modify the effect of dietary lignan exposures on estrogen metabolism.

  7. Are genetic variants of COMT associated with addiction?

    PubMed

    Tammimäki, Anne Emilia; Männistö, Pekka T

    2010-12-01

    The human catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) gene contains multiple single-nucleotide polymorphisms, some of which are postulated to have clinical significance. This article reviews human studies that have explored the association between COMT polymorphisms and addiction to drugs, alcohol or tobacco. Most studies concentrate on the Val108/158Met polymorphism. Although there are reports indicating a positive association with COMT polymorphisms and addiction, the majority of the studies failed to detect such a link between them with one exception, smoking. It is unlikely that there would be any single gene that could be designated as 'the addiction gene'. Rather, there seems to be a great number of genes that are associated with addiction, among which COMT seems to have a minor role. Environmental factors and genetic milieu have a great impact on whether the small effects of COMT polymorphisms on risk of addiction can be detected in a given population. Sex differences complicate the gene-environment interplay even further.

  8. Genetic influences on the acquisition and inhibition of fear.

    PubMed

    Wendt, Julia; Neubert, Jörg; Lindner, Katja; Ernst, Florian D; Homuth, Georg; Weike, Almut I; Hamm, Alfons O

    2015-12-01

    As a variant of the Pavlovian fear conditioning paradigm the conditional discrimination design allows for a detailed investigation of fear acquisition and fear inhibition. Measuring fear-potentiated startle responses, we investigated the influence of two genetic polymorphisms (5-HTTLPR and COMT Val(158)Met) on fear acquisition and fear inhibition which are considered to be critical mechanisms for the etiology and maintenance of anxiety disorders. 5-HTTLPR s-allele carriers showed a more stable potentiation of the startle response during fear acquisition. Homozygous COMT Met-allele carriers, which had demonstrated delayed extinction in previous investigations, show deficient fear inhibition in presence of a learned safety signal. Thus, our results provide further evidence that 5-HTTLPR and COMT Val(158)Met genotypes influence the vulnerability for the development of anxiety disorders via different mechanisms.

  9. COMT gene locus: new functional variants

    PubMed Central

    Meloto, Carolina B.; Segall, Samantha K.; Smith, Shad; Parisien, Marc; Shabalina, Svetlana A.; Rizzatti-Barbosa, Célia M.; Gauthier, Josée; Tsao, Douglas; Convertino, Marino; Piltonen, Marjo H.; Slade, Gary Dmitri; Fillingim, Roger B.; Greenspan, Joel D.; Ohrbach, Richard; Knott, Charles; Maixner, William; Zaykin, Dmitri; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.; Reenilä, Ilkka; Männistö, Pekka T.; Diatchenko, Luda

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catecholaminergic neurotransmitters. Numerous studies have linked COMT to pivotal brain functions such as mood, cognition, response to stress, and pain. Both nociception and risk of clinical pain have been associated with COMT genetic variants, and this association was shown to be mediated through adrenergic pathways. Here, we show that association studies between COMT polymorphic markers and pain phenotypes in 2 independent cohorts identified a functional marker, rs165774, situated in the 3′ untranslated region of a newfound splice variant, (a)-COMT. Sequence comparisons showed that the (a)-COMT transcript is highly conserved in primates, and deep sequencing data demonstrated that (a)-COMT is expressed across several human tissues, including the brain. In silico analyses showed that the (a)-COMT enzyme features a distinct C-terminus structure, capable of stabilizing substrates in its active site. In vitro experiments demonstrated not only that (a)-COMT is catalytically active but also that it displays unique substrate specificity, exhibiting enzymatic activity with dopamine but not epinephrine. They also established that the pain-protective A allele of rs165774 coincides with lower COMT activity, suggesting contribution to decreased pain sensitivity through increased dopaminergic rather than decreased adrenergic tone, characteristic of reference isoforms. Our results provide evidence for an essential role of the (a)-COMT isoform in nociceptive signaling and suggest that genetic variations in (a)-COMT isoforms may contribute to individual variability in pain phenotypes. PMID:26207649

  10. COMT gene locus: new functional variants.

    PubMed

    Meloto, Carolina B; Segall, Samantha K; Smith, Shad; Parisien, Marc; Shabalina, Svetlana A; Rizzatti-Barbosa, Célia M; Gauthier, Josée; Tsao, Douglas; Convertino, Marino; Piltonen, Marjo H; Slade, Gary Dmitri; Fillingim, Roger B; Greenspan, Joel D; Ohrbach, Richard; Knott, Charles; Maixner, William; Zaykin, Dmitri; Dokholyan, Nikolay V; Reenilä, Ilkka; Männistö, Pekka T; Diatchenko, Luda

    2015-10-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catecholaminergic neurotransmitters. Numerous studies have linked COMT to pivotal brain functions such as mood, cognition, response to stress, and pain. Both nociception and risk of clinical pain have been associated with COMT genetic variants, and this association was shown to be mediated through adrenergic pathways. Here, we show that association studies between COMT polymorphic markers and pain phenotypes in 2 independent cohorts identified a functional marker, rs165774, situated in the 3' untranslated region of a newfound splice variant, (a)-COMT. Sequence comparisons showed that the (a)-COMT transcript is highly conserved in primates, and deep sequencing data demonstrated that (a)-COMT is expressed across several human tissues, including the brain. In silico analyses showed that the (a)-COMT enzyme features a distinct C-terminus structure, capable of stabilizing substrates in its active site. In vitro experiments demonstrated not only that (a)-COMT is catalytically active but also that it displays unique substrate specificity, exhibiting enzymatic activity with dopamine but not epinephrine. They also established that the pain-protective A allele of rs165774 coincides with lower COMT activity, suggesting contribution to decreased pain sensitivity through increased dopaminergic rather than decreased adrenergic tone, characteristic of reference isoforms. Our results provide evidence for an essential role of the (a)-COMT isoform in nociceptive signaling and suggest that genetic variations in (a)-COMT isoforms may contribute to individual variability in pain phenotypes.

  11. Divergent backward masking performance in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder: association with COMT.

    PubMed

    Goghari, Vina M; Sponheim, Scott R

    2008-03-05

    Schizophrenia has been reliably associated with impairments in backward masking performance, while bipolar disorder has less consistently been tied to such a deficit. To examine the genetic determinants of visual perception abnormalities in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, this study evaluated the diagnostic specificity of backward masking performance deficits and whether masking deficits were associated with catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) genotype. A location-based backward masking task, which equated participants on the perceptual intensity of stimuli, was completed by 41 schizophrenia outpatients, 28 bipolar outpatients, and 43 nonpsychiatric controls. COMT genotype data were available for 39 schizophrenia outpatients, 28 bipolar outpatients, and 20 nonpsychiatric controls. Schizophrenia patients demonstrated impaired backward masking performance compared to controls and bipolar patients. A group by COMT genotype interaction was detected with schizophrenia Met homozygotes performing more poorly than control and bipolar Met homozygotes, and worse than Val homozygote and heterozygote schizophrenia patients. This study provides novel evidence for differential effects of the COMT gene on neural systems underlying visual perception in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The COMT Met allele may be associated with deficits in schizophrenia that are unrelated to neural systems supporting sustained attention or working memory.

  12. Neurophysiological markers of novelty processing are modulated by COMT and DRD4 genotypes.

    PubMed

    Marco-Pallarés, Josep; Nager, Wido; Krämer, Ulrike M; Cunillera, Toni; Càmara, Estela; Cucurell, David; Schüle, Rebecca; Schöls, Ludger; Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Münte, Thomas F

    2010-11-15

    Humans are faced with the dilemma to maintain a stable cognitive set on the one hand and to be able to redirect and switch attention to novel stimuli of potential importance. The dopaminergic system has been implicated in the balance between these two antagonistic constraints and in particular in novelty processing. Here we studied the impact of two polymorphisms affecting dopaminergic functioning (COMT Val108/158Met and DRD4 SNP -521) on neurophysiological correlates of novelty processing. Recording event-related potentials (ERPs) and oscillatory activity in a modified oddball task that featured infrequent but task-irrelevant novel sounds in addition to frequent standard and rare target tones, we examined participants homozygous for the Met or Val variant of COMT as well as homozygous for the C or T variant of DRD4. We found effects mainly on the P3a component to novel stimuli. A greater P3a amplitude was found for the COMT-ValVal group relative to MetMet. There was a tendency for DRD4-TT participants to show greater P3a amplitude and shorter P3a latency. Finally, DRD4-TT and COMT-ValVal participants showed the greatest increase of theta-power to novel stimuli. By contrast, the P3b component to target stimuli showed little influence of the studied polymorphism. Individual differences in dopaminergic genes explain part of the interindividual variance in the neural correlates of novelty but not target processing.

  13. Sex-dichotomous effects of functional COMT genetic variations on cognitive functions disappear after menopause in both health and schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Papaleo, Francesco; Sannino, Sara; Piras, Fabrizio; Spalletta, Gianfranco

    2015-12-01

    Different genetic variations in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene have been indicated to functionally regulate the encoded enzyme. Despite the vast literature on the single nucleotide COMT ValMet polymorphism, the impact of complex haplotypes on cognitive functions has been overlooked. Here we contrasted the effects of complex COMT haplotypes with the ValMet polymorphism on cognitive functions and their interaction with menopause, in healthy subjects and patients with schizophrenia. Healthy adults (N=229) as well as patients with schizophrenia (N=172) underwent a comprehensive cognitive assessment taking into account the menopausal state. Functional COMT variations selectively modulated working memory and executive functions. Strikingly, these effects were present only in adult men but not in women before menopause, in both healthy subjects and patients with schizophrenia. Importantly, the same pattern of COMT-dependent effects present in men reappeared in women after menopause. Thus, functional COMT mutations seem to modulate cognitive functions depending on the hormonal status. These data clarify the importance of taking into account the combined effect of sex, hormonal status and genetics.

  14. Proline affects brain function in 22q11DS children with the low activity COMT 158 allele.

    PubMed

    Vorstman, Jacob A S; Turetsky, Bruce I; Sijmens-Morcus, Monique E J; de Sain, Monique G; Dorland, Bert; Sprong, Mirjam; Rappaport, Eric F; Beemer, Frits A; Emanuel, Beverly S; Kahn, René S; van Engeland, Herman; Kemner, Chantal

    2009-02-01

    The association between the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) and psychiatric disorders, particularly psychosis, suggests a causal relationship between 22q11DS genes and abnormal brain function. The genes catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT) and proline dehydrogenase both reside within the commonly deleted region of 22q11.2. COMT activity and proline levels may therefore be altered in 22q11DS individuals. Associations of both COMT(158) genotype and elevated serum proline levels with abnormal brain function have been reported. Fifty-six 22q11DS children and 75 healthy controls were assessed on physiological measures of brain function, including prepulse inhibition (PPI) of startle, P50 auditory sensory gating and smooth pursuit eye movements (SPEM). COMT(158) genotype and plasma proline levels were determined in the 22q11DS children. We hypothesized an interaction between the COMT(158) genotype and proline, predicting the strongest negative effect of high proline on brain function to occur in 22q11DS children who are carriers of the COMT(met) allele. Of the three physiological measures, only SPEM and PPI were abnormal in the patient sample. With regard to the SPEM performance, there was a significant interaction between the COMT(158) genotype and proline level with significantly decreased SPEM performance in children with high plasma proline levels and the low activity COMT(met) allele. A similar interaction effect was not observed with regard to PPI. These findings are consistent with a model in which elevated proline negatively affects brain function by an increase in dopamine in the prefrontal cortex. 22q11DS patients with low dopamine catabolic capacity are therefore especially vulnerable to this functional disruption.

  15. Interaction Effects of BDNF and COMT Genes on Resting-State Brain Activity and Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wen; Chen, Chunhui; Xia, Mingrui; Wu, Karen; Chen, Chuansheng; He, Qinghua; Xue, Gui; Wang, Wenjing; He, Yong; Dong, Qi

    2016-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) genes have been found to interactively influence working memory (WM) as well as brain activation during WM tasks. However, whether the two genes have interactive effects on resting-state activities of the brain and whether these spontaneous activations correlate with WM are still unknown. This study included behavioral data from WM tasks and genetic data (COMT rs4680 and BDNF Val66Met) from 417 healthy Chinese adults and resting-state fMRI data from 298 of them. Significant interactive effects of BDNF and COMT were found for WM performance as well as for resting-state regional homogeneity (ReHo) in WM-related brain areas, including the left medial frontal gyrus (lMeFG), left superior frontal gyrus (lSFG), right superior and medial frontal gyrus (rSMFG), right medial orbitofrontal gyrus (rMOFG), right middle frontal gyrus (rMFG), precuneus, bilateral superior temporal gyrus, left superior occipital gyrus, right middle occipital gyrus, and right inferior parietal lobule. Simple effects analyses showed that compared to other genotypes, subjects with COMT-VV/BDNF-VV had higher WM and lower ReHo in all five frontal brain areas. The results supported the hypothesis that COMT and BDNF polymorphisms influence WM performance and spontaneous brain activity (i.e., ReHo). PMID:27853425

  16. Association of COMT and COMT-DRD2 interaction with creative potential

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shun; Zhang, Muzi; Zhang, Jinghuan

    2014-01-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that genes involved in dopamine (DA) transmission may contribute to creativity. Among these genes, the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) and the dopamine D2 receptor gene (DRD2) are the most promising candidates. Our previous study has revealed evidence for the involvement of DRD2 in creative potential. The present study extended our previous study by systematically exploring the association of COMT with creative potential as well as the interaction between COMT and DRD2. Twelve single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) covering COMT were genotyped in 543 healthy Chinese college students whose creative potentials were assessed by divergent thinking tests. Single SNP analysis showed that rs174697 was nominally associated with verbal originality, two SNPs (rs737865 and rs5993883) were nominally associated with figural fluency, and two SNPs (rs737865 and rs4680) were nominally associated with figural originality. Haplotype analysis showed that, the TCT and CCT haplotype (rs737865-rs174675-rs5993882) were nominally associated with figural originality, and the TATGCAG and CGCGGGA haplotype (rs4646312-rs6269-rs4633-rs6267-rs4818-rs4680-rs769224) were nominally associated with figural originality and verbal flexibility, respectively. However, none of these nominal findings survived correction for multiple testing. Gene–gene interaction analysis identified one significant four-way interaction of rs174675 (COMT), rs174697 (COMT), rs1076560 (DRD2), and rs4436578 (DRD2) on verbal fluency, one significant four-way interaction of rs174675 (COMT), rs4818 (COMT), rs1076560 (DRD2), and rs4648317 (DRD2) on verbal flexibility, and one significant three-way interaction of rs5993883 (COMT), rs4648319 (DRD2), and rs4648317 (DRD2) on figural flexibility. In conclusion, the present study provides nominal evidence for the involvement of COMT in creative potential and suggests that DA related genes may act in coordination to contribute to creativity

  17. The effects of catechol O-methyltransferase genotype on brain activation elicited by affective stimuli and cognitive tasks.

    PubMed

    Heinz, Andreas; Smolka, Michael N

    2006-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) degrades the catecholamine neurotransmitters dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. A functional polymorphism in the COMT gene (val158 met) accounts for a four-fold variation in enzyme activity. The low activity met158 allele has been associated with improved working memory, executive functioning, and attentional control, but also with a higher risk of anxiety-related behaviors. In spite of the strong effect of the COMT genotype on enzyme activity, its effects on behavior are moderate, accounting for only 4% of variance in task performance. Studies of individuals with intermediate phenotypes during activities such as task-dependent brain activation, may more sensitively detect gene effects on the brain. A series of studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) assessed the effects of the COMT val158 met genotype on central processing during working memory, attentional control, and emotional tasks. fMRI revealed a more focused response in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of met158 allele carriers during a working memory task. A comparable effect during the performance of an attentional control task in the cingulate cortex was also observed. These data indicate that met158 allele load is associated with improved processing efficiency in the PFC and cingulate, which might be due to lower prefrontal dopamine (DA) metabolism, higher DA concentrations, and an increased neuronal signal-to-noise ratio during information processing. During performance of an emotional task, reactivity to unpleasant visual stimuli was positively correlated with the number of met158 alleles in the amygdala, as well as in other limbic and paralimbic nodes. This increased limbic reactivity to unpleasant stimuli might be the underlying cause of the lower emotional resilience against negative mood states observed in individuals with a higher met158 allele load. Thus the met158 allele seems to be beneficial during the performance of working memory and

  18. Association of catechol-O-methyltransferase Val(108/158) Met genetic polymorphism with schizophrenia, P50 sensory gating, and negative symptoms in a Chinese population.

    PubMed

    Mao, Qiao; Tan, Yun-Long; Luo, Xing-Guang; Tian, Li; Wang, Zhi-Ren; Tan, Shu-Ping; Chen, Song; Yang, Gui-Gang; An, Hui-Mei; Yang, Fu-De; Zhang, Xiang-Yang

    2016-08-30

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme involved in the degradation and inactivation of the neurotransmitter dopamine, is associated with the sensory gating phenomenon, protecting the cerebral cortex from information overload. The COMT Val(108/158)Met polymorphism is essential for prefrontal cortex processing capacity and efficiency. The current study was designed to investigate the role of COMT Val(108/158)Met polymorphism in development, sensory gating deficit, and symptoms of schizophrenia in Han Chinese population. P50 gating was determined in 139 schizophrenic patients and 165 healthy controls. Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was used to assess the clinical symptomatology in 370 schizophrenic subjects. COMT Val(108/158)Met polymorphism was genotyped by PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). No significant differences in COMT allele and genotype distributions were observed between schizophrenic patients and control groups. Although P50 deficits were present in patients, there was no evidence for an association between COMT Val(108/158)Met polymorphism and the P50 biomarker. Moreover, PANSS negative subscore was significantly higher in Val allele carriers than in Met/Met individuals. The present findings suggest that COMT Val(108/158)Met polymorphism may not contribute to the risk of schizophrenia and to the P50 deficits, but may contribute to the negative symptoms of schizophrenia among Han Chinese.

  19. COMT inhibitors and liver toxicity.

    PubMed

    Watkins, P

    2000-01-01

    This paper reviews the issue of hepatotoxicity with the use of the catechol-O-methly transferase (COMT) inhibitors tolcapone and entacapone. Neither drug caused hepatotoxicity in preclinical toxicity testing. However, in clinical trials of tolcapone, liver chemistry tests were elevated more than 3 times above the upper limit of normal in approximately 1% of patients who took the 100 mg dose and in approximately 3% of patients who took the 200 mg dose. These observations led to the recommendation that periodic monitoring of liver function be performed. Post-marketing surveillance studies noted 3 instances of acute liver failure with death after 60,000 patients had received tolcapone for a total of 40,000 patient-years. For this reason, the drug was withdrawn from the market in Europe and Canada, and a black box warning issued in the United States. In contrast, clinical trials with entacapone demonstrated no increase in liver enzymes above those observed with placebo. Further, no instances of acute liver failure or death attributed to the drug have been observed in post-marketing surveillance studies. Consequently, liver monitoring is not required with this agent. These data demonstrate that tolcapone is associated with a risk of hepatotoxicity but that no such risk has been detected with entacapone.

  20. Childhood Trauma and COMT Genotype Interact to Increase Hippocampal Activation in Resilient Individuals

    PubMed Central

    van Rooij, Sanne J. H.; Stevens, Jennifer S.; Ely, Timothy D.; Fani, Negar; Smith, Alicia K.; Kerley, Kimberly A.; Lori, Adriana; Ressler, Kerry J.; Jovanovic, Tanja

    2016-01-01

    Both childhood trauma and a functional catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genetic polymorphism have been associated with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression; however, it is still unclear whether the two interact and how this interaction relates to long-term risk or resilience. Imaging and genotype data were collected on 73 highly traumatized women. DNA extracted from saliva was used to determine COMT genotype (Val/Val, n = 38, Met carriers, n = 35). Functional MRI data were collected during a Go/NoGo task to investigate the neurocircuitry underlying response inhibition. Self-report measures of adult and childhood trauma exposure, PTSD and depression symptom severity, and resilience were collected. Childhood trauma was found to interact with COMT genotype to impact inhibition-related hippocampal activation. In Met carriers, more childhood trauma was associated with decreased hippocampal activation, whereas in the Val/Val group childhood trauma was related to increased hippocampal activation. Second, hippocampal activation correlated negatively with PTSD and depression symptoms and positively with trait resilience. Moreover, hippocampal activation mediated the relationship between childhood trauma and psychiatric risk or resilience in the Val/Val, but not in the Met carrier group. These data reveal a potential mechanism by which childhood trauma and COMT genotype interact to increase risk for trauma-related psychopathology or resilience. Hippocampal recruitment during inhibition may improve the ability to use contextual information to guide behavior, thereby enhancing resilience in trauma-exposed individuals. This finding may contribute to early identification of individuals at risk and suggests a mechanism that can be targeted in future studies aiming to prevent or limit negative outcomes. PMID:27683563

  1. Association of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms in Catechol-O-Methyltransferase and Serine-Threonine Protein Kinase Genes in the Pakistani Schizophrenic Population: A Study with Special Emphasis on Cannabis and Smokeless Tobacco.

    PubMed

    Nawaz, Rukhsana; Siddiqui, Sonia

    2015-01-01

    Schizophrenia is a neuropsychiatric disorder in which abnormalities in the prefrontal cortex lead to impaired synthesis of dopamine. It is associated with hallucination, psychosis and hearing impairments. Many susceptible genes have been identified in schizophrenia such as catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and serine/threonine kinase (AKT1). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in these genes have not been identified in Pakistan. Therefore, we investigated the allelic and genotypic frequencies in COMT and AKT1 genes in the Pakistani population. Polymerase chain reactionrestriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and DNA sequencing were used to identify SNPs in the genes. The present study shows that COMT Val and COMT Met allelic frequencies for the controls were p=0.52, q=0.48 and for the schizophrenic cases they were p=0.34, q=0.66 respectively. The distribution of polymorphism in COMT Val158Met genotype by Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) was P=0.61 for controls and P=0.005 for cases. The data reveal that SNP rs1130214 T allele mutation was found neither in patients nor in controls in the 5' untranslated region (UTR). This proves that no association of AKT1 and positive association of COMT with schizophrenia exist in the population of Pakistan. Moreover, a study based on a single family showed COMT Met allele inheritance in schizophrenic offspring. This suggested that COMT allele alteration influences susceptibility to at least some forms of psychosis in the Pakistani population. Interestingly, according to our socio-economical survey, COMT genotype has no association with cannabis but it is strongly associated with tobacco. The Pakistani population with Val158Met SNP showed more susceptibility towards developing schizophrenia. This study highlights the genetic differences between Pakistani and other Caucasian populations.

  2. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase Gene Polymorphisms in Specific Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Patients' Subgroups.

    PubMed

    Melo-Felippe, Fernanda Brito; de Salles Andrade, Juliana Braga; Giori, Isabele Gomes; Vieira-Fonseca, Tamiris; Fontenelle, Leonardo Franklin; Kohlrausch, Fabiana Barzotti

    2016-01-01

    Pharmacological data and animal models support the hypothesis that the dopaminergic (DA) system is implicated in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Therefore, this case-control study assessed whether genetics variations in catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) could influence susceptibility to OCD and OCD features in a Brazilian sample. A sample of 199 patients with OCD and 200 healthy individuals was genotyped for -287A > G (rs2075507) and Val158Met (rs4680) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) by TaqMan(®) or restriction mapping. We observed a statistically significant predominance of the Met low-activity allele in the male patient group as compared to the male healthy control group. The -287A > G polymorphism's genotypes and alleles were significantly overrepresented among male individuals with ordering and female subjects with washing symptoms. We also found female hoarders to exhibit a significant higher frequency of the low activity Met/Met genotype of Val158Met polymorphism compared to female patients who did not express this dimension. Our data suggest an influence of COMT polymorphisms on OCD and OCD patients' features, such as gender, and ordering, washing, and hoarding symptom dimensions. Further studies to confirm the clinical importance of COMT SNPs in OCD are warranted.

  3. Brain white matter structure and COMT gene are linked to second-language learning in adults.

    PubMed

    Mamiya, Ping C; Richards, Todd L; Coe, Bradley P; Eichler, Evan E; Kuhl, Patricia K

    2016-06-28

    Adult human brains retain the capacity to undergo tissue reorganization during second-language learning. Brain-imaging studies show a relationship between neuroanatomical properties and learning for adults exposed to a second language. However, the role of genetic factors in this relationship has not been investigated. The goal of the current study was twofold: (i) to characterize the relationship between brain white matter fiber-tract properties and second-language immersion using diffusion tensor imaging, and (ii) to determine whether polymorphisms in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene affect the relationship. We recruited incoming Chinese students enrolled in the University of Washington and scanned their brains one time. We measured the diffusion properties of the white matter fiber tracts and correlated them with the number of days each student had been in the immersion program at the time of the brain scan. We found that higher numbers of days in the English immersion program correlated with higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial diffusivity in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus. We show that fractional anisotropy declined once the subjects finished the immersion program. The relationship between brain white matter fiber-tract properties and immersion varied in subjects with different COMT genotypes. Subjects with the Methionine (Met)/Valine (Val) and Val/Val genotypes showed higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial diffusivity during immersion, which reversed immediately after immersion ended, whereas those with the Met/Met genotype did not show these relationships. Statistical modeling revealed that subjects' grades in the language immersion program were best predicted by fractional anisotropy and COMT genotype.

  4. Brain white matter structure and COMT gene are linked to second-language learning in adults

    PubMed Central

    Mamiya, Ping C.; Richards, Todd L.; Coe, Bradley P.; Eichler, Evan E.; Kuhl, Patricia K.

    2016-01-01

    Adult human brains retain the capacity to undergo tissue reorganization during second-language learning. Brain-imaging studies show a relationship between neuroanatomical properties and learning for adults exposed to a second language. However, the role of genetic factors in this relationship has not been investigated. The goal of the current study was twofold: (i) to characterize the relationship between brain white matter fiber-tract properties and second-language immersion using diffusion tensor imaging, and (ii) to determine whether polymorphisms in the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene affect the relationship. We recruited incoming Chinese students enrolled in the University of Washington and scanned their brains one time. We measured the diffusion properties of the white matter fiber tracts and correlated them with the number of days each student had been in the immersion program at the time of the brain scan. We found that higher numbers of days in the English immersion program correlated with higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial diffusivity in the right superior longitudinal fasciculus. We show that fractional anisotropy declined once the subjects finished the immersion program. The relationship between brain white matter fiber-tract properties and immersion varied in subjects with different COMT genotypes. Subjects with the Methionine (Met)/Valine (Val) and Val/Val genotypes showed higher fractional anisotropy and lower radial diffusivity during immersion, which reversed immediately after immersion ended, whereas those with the Met/Met genotype did not show these relationships. Statistical modeling revealed that subjects’ grades in the language immersion program were best predicted by fractional anisotropy and COMT genotype. PMID:27298360

  5. Catechol-o-methyltransferase genotype and childhood trauma may interact to impact schizotypal personality traits.

    PubMed

    Savitz, Jonathan; van der Merwe, Lize; Newman, Timothy K; Stein, Dan J; Ramesar, Raj

    2010-05-01

    We attempt to identify gene by childhood abuse interactions which predispose to the development of schizotypal traits in a familial bipolar disorder (BD) sample. Self-report measures of schizotypal personality traits (Schizotypal Personality Scale) and childhood maltreatment (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire) were administered to 222 participants from 44 families with BD. Variants of catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT) and four other dopamine pathway-related genes: DRD4, DRD2,MAOA, and SLC6A3, were typed. BD type I (BD I) subjects scored significantly higher than their unaffected relatives on the Schizotypal Personality Scale. The val allele of the Val158 Met polymorphism of the COMT gene was associated with increased schizotypal personality trait scores in individuals exposed to higher levels of self-reported childhood trauma (p < 0.05). There was no direct effect of the val158met polymorphism on schizotypal personality traits. Further, no passive correlation between COMT genotype and childhood trauma was found. We raise the possibility that genetically-driven variation in COMT may interact with childhood trauma to contribute to the risk of developing schizotypal personality traits.

  6. Subtle gene-environment interactions driving paranoia in daily life.

    PubMed

    Simons, C J P; Wichers, M; Derom, C; Thiery, E; Myin-Germeys, I; Krabbendam, L; van Os, J

    2009-02-01

    It has been suggested that genes impact on the degree to which minor daily stressors cause variation in the intensity of subtle paranoid experiences. The objective of the present study was to test the hypothesis that catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val(158)Met and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val(66)Met in part mediate genetic effects on paranoid reactivity to minor stressors. In a general population sample of 579 young adult female twins, on the one hand, appraisals of (1) event-related stress and (2) social stress and, on the other hand, feelings of paranoia in the flow of daily life were assessed using momentary assessment technology for five consecutive days. Multilevel regression analyses were used to examine moderation of daily life stress-induced paranoia by COMT Val(158)Met and BDNF Val(66)Met genotypes. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val carriers displayed more feelings of paranoia in response to event stress compared with Met carriers. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor Met carriers showed more social-stress-induced paranoia than individuals with the Val/Val genotype. Thus, paranoia in the flow of daily life may be the result of gene-environment interactions that can be traced to different types of stress being moderated by different types of genetic variation.

  7. Genotype status of the dopamine-related catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene corresponds with desirability of “unhealthy” foods

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Deanna L.; Aarts, Esther; Uquillas, Federico d’Oleire; Dang, Linh C.; Greer, Stephanie M.; Jagust, William J.; D’Esposito, Mark

    2015-01-01

    The role of dopamine is extensively documented in weight regulation and food intake in both animal models and humans. Yet the role of dopamine has not been well studied in individual differences for food desirability. Genotype status of the dopamine-related catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been shown to influence dopamine levels, with greater COMT enzymatic activity in val/val individuals corresponding to greater degradation of dopamine. Decreased dopamine has been associated with poorer cognitive control and diminished goal-directed behavior in various behavioral paradigms. Additionally, dopaminergic-rich regions such as the frontal cortex and dorsal striatum have been shown to be important for supporting food-related decision-making. However, the role of dopamine, as assessed by COMT genotype status, in food desirability has not been fully explored. Therefore, we utilized an individual’s COMT genotype status (n=61) and investigated food desirability based on self-rated “healthy” and “unhealthy” food perceptions. Here we found val/val individuals (n=19) have greater desirability for self-rated “unhealthy” food items, but not self-rated “healthy” food items, as compared to val/met (n=24) and met/met (n=18) individuals (p<0.005). Utilizing an objective health measure for the food items, we also found val/val and val/met individuals have greater desirability for objectively defined “unhealthy” food items, as compared to met/met individuals (p<0.01). This work further substantiates a role of dopamine in food-related behaviors and more specifically in relationship to food desirability for “unhealthy” food items. PMID:25963102

  8. Phylogenetic, molecular, and biochemical characterization of caffeic aicd O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene family in Brachypodium distachyon

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) is one of the important enzymes controlling lignin monomer production in plant cell wall synthesis. Analysis of the genome sequence of new grass model Brachypodium distachyon identified four COMT gene homologues, designated as BdCOMT1, BdCOMT2, BdCOMT3, and ...

  9. The Influence of Genotype Polymorphism on Morphine Analgesic Effect for Postoperative Pain in Children

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Mi Geum; Kim, Hyun Jung; Lee, Keun Hwa

    2016-01-01

    Background Although opioids are the most commonly used medications to control postoperative pain in children, the analgesic effects could have a large inter-individual variability according to genotypes. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms and the analgesic effect of morphine for postoperative pain in children. Methods A prospective study was conducted in 88 healthy children undergoing tonsillectomy, who received morphine during the operation. The postoperative pain score, frequency of rescue analgesics, and side effects of morphine were assessed in the post-anesthesia care unit. The children were genotyped for OPRM1 A118G, ABCB1 C3435T, and COMT Val158Met. Results Children with at least one G allele for OPRM1 (AG/GG) had higher postoperative pain scores compared with those with the AA genotype at the time of discharge from the post-anesthesia care unit (P = 0.025). Other recovery profiles were not significantly different between the two groups. There was no significant relationship between genotypes and postoperative pain scores in analysis of ABCB1 and COMT polymorphisms. Conclusions Genetic polymorphism at OPRM1 A118G, but not at ABCB1 C3435T and COMT Val158Met, influences the analgesic effect of morphine for immediate acute postoperative pain in children. PMID:26839669

  10. Association analysis between 12 genetic variants of ten genes and personality traits in a young chinese Han population.

    PubMed

    Gong, Pingyuan; Zheng, Anyun; Zhang, Kejin; Lei, Xu; Li, Fengchao; Chen, Dongmei; Chi, Wanyu; Tong, Xueli; Zheng, Zijian; Gao, Xiaocai; Zhang, Fuchang

    2010-09-01

    Some genes involved in neurotransmission synthesis and transmission have been hypothesized to affect personality traits. To investigate the possible roles of these genes in personality traits of 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire, we performed a population-based study in a young Chinese Han cohort. In the study, we selected some functional variations in ten candidate genes (COMT, DBH, DRD(2), DRD(3), DAT, MAOA, GRM(1), GRIN2B, 5-TH(2A), and 5-TH(6)) encoding components in dopamine, glutamate, and 5-hydroxytryptamine pathways. The results showed the T102C in 5-TH(2A) was associated with X3 (emotional and quiet alertness) and B (reasoning) (F = 4.71 and 6.23; p = 0.009 and 0.002), Val158Met in COMT with E (dominance) (F = 7.01; p = 0.0009), while the variations in DBH, DRD(2), DRD(3), MAOA, GRM(1), GRIN2B, and 5-TH(6) were not associated with any of the personality traits. This finding suggests that T102C in 5-TH(2A) and Val158Met in COMT play roles in some human personality traits.

  11. No association between catechol-o-methyltransferase Val108/158Met polymorphism and schizophrenia or its clinical symptomatology in a Mexican population.

    PubMed

    Tovilla-Zárate, Carlos; Medellín, Beatriz Camarena; Fresán, Ana; López-Narváez, Lilia; Castro, Thelma Beatriz Gonzalez; Juárez Rojop, Isela; Ramírez-Bello, Julián; Genis, Alma; Nicolini, Humberto

    2013-02-01

    The gene coding for catecol-o-methyltransferase (COMT), participant in the metabolism of catecholamines, has long been implicated as a candidate gene for schizophrenia. We determined the relation of the COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism with schizophrenia or its symptomatology (negative, disorganized and psychotic dimension). We conducted a case-control study comprising 186 patients with schizophrenia and 247 controls. The diagnosis of schizophrenia was established using the DSM-IV criteria for this illness. The clinical symptomatology was assessed through the Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms and the Scale for the Assessment of Positive Symptoms. No significant differences were found in the distribution of alleles (χ2 = 0.01, df = 1, p = 0.90) or genotypes (χ2 = 1.66, df = 2, p = 0.43) between schizophrenic patients and the control group. Multivariate analysis showed that the COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism has no influence in the clinical symptomatology of schizophrenia. Our results showed no association between COMT Val108/158Met and schizophrenia or evidence for an association between COMT and the clinical symptomatology of this illness. This suggests that the COMT gene may not contribute to the risk for schizophrenia among the Mexican population.

  12. [Effects of anxiety and the COMT gene on cortical evoked potentials and performance effectiveness of selective attention].

    PubMed

    Alfimova, M V; Golimbet, V E; Lebedeva, I S; Korovaĭtseva, G I; Lezheĭko, T V

    2014-01-01

    We studied influence of the anxiety-related trait Harm Avoidance and the COMT gene, which is an important modulator of prefrontal functioning, on event-related potentials in oddball paradigm and performance effectiveness of selective attention. For 50 individuals accuracy and time of searching words among letters at any desired rate and then under an instruction to perform the task as quickly and accurate as possible were measured. Scores on the Harm Avoidance scale from Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory, N100 and P300 parameters, and COMTVa1158Met genotypes were obtained for them as well. Searching accuracy and time were mainly related to N100 amplitude. The COMT genotype and Harm Avoidance did not affect N100 amplitude; however, the N100 amplitude modulated their effects on accuracy and time dynamics. Harm Avoidance was positively correlated with P300 latency. The results suggest that anxiety and the COMT gene effects on performance effectiveness of selective attention depend on cognitive processes reflected in N100 parameters.

  13. Genetic Variation in COMT Activity Impacts Learning and Dopamine Release Capacity in the Striatum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simpson, Eleanor H.; Morud, Julia; Winiger, Vanessa; Biezonski, Dominik; Zhu, Judy P.; Bach, Mary Elizabeth; Malleret, Gael; Polan, H. Jonathan; Ng-Evans, Scott; Phillips, Paul E. M.; Kellendonk, Christoph; Krandel, Eric R.

    2014-01-01

    A common genetic polymorphism that results in increased activity of the dopamine regulating enzyme COMT (the "COMT Val" [superscript 158] allele) has been found to associate with poorer cognitive performance and increased susceptibility to develop psychiatric disorders. It is generally assumed that this increase in COMT activity…

  14. Inhibition of MAO and COMT by hypericum extracts and hypericin.

    PubMed

    Thiede, H M; Walper, A

    1994-10-01

    The influence of hypericin, hypericum total extract, and hypericum fractions on the activity of MAO and COMT, prepared in vitro from pork liver, were investigated in several concentration steps. An inhibition of MAO could be shown in the following concentrations (extract correlated to a mean molecular value of 500): hypericin to 10(-3) mol/L, hypericum total extract to 10(-4) mol/L, one extract fraction up to 10(-5). A COMT inhibition could not be shown for hypericin, with hypericum extract to 10(-4) mol/L and with two extract fractions also up to 10(-4) mol/L. The MAO inhibiting fraction contained hypericins as well as flavonols, the COMT-inhibition fraction being mainly flavonols and xanthones. The concentrations of inhibition shown might not be sufficient to explain the clinically proven antidepressive effect of hypericum particularly with regard to the inhibition of MAO activity.

  15. Race Moderates the Association of Catechol-O-methyltransferase Genotype and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Preschool Children

    PubMed Central

    Humphreys, Kathryn L.; Scheeringa, Michael S.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Objective: The present study sought to replicate previous findings of an association between the Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) val158met polymorphism with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and symptomatology in a novel age group, preschool children. Methods: COMT genotype was determined in a sample of 171 3–6-year-old trauma-exposed children. PTSD was assessed with a semistructured interview. Accounting for sex, trauma type, and age, genotype was examined in relation to categorical and continuous measures of PTSD both controlling for race and within the two largest racial categories (African American [AA] and European American [EA]). Results: Race significantly moderated the association between genotype and PTSD. Specifically, the genotype associated with increased PTSD symptoms in one racial group had the opposite association in the other racial group. For AA children the met/met genotype was associated with more PTSD symptoms. However, for EA children, val allele carriers had more PTSD symptoms. Whereas every AA child with the met/met genotype met criteria for PTSD, none of the EA children with the met/met genotype did. This genetic association with COMT genotype, in both races but in opposite directions, was most associated with increased arousal symptoms. Conclusions: These findings replicate previous findings in participants of African descent, highlight the moderating effect of race on the association between COMT genotype and PTSD, and provide direct evidence that consideration of population stratification within gene-by-environment studies is valuable to prevent false negative findings. PMID:25329975

  16. Significant association of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) haplotypes with nicotine dependence in male and female smokers of two ethnic populations.

    PubMed

    Beuten, Joke; Payne, Thomas J; Ma, Jennie Z; Li, Ming D

    2006-03-01

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene plays a prominent role in dopaminergic circuits central to drug reward. Allelic variants within the COMT gene are therefore potential candidates for examining interindividual differences in vulnerability to nicotine dependence (ND). We analyzed five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including the Val/Met variant (rs4680), which results in a three- to four-fold difference in enzyme activity within COMT, for association with the three ND measures, SQ, HSI, and FTND, in 602 nuclear families of African-American (AA) or European-American (EA) origin. The Val/Met variant showed a significant association with the three ND measures in the pooled and EA samples and with FTND in the AA sample. Haplotype analysis revealed a major protective A-G-T haplotype (frequency 23.6%) for rs740603-rs4680-rs174699 in the AA sample (minimum Z=-3.35; P=0.0005 for FTND), a major protective T-G-T haplotype (frequency 15.2%; minimum Z=-2.92; P=0.003 for FTND) in the EA sample, and a high-risk C-A-T haplotype (frequency 16.9%; minimum Z=3.16; P=0.002 for SQ) in the AA sample for rs933271-rs4680-rs174699. Furthermore, we found that the significant haplotypes within COMT were gender-specific and the significantly associated A-G-T is protective in AA females only, whereas T-G-T is protective in EA males only. Moreover, we found a major high-risk T-A-T haplotype (frequency 56.7%) that showed significant association with the three ND measures in EA males. Further examination of two protective haplotypes, A-G-T in AAs and T-G-T in EAs, indicated that the low COMT enzyme activity Met allele is protective to become nicotine dependent. In summary, our results provide evidence for a role of COMT in the susceptibility to ND and further confirm that its effect is ethnic and gender specific.

  17. EFFECTS OF COMT GENOTYPE ON SENSORY GATING AND ITS MODULATION BY NICOTINE: DIFFERENCES IN LOW AND HIGH P50 SUPPRESSORS

    PubMed Central

    DE LA SALLE, S.; SMITH, D.; CHOUEIRY, J.; IMPEY, D.; PHILIPPE, T.; DORT, H.; MILLAR, A.; ALBERT, P.; KNOTT, V.

    2015-01-01

    Elevated smoking rates seen in schizophrenia populations may be an attempt to correct neuropathologies associated with deficient nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and/or dopaminergic systems using exogenous nicotine. However, nicotine’s effects on cognitive processing and sensory gating have been shown to be baseline-dependent. Evidence of a restorative effect on sensory gating deficits by nicotine-like agonists has been demonstrated, however, its underlying mechanisms in the context of dopamine dysregulation are unclear. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), a key dopamine regulator in the brain, contains a co-dominant allele in which a valine-to-methionine substitution causes variations in enzymatic activity leading to reduced synaptic dopamine levels in the Val/Val genotype. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled design with 57 non-smokers, this study examined the effects of COMT genotype on sensory gating and its modulation by nicotine in low vs. high suppressors. The results were consistent with the hypothesis that increased dopamine resulting from nicotine stimulation or Met allelic activity would benefit gating in low suppressors and impair gating in high suppressors, and that this gating improvement with nicotine would be more evident in Val carriers who were low suppressors, while the gating impairment would be more evident in Met carriers who were high suppressors. These findings reaffirm the importance of baseline-dependency and suggest a subtle relationship between COMT genotype and baseline-stratified levels of sensory gating, which may help to explain the variability of cognitive abilities in schizophrenia populations. PMID:23535252

  18. Contributions of COMT Val[superscript 158]Met to Cognitive Stability and Flexibility in Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Markant, Julie; Cicchetti, Dante; Hetzel, Susan; Thomas, Kathleen M.

    2014-01-01

    Adaptive behavior requires focusing on relevant tasks while remaining sensitive to novel information. In adult studies of cognitive control, cognitive stability involves maintaining robust cognitive representations while cognitive flexibility involves updating of representations in response to novel information. Previous adult research has shown…

  19. The Role of Dopamine in Anticipatory Pursuit Eye Movements: Insights from Genetic Polymorphisms in Healthy Adults

    PubMed Central

    Hennig, Jürgen

    2016-01-01

    Abstract There is a long history of eye movement research in patients with psychiatric diseases for which dysfunctions of neurotransmission are considered to be the major pathologic mechanism. However, neuromodulation of oculomotor control is still hardly understood. We aimed to investigate in particular the impact of dopamine on smooth pursuit eye movements. Systematic variability in dopaminergic transmission due to genetic polymorphisms in healthy subjects offers a noninvasive opportunity to determine functional associations. We measured smooth pursuit in 110 healthy subjects genotyped for two well-documented polymorphisms, the COMT Val158Met polymorphism and the SLC6A3 3′-UTR-VNTR polymorphism. Pursuit paradigms were chosen to particularly assess the ability of the pursuit system to initiate tracking when target motion onset is blanked, reflecting the impact of extraretinal signals. In contrast, when following a fully visible target sensory, retinal signals are available. Our results highlight the crucial functional role of dopamine for anticipatory, but not for sensory-driven, pursuit processes. We found the COMT Val158Met polymorphism specifically associated with anticipatory pursuit parameters, emphasizing the dominant impact of prefrontal dopamine activity on complex oculomotor control. In contrast, modulation of striatal dopamine activity by the SLC6A3 3′-UTR-VNTR polymorphism had no significant functional effect. Though often neglected so far, individual differences in healthy subjects provide a promising approach to uncovering functional mechanisms and can be used as a bridge to understanding deficits in patients. PMID:28101524

  20. Association of the functional polymorphism in the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene with schizophrenia in the three ethnic groups of the Malaysian population.

    PubMed

    Wan, Ching-Lee; Zainal, Nor Zuraida; Lian, Lay-Hoong; Mohamed, Zahurin

    2011-08-30

    The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is a candidate gene for schizophrenia as its encoded enzyme is involved in the metabolic inactivation of dopamine and noradrenaline. Several molecular genetic studies thus far have demonstrated that the COMT functional polymorphism of Val158Met is susceptible with schizophrenia. Hence, the present study aims to determine this genetic association of this SNP in the three major ethnic groups of the Malaysian population. A total of 317 patients (79 Malays, 154 Chinese and 84 Indians) meeting DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia and 417 healthy subjects (160 Malays, 164 Chinese and 93 Indians) were recruited. A PCR-RFLP method was used to determine the genotypes and alleles present. We found a significant association of genotypes within the total pooled samples, as well as in the female subgroup, with a higher frequency of heterozygotes in schizophrenia subjects. However, there were no significant differences in allele and genotype frequency between the schizophrenic patients and normal controls in all three ethnic groups. Our current findings suggest that the Val158Met polymorphism has a weak association with schizophrenia in the Malaysian population and does not play a major role in conferring susceptibility to the schizophrenia in any of the three major local ethnicities.

  1. Dopamine system genes are associated with orienting bias among healthy individuals.

    PubMed

    Zozulinsky, Polina; Greenbaum, Lior; Brande-Eilat, Noa; Braun, Yair; Shalev, Idan; Tomer, Rachel

    2014-09-01

    Healthy individuals display subtle orienting bias, manifested as a tendency to direct greater attention toward one hemispace, and evidence suggests that this bias reflects an individual trait, which may be modulated by asymmetric dopamine signaling in striatal and frontal regions. The current study examined the hypothesis that functional genetic variants within dopaminergic genes (DAT1 3' VNTR, dopamine D2 receptor Taq1A (rs1800497) and COMT Val158Met (rs4680)) contribute to individual differences in orienting bias, as measured by the greyscales paradigm, in a sample of 197 young healthy Israeli Jewish participants. For the Taq1A variant, homozygous carriers of the A2 allele displayed significantly increased leftward orienting bias compared to the carriers of the A1 allele. Additionally, and as previously reported by others, we found that bias towards leftward orienting of attention was significantly greater among carriers of the 9-repeat allele of the DAT1 3' VNTR as compared to the individuals who were homozygous for the 10-repeat allele. No significant effect of the COMT Val158Met on orienting bias was found. Taken together, our findings support the potential influence of genetic variants on inter-individual differences in orienting bias, a phenotype relevant to both normal and impaired cognitive processes.

  2. Sleep and COMT Polymorphism in ADHD Children: Preliminary Actigraphic Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gruber, Reut; Grizenko, Natalie; Schwartz, George; Amor, Leila Ben; Gauthier, Julie; de Guzman, Rosherrie; Joober, Ridha

    2006-01-01

    Objective: To examine whether COMT (catechol-O-methyltransferase) polymorphism modulates aspects of sleep in children diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Method: Nightly sleep actigraphic recordings during a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical study (1 week of 0.5 mg/kg MPH; 1 week of placebo) were…

  3. Chronic pain after lower abdominal surgery: do catechol-O-methyl transferase/opioid receptor μ-1 polymorphisms contribute?

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Preoperative pain, type of operation and anesthesia, severity of acute postoperative pain, and psychosocial factors have been identified as risk factors for chronic postsurgical pain (CPP). Recently, it has been suggested that genetic factors also contribute to CPP. In this study, we aimed to determine whether the catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) and opioid receptor μ-1 (OPRM1) common functional polymorphisms rs4680 and rs1799971 were associated with the incidence, intensity, or duration of CPP in patients after lower abdominal surgery. Methods One hundred and two patients with American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status I/II underwent either abdominal radical prostatectomy (n = 45) or hysterectomy (n = 57). The incidences of CPP in the pelvic and scar areas were evaluated in all patients three months after surgery. Results Thirty-five (34.3%) patients experienced CPP after lower abdominal surgery. Within this group, six (17.1%) patients demonstrated symptoms of neuropathic pain. For COMT rs4680, 22 (21.6%) patients had Met158Met, 55 (53.9%) patients had Val158Met, and 25 (24.5%) patients had Val158Val. No association was found between CPP phenotypes (incidence, intensity, and duration) and different rs4680 genotypes. For OPRM1 rs1799971, only CPP patients carrying at least one copy of the G allele had higher pain intensity than A118A carriers (p=0.02). No associations with other phenotypes were found. No combined effect of COMT/OPRM1 polymorphisms on CPP phenotypes was observed. Conclusions OPRM1 genotype influences CPP following lower abdominal surgery. COMT didn’t affect CPP, suggesting its potential modality-specific effects on human pain. PMID:23566343

  4. The catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) and cognitive function from childhood through adolescence.

    PubMed

    Gaysina, Darya; Xu, Man K; Barnett, Jennifer H; Croudace, Tim J; Wong, Andrew; Richards, Marcus; Jones, Peter B

    2013-02-01

    Genetic variation in the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (COMT) can influence cognitive function, and this effect may depend on developmental stage. Using a large representative British birth cohort, we investigated the effect of COMT on cognitive function (verbal and non-verbal) at ages 8 and 15 years taking into account the possible modifying effect of pubertal stage. Five functional COMT polymorphisms, rs6269, rs4818, rs4680, rs737865 and rs165599 were analysed. Associations between COMT polymorphisms and cognition were tested using regression and latent variable structural equation modelling (SEM). Before correction for multiple testing, COMT rs737865 showed association with reading comprehension, verbal ability and global cognition at age 15 years in pubescent boys only. Although there was some evidence for age- and sex-specific effects of the COMT rs737865 none remained significant after correction for multiple testing. Further studies are necessary in order to make firmer conclusions.

  5. Relationship between the catechol-O-methyl transferase Val108/158Met genotype and brain volume in treatment-naive major depressive disorder: Voxel-based morphometry analysis.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Keita; Kakeda, Shingo; Yoshimura, Reiji; Abe, Osamu; Ide, Satoru; Hayashi, Kenji; Katsuki, Asuka; Umene-Nakano, Wakako; Watanabe, Rieko; Nakamura, Jun; Korogi, Yukunori

    2015-09-30

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a methylation enzyme engaged in the degradation of dopamine and noradrenaline by catalyzing the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine. An association was found between the Valine (Val) 108/158Methionine (Met) COMT polymorphism (rs4680) and major depressive disorder (MDD). The authors prospectively investigated the relationship between the Val108/158Met COMT genotype and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) findings for patients with first-episode and treatment-naïve MDD and healthy subjects (HS). Participants comprised 30 MDD patients and 48 age- and sex-matched HS who were divided according to the COMT genotype. Effects of diagnosis, COMT genotype, and the genotype-diagnosis interaction in relation to brain morphology in the Val/Met and Val/Val individuals were evaluated using a VBM analysis of high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging findings. Among the Val/Met individuals, the volume of the bilateral caudate was significantly smaller for MDD patients than for HS. In the Val/Val individuals, the caudate volume was comparable between MDD patients and HS. Significant genotype-diagnosis interaction effects on brain morphology were noted in the right caudate.

  6. Catechol-O-Methyltransferase "Val[superscript 158]Met" Genotype, Parenting Practices and Adolescent Alcohol Use: Testing the Differential Susceptibility Hypothesis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laucht, Manfred; Blomeyer, Dorothea; Buchmann, Arlette F.; Treutlein, Jens; Schmidt, Martin H.; Esser, Gunter; Jennen-Steinmetz, Christine; Rietschel, Marcella; Zimmermann, Ulrich S.; Banaschewski, Tobias

    2012-01-01

    Background: Recently, first evidence has been reported for a gene-parenting interaction (G x E) with regard to adolescent alcohol use. The present investigation set out to extend this research using the catechol-O-methyltransferase ("COMT") "Val[superscript 158]Met" polymorphism as a genetic susceptibility factor. Moreover, the current study…

  7. The influence of the dopaminergic system on cognitive functioning: A molecular genetic approach.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Martin; Peters, Kristina; Schroeter, Katrin; Koebke, Wolfgang; Lenardon, Daniela; Bloch, Birte; Hennig, Juergen

    2005-10-14

    Many pharmacological and clinical studies have demonstrated the importance of the dopaminergic (DA) system for cognitive functioning but little is known about the genetic basis of general cognitive ability that has been demonstrated to be highly heritable. Attempts to detect associations between certain gene loci and endophenotypes of general cognitive ability have turned out to be more promising. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate two dopaminergic candidate genes (COMT VAL158MET and DRD2 TAQ IA) for endophenotypes of cognitive functioning i.e. attention, vigilance, interference, time estimation and sensoric and motoric reaction times. Out of a gene data bank of more than 600 healthy Caucasian participants, 96 subjects (n = 48 males and n = 48 females) were recruited according to their genotype/allele pattern, resulting in six independent groups (COMT: VAL/VAL, VAL/MET, MET/MET)x(DRD2: A1-, A1+) of n = 16 subjects each. Results showed associations of the COMT gene with attention and with time estimation but most noteworthy was an interaction effect DRD2xVAL on interference performance as measured by the STROOP-test explaining 13% of the variance. Findings suggest that a balance between DA related catabolic enzyme activity and receptor density are good predictors for the endophenotype of cognitive interference and that the COMT gene is in accordance with previous studies related to cognitive functioning.

  8. Molecular genetic mechanisms of allelic specific regulation of murine Comt expression

    PubMed Central

    Segall, Samantha K.; Shabalina, Svetlana A.; Meloto, Carolina B.; Wen, Xia; Cunningham, Danielle; Tarantino, Lisa M.; Wiltshire, Tim; Gauthier, Josée; Tohyama, Sarasa; Martin, Loren J.; Mogil, Jeffrey S.; Diatchenko, Luda

    2015-01-01

    Abstract A functional allele of the mouse catechol-O-methyltransferase (Comt) gene is defined by the insertion of a B2 short interspersed repeat element in its 3′-untranslated region (UTR). This allele has been associated with a number of phenotypes, such as pain and anxiety. In comparison with mice carrying the ancestral allele (Comt+), ComtB2i mice show higher Comt mRNA and enzymatic activity levels. Here, we investigated the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying this allelic specific regulation of Comt expression. Insertion of the B2 element introduces an early polyadenylation signal generating a shorter Comt transcript, in addition to the longer ancestral mRNA. Comparative analysis and in silico prediction of Comt mRNA potential targets within the transcript 3′ to the B2 element was performed and allowed choosing microRNA (miRNA) candidates for experimental screening: mmu-miR-3470a, mmu-miR-3470b, and mmu-miR-667. Cell transfection with each miRNA downregulated the expression of the ancestral transcript and COMT enzymatic activity. Our in vivo experiments showed that mmu-miR-667-3p is strongly correlated with decreasing amounts of Comt mRNA in the brain, and lentiviral injections of mmu-miR-3470a, mmu-miR-3470b, and mmu-miR-667 increase hypersensitivity in the mouse formalin model, consistent with reduced COMT activity. In summary, our data demonstrate that the Comt+ transcript contains regulatory miRNA signals in its 3′-untranslated region leading to mRNA degradation; these signals, however, are absent in the shorter transcript, resulting in higher mRNA expression and activity levels. PMID:26067582

  9. Epistasis between COMT and MTHFR in maternal-fetal dyads increases risk for preeclampsia.

    PubMed

    Hill, Lori D; York, Timothy P; Kusanovic, Juan P; Gomez, Ricardo; Eaves, Lindon J; Romero, Roberto; Strauss, Jerome F

    2011-01-31

    Preeclampsia is a leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality. This disorder is thought to be multifactorial in origin, with multiple genes, environmental and social factors, contributing to disease. One proposed mechanism is placental hypoxia-driven imbalances in angiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors, causing endothelial cell dysfunction. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (Comt)-deficient pregnant mice have a preeclampsia phenotype that is reversed by exogenous 2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME), an estrogen metabolite generated by COMT. 2-ME inhibits Hypoxia Inducible Factor 1α, a transcription factor mediating hypoxic responses. COMT has been shown to interact with methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR), which modulates the availability of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), a COMT cofactor. Variations in MTHFR have been associated with preeclampsia. By accounting for allelic variation in both genes, the role of COMT has been clarified. COMT allelic variation is linked to enzyme activity and four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs6269, rs4633, rs4680, and rs4818) form haplotypes that characterize COMT activity. We tested for association between COMT haplotypes and the MTHFR 677 C → T polymorphism and preeclampsia risk in 1103 Chilean maternal-fetal dyads. The maternal ACCG COMT haplotype was associated with reduced risk for preeclampsia (P = 0.004), and that risk increased linearly from low to high activity haplotypes (P = 0.003). In fetal samples, we found that the fetal ATCA COMT haplotype and the fetal MTHFR minor "T" allele interact to increase preeclampsia risk (p = 0.022). We found a higher than expected number of patients with preeclampsia with both the fetal risk alleles alone (P = 0.052) and the fetal risk alleles in combination with a maternal balancing allele (P<0.001). This non-random distribution was not observed in controls (P = 0.341 and P = 0.219, respectively). Our findings demonstrate a role for both maternal and fetal COMT in preeclampsia

  10. Effects of levodopa and COMT inhibitors on plasma homocysteine in Parkinson's disease patients.

    PubMed

    Lamberti, Paolo; Zoccolella, Stefano; Iliceto, Giovanni; Armenise, Elio; Fraddosio, Angela; de Mari, Michele; Livrea, Paolo

    2005-01-01

    Homocysteine (Hcy) is a risk factor for vascular diseases, cognitive impairment, and dementia. Elevated plasma concentrations of Hcy have been found recently in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients treated with levodopa, suggesting that levodopa is a cause of hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy). The mechanism underlying HHcy in PD is the O-methylation of levodopa catalyzed by catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) that produces S-adenosylhomocysteine, which is hydrolyzed rapidly to Hcy. COMT inhibitors (COMT-I) are used currently in the treatment of PD; however, no study has assessed the effects of COMT-I administration on Hcy concentrations in PD patients. We compared plasma levels of Hcy, B12, and folate in 26 PD patients treated with levodopa, 20 PD patients treated with levodopa + COMT-I, and 32 controls. No significant differences were found in vitamin B12 levels, whereas folate concentrations were significantly lower in the levodopa-treated group. Plasma Hcy was increased significantly in the two groups of PD patients and was significantly lower in the group treated with levodopa + COMT-I. Statistical analysis showed that the difference in mean Hcy levels observed among PD patients was related to the addition of COMT-I, rather than to folate concentrations. We conclude that levodopa treatment increases plasma Hcy and the addition of COMT-I effectively reduces HHcy.

  11. Brain catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibition by tolcapone counteracts recognition memory deficits in normal and chronic phencyclidine-treated rats and in COMT-Val transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Detrait, Eric R; Carr, Greg V; Weinberger, Daniel R; Lamberty, Yves

    2016-08-01

    The critical involvement of dopamine in cognitive processes has been well established, suggesting that therapies targeting dopamine metabolism may alleviate cognitive dysfunction. Catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) is a catecholamine-degrading enzyme, the substrates of which include dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. The present work illustrates the potential therapeutic efficacy of COMT inhibition in alleviating cognitive impairment. A brain-penetrant COMT inhibitor, tolcapone, was tested in normal and phencyclidine-treated rats and COMT-Val transgenic mice. In a novel object recognition procedure, tolcapone counteracted a 24-h-dependent forgetting of a familiar object as well as phencyclidine-induced recognition deficits in the rats at doses ranging from 7.5 to 30 mg/kg. In contrast, entacapone, a COMT inhibitor that does not readily cross the blood-brain barrier, failed to show efficacy at doses up to 30 mg/kg. Tolcapone at a dose of 30 mg/kg also improved novel object recognition performance in transgenic mice, which showed clear recognition deficits. Complementing earlier studies, our results indicate that central inhibition of COMT positively impacts recognition memory processes and might constitute an appealing treatment for cognitive dysfunction related to neuropsychiatric disorders.

  12. MET ONE 831

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Met One 831 sensor measures particulate matter (PM) by counting and sizing individual particles using scattered laser light. The unit then converts the count data to mass measurements in micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3). The Met One 831 counts particles in four different PM...

  13. Association study of a functional catechol-o-methyltransferase polymorphism and cognitive function in patients with dementia.

    PubMed

    Nedić, Gordana; Borovecki, Fran; Klepac, Natasa; Mubrin, Zdenko; Hajnsek, Sanja; Nikolac, Matea; Muck-Seler, Dorotea; Pivac, Nela

    2011-01-01

    A functional catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT Val158/108Met) polymorphism, a valine (Val) to methionine (Met) substitution, has been associated with cognitive processing in the normal brain, older age, mild cognitive impairment and in various dementias. COMT is involved in the breakdown of dopamine and other catecholamines, especially in the frontal cortex; hence the carriers of Met allele, with the lower enzymatic activity, are expected to perform better on particular neuro-cognitive tests. The study included 46 patients with dementia and 65 healthy older subjects. The neurological status was assessed, using the Mini Mental Status Examination (MMSE), and the batery of different neurological tests. In DNA samples COMT polymorphism was genotyped. Patients with dementia exhibited significant genotype-induced differences in scores for MMSE, Visual Association Test (VAT) duration of numbers test, VAT time of response to numbers test, VAT average response to numbers test and WPLCR/PPLR unanswered. Carriers of Met/Met genotype had significantly lower scores of MMSE, significantly longer time to respond to VAT duration of numbers test, VAT time of response to numbers test and VAT average response to numbers test, and significantly greater number of unanswered questions to WPLCR/PPLR when compared to Met/Val or Val/Val genotypes. Our preliminary data showed significantly impaired performance in several neuro-cognitive tests in carriers of Met/Met genotype in patients with dementia compared to either Met/Val or Val/Val genotype carriers. Although Met/Met genotype with more dopamine available in the frontal cortex should be associated with better neuro-cognitive test results than Met/Val or Val/Val genotype, our data on patients with dementia did not confirm this hypothesis. Further study on larger sample of patients is needed to clarify the role of COMT polymorphism in cognitive functions.

  14. Association between genes, stressful childhood events and processing bias in depression vulnerable individuals.

    PubMed

    Vrijsen, J N; van Oostrom, I; Arias-Vásquez, A; Franke, B; Becker, E S; Speckens, A

    2014-06-01

    The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genes are relevant candidates for depression. Variation in these genes is associated with stress sensitivity and depressotypic cognitive biases. The interaction between genes and stressful events is considered as an important mechanism in the development of depression. This study examined the effects of the BDNF and COMT genes on biased processing and the interaction with childhood stress in vulnerable individuals. A total of 198 remitted depressed individuals performed an n-back task with emotional facial stimuli (happy and sad). Childhood events were measured with a questionnaire. Genotype by childhood events interactions were analyzed for happy and sad expressions for BDNF (Val66Met; rs6265) and COMT (Val158Met; rs4680), individually and combined. BDNF and COMT both interacted significantly (P = 0.006 and P = 0.014, respectively) with childhood trauma on reaction time for happy faces. For both genes, Met-carriers with childhood trauma showed less positive bias for happy faces than those without childhood trauma. Val-carriers did not show a differential bias. Individuals with childhood trauma and 3 or 4 risk alleles (BDNF and COMT combined) showed less positive bias than those without childhood trauma (P = 0.011). The BDNF × COMT × childhood trauma interaction yielded a P = 0.055, but had limited power. A potential weakness is the measurement method of the childhood events, as negative bias might have affected participants' recall. Our findings endorse the association of BDNF and COMT with stress and depression and provide a possible intermediate, i.e. biased processing of positive information. Tailoring treatment to specific risk profiles based on genetic susceptibility and childhood stress could be promising.

  15. Importance of the COMT gene for sex differences in brain function and predisposition to psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Tunbridge, Elizabeth M; Harrison, Paul J

    2011-01-01

    As outlined elsewhere in this volume, sex differences can affect brain function and its dysfunction in psychiatric disorders. It is known that genetic factors contribute to these sex dimorphisms, but the individual genes have rarely been identified. The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene, which encodes an enzyme that metabolises catechol compounds, including dopamine, is a leading candidate in this regard. COMT's enzyme activity, and the neurochemistry and behaviour of COMT knockout mice are both markedly sexually dimorphic. Furthermore, genetic associations between COMT and psychiatric phenotypes frequently show differences between men and women. Although many of these differences are unconfirmed or minor, some appear to be of reasonable robustness and magnitude and are reviewed in this chapter. Sexually dimorphic effects of COMT are usually attributed to transcriptional regulation by oestrogens; however, a careful examination of the literature suggests that additional mechanisms are likely to be at least as important. Here, we review the evidence for a sexually dimorphic influence of COMT upon psychiatric phenotypes and brain function, and discuss potential mechanisms by which this may occur. We conclude that despite the evidence being incomplete, there are accumulating and in places compelling data showing that COMT has markedly sexually dimorphic effects on brain function and its dysfunction in psychiatric disorders. Although oestrogenic regulation of COMT is probably partially responsible for these sex differences, other mechanisms are likely also involved. Since sex differences in the genetic architecture of brain function and psychiatric disorders are the rule not the exception, we anticipate that additional evidence will emerge for sexual dimorphisms, not only in COMT but also in many other autosomal genes.

  16. Joint Effects of Smoking and Gene Variants Involved in Sex Steroid Metabolism on Hot Flashes in Late Reproductive-Age Women

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, Ellen W.; Sammel, Mary D.; Queen, Kaila; Lin, Hui; Rebbeck, Timothy R.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Although smoking has a known association with hot flashes, the factors distinguishing smokers at greatest risk for menopausal symptoms have not been well delineated. Recent evidence supports a relationship between menopausal symptoms and variants in several genes encoding enzymes that metabolize substrates such as sex steriods, xenobiotics, and catechols. It is currently not known whether the impact of smoking on hot flashes is modified by the presence of such variants. Objective: The objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between smoking and hot flash occurrence as a function of genetic variation in sex steroid-metabolizing enzymes. Methods: A cross-sectional analysis of data from the Penn Ovarian Aging study, an ongoing population-based cohort of late reproductive-aged women, was performed. Smoking behavior was characterized. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in five genes were investigated: COMT Val158Met (rs4680), CYP1A2*1F (rs762551), CYP1B1*4 (Asn452Ser, rs1800440), CYP1B1*3 (Leu432Val, rs1056836), and CYP3A4*1B (rs2740574). Results: Compared with nonsmokers, European-American COMT Val158Met double-variant carriers who smoked had increased odds of hot flashes [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 6.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.32–28.78)]; European-American COMT Val158Met double-variant carriers who smoked heavily had more frequent moderate or severe hot flashes than nonsmokers (AOR 13.7, 95% CI 1.2–154.9). European-American CYP 1B1*3 double-variant carriers who smoked described more frequent moderate or severe hot flashes than nonsmoking (AOR 20.6, 95% CI 1.64–257.93) and never-smoking (AOR 20.59, 95% CI 1.39–304.68) carriers, respectively. African-American single-variant CYP 1A2 carriers who smoked were more likely to report hot flashes than the nonsmoking carriers (AOR 6.16, 95% CI 1.11–33.91). Conclusion: This is the first report demonstrating the effects of smoking within the strata of gene variants involved in sex

  17. Synthesis and Evaluation of Heterocyclic Catechol Mimics as Inhibitors of Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT)

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    3-Hydroxy-4-pyridinones and 5-hydroxy-4-pyrimidinones were identified as inhibitors of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) in a high-throughput screen. These heterocyclic catechol mimics exhibit potent inhibition of the enzyme and an improved toxicity profile versus the marketed nitrocatechol inhibitors tolcapone and entacapone. Optimization of the series was aided by X-ray cocrystal structures of the novel inhibitors in complex with COMT and cofactors SAM and Mg2+. The crystal structures suggest a mechanism of inhibition for these heterocyclic inhibitors distinct from previously disclosed COMT inhibitors. PMID:25815153

  18. Effects of tolcapone on working memory and brain activity in abstinent smokers: A proof-of-concept study

    PubMed Central

    Ashare, Rebecca L.; Wileyto, E. Paul; Ruparel, Kosha; Goelz, Patricia M.; Hopson, Ryan D.; Valdez, Jeffrey N.; Gur, Ruben C.; Loughead, James; Lerman, Caryn

    2014-01-01

    Background Dopamine levels in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) are thought to play an important role in cognitive function and nicotine dependence. The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor tolcapone, an FDA-approved treatment for Parkinson’s disease, increases prefrontal dopamine levels, with cognitive benefits that may vary by COMT genotype. We tested whether tolcapone alters working memory-related brain activity and performance in abstinent smokers. Methods In this double-blind crossover study, 20 smokers completed 8 days of treatment with tolcapone and placebo. In both medication periods, smokers completed blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI scans while performing a working memory N-back task after 24 h of abstinence. Smokers were genotyped prospectively for the COMT val158met polymorphism for exploratory analysis. Results Compared to placebo, tolcapone modestly improved accuracy (p = 0.017) and enhanced suppression of activation in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) (p = 0.002). There were no effects of medication in other a priori regions of interest (dorsolateral PFC, dorsal cingulate/medial prefrontal cortex, or posterior cingulate cortex). Exploratory analyses suggested that tolcapone led to a decrease in BOLD signal in several regions among smokers with val/val genotypes, but increased or remained unchanged among met allele carriers. Tolcapone did not attenuate craving, mood, or withdrawal symptoms compared to placebo. Conclusions Data from this proof-of-concept study do not provide strong support for further evaluation of COMT inhibitors as smoking cessation aids. PMID:24095246

  19. Subsecond Regulation of Synaptically Released Dopamine by COMT in the Olfactory Bulb

    PubMed Central

    Cockerham, Renee; Liu, Shaolin; Cachope, Roger; Kiyokage, Emi; Cheer, Joseph F.; Shipley, Michael T.

    2016-01-01

    The efficacy of neurotransmission depends on multiple factors, including presynaptic vesicular release of transmitter, postsynaptic receptor populations and clearance/inactivation of the transmitter. In the olfactory bulb (OB), short axon cells (SACs) form an interglomerular circuit that uses GABA and dopamine (DA) as cotransmitters. Selective optical activation of SACs causes GABA and DA co-release, resulting in a fast, postsynaptic GABA inhibitory response and a slower G-protein-coupled DA rebound excitation. In most systems, vesicular release of DA is cleared by the dopamine transporter (DAT). However, in the OB, high levels of specific DA metabolites suggest that enzymatic catalysis by catechol-O-methyl-transferase (COMT) predominates over DAT re-uptake. To assess this possibility we measured the amount of the DA breakdown enzyme, COMT, present in the OB. Compared with the striatum, the brain structure richest in DA terminals, the OB contains 50% more COMT per unit of tissue. Furthermore, the OB has dramatically less DAT compared with striatum, supporting the idea that COMT enzymatic breakdown, rather than DAT recycling, is the predominant mechanism for DA clearance. To functionally assess COMT inactivation of vesicular release of DA we used fast-scan cyclic voltammetry and pharmacological blockade of COMT. In mice expressing ChR2 in tyrosine hydroxylase-containing neurons, optical activation of SACs evoked robust DA release in the glomerular layer. The COMT inhibitor, tolcapone, increased the DA signal ∼2-fold, whereas the DAT inhibitor GBR12909 had no effect. Together, these data indicate that the OB preferentially employs COMT enzymatic inactivation of vesicular release of DA. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In the olfactory bulb (OB), odors are encoded by glomerular activation patterns. Dopaminergic short axon neurons (SACs) form an extensive network of lateral connections that mediate cross talk among glomeruli, releasing GABA and DA onto sensory nerve terminals

  20. Modification of COMT-dependent pain sensitivity by psychological stress and sex.

    PubMed

    Meloto, Carolina B; Bortsov, Andrey V; Bair, Eric; Helgeson, Erika; Ostrom, Cara; Smith, Shad B; Dubner, Ronald; Slade, Gary D; Fillingim, Roger B; Greenspan, Joel D; Ohrbach, Richard; Maixner, William; McLean, Samuel A; Diatchenko, Luda

    2016-04-01

    Catecholamine-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is a polymorphic gene whose variants affect enzymatic activity and pain sensitivity via adrenergic pathways. Although COMT represents one of the most studied genes in human pain genetics, findings regarding its association with pain phenotypes are not always replicated. Here, we investigated if interactions among functional COMT haplotypes, stress, and sex can modify the effect of COMT genetic variants on pain sensitivity. We tested these interactions in a cross-sectional study, including 2 cohorts, one of 2972 subjects tested for thermal pain sensitivity (Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment) and one of 948 subjects with clinical acute pain after motor vehicle collision (post-motor vehicle collision). In both cohorts, the COMT high-pain sensitivity (HPS) haplotype showed robust interaction with stress and number of copies of the HPS haplotype was positively associated with pain sensitivity in nonstressed individuals, but not in stressed individuals. In the post-motor vehicle collision cohort, there was additional modification by sex: the HPS-stress interaction was apparent in males, but not in females. In summary, our findings indicate that stress and sex should be evaluated in association studies aiming to investigate the effect of COMT genetic variants on pain sensitivity.

  1. Genetic Associations with Performance on a Behavioral Measure of Distress Intolerance

    PubMed Central

    Amstadter, Ananda B.; Daughters, Stacey B.; MacPherson, Laura; Reynolds, Elizabeth K.; Danielson, Carla Kmett; Wang, Frances; Potenza, Marc N.; Gelernter, Joel; Lejuez, C. W.

    2013-01-01

    Both theory and empirical evidence support possible associations between two candidate genetic polymorphisms (SLC6A4 5-HTTLPR l/s and COMT Val158Met – rs4680 variants) and emotion-regulation difficulties. One particular form of emotion-regulation difficulty, distress intolerance, has been measured using a behavioral assessment in youth; data indicate a relationship with poor psychological functioning. No prior study has investigated genetic influences on emotion-regulation difficulties in youth. As part of a larger longitudinal study on adolescent risk behaviors, 218 10-14 year-old youths from the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area completed a measure of distress intolerance, the Behavioral Indicator of Resilience to Distress (BIRD), and provided saliva samples for DNA extraction and genotyping. Results indicate that those with one or two copies of the s allele of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism were more likely to perform poorly on the task (i.e., choose to quit) than were those homozygous for the l allele. Participants who were Val allele carriers of the COMT Val158Met polymorphism were also more likely to quit the task compared to Met homozygotes. A summative risk allele score was created to combine the two polymorphisms, and each risk allele was associated with a 1.75 fold increased likelihood of quitting the task. Exploratory analyses revealed that emotional abuse moderated the relationship between the 5-HTTLPR and BIRD performance, as well as the genetic risk allele and the BIRD. This is the first investigation of genetic predictors of a behavioral measure of tolerance to distress. Results suggest that distress tolerance is at least partially regulated by specific genetic variants. Implications are discussed. PMID:22024485

  2. Auguste Comte's Blunder: An Account of the First Century of Stellar Spectroscopy and How It Took One Hundred Years to Prove That Comte was Wrong!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hearnshaw, John B.

    2010-01-01

    In 1835 the French philosopher Auguste Comte predicted that we would never know anything about the chemical composition of stars. I will give a broad overview of the development of stellar spectroscopy, especially from about 1860. Developments in stellar spectroscopy segregated quite clearly into three main fields of endeavour: spectral classification, radial velocities and spectral analysis. After introducing the main players, I will concentrate mainly on spectral analysis, or how stellar spectroscopy one hundred years after Comte showed that quantitative information on the composition of stars was possible. The journey was quite arduous, as it required numerous developments in theoretical physics and in laboratory spectroscopy, which in turn allowed stellar spectral analysis successfully to be undertaken by the mid-20th century. The key developments in physics that first had to be understood were in quantum and atomic theory, ionization theory, the concept of the Planck function, local thermodynamic equilibrium, the first stellar model atmospheres, line formation theory, turbulence, collisional broadening of spectral lines and the theory of radiative transfer and of the curve of growth. My talk will emphasize these close links between stellar spectroscopy and theoretical physics. In addition laboratory physics was also an essential precursor, to measure line wavelengths and oscillator strengths. Comte may have been an influential philosopher of science in his time. Perhaps his one small transgression was not to have read the works of Joseph Fraunhofer, which in the early 19th century already contained the first small clues that Comte's assertion might be wrong.

  3. Auguste Comte's blunder: an account of the first century of stellar spectroscopy and how it took one hundred years to prove that Comte was wrong!

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hearnshaw, John

    2010-07-01

    In 1835 the French philosopher Auguste Comte predicted that we would never know anything about the chemical composition of stars. This paper gives a broad overview of the development of stellar spectroscopy, especially from about 1860. Developments in stellar spectroscopy segregated quite clearly into three main fields of endeavour: spectral classification, radial velocities and spectral analysis. This paper concentrates mainly on spectral analysis, or how stellar spectroscopy one hundred years after Comte showed that quantitative information on the composition of stars was possible. The journey was quite arduous, as it required numerous developments in theoretical physics and in laboratory spectroscopy, which in turn allowed stellar spectral analysis successfully to be undertaken by the mid-twentieth century. The key developments in physics that first had to be understood were in quantum and atomic theory, ionization theory, the concept of the Planck function, local thermodynamic equilibrium, the first stellar model atmospheres, line formation theory, turbulence, collisional broadening of spectral lines and the theory of radiative transfer and of the curve of growth. The close links between stellar spectroscopy and theoretical physics will be emphasized. In addition laboratory physics, to measure line wavelengths and oscillator strengths, was also an essential precursor to quantitative data on the chemical composition of stars. Comte may have been an influential philosopher of science in his time. Perhaps his one small transgression was not to have read the works of Joseph Fraunhofer, which in the early nineteenth century already contained the first small clues that Comte's assertion might be wrong.

  4. Conscientiousness is modified by genetic variation in catechol-O-methyltransferase to reduce symptom complaints in IBS patients

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Kathryn T; Tolkin, Benjamin R; Chinn, Garrett M; Kirsch, Irving; Kelley, John M; Lembo, Anthony J; Kaptchuk, Ted J; Kokkotou, Efi; Davis, Roger B; Conboy, Lisa A

    2015-01-01

    Background Attention to and perception of physical sensations and somatic states can significantly influence reporting of complaints and symptoms in the context of clinical care and randomized trials. Although anxiety and high neuroticism are known to increase the frequency and severity of complaints, it is not known if other personality dimensions or genes associated with cognitive function or sympathetic tone can influence complaints. Genetic variation in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is associated with anxiety, personality, pain, and response to placebo treatment. We hypothesized that the association of complaint reporting with personality might be modified by variation in the COMT val158met genotype. Methods We administered a standard 25-item complaint survey weekly over 3-weeks to a convenience sample of 187 irritable bowel syndrome patients enrolled in a placebo intervention trial and conducted a repeated measures analysis. Results We found that complaint severity rating, our primary outcome, was negatively associated with the personality measures of conscientiousness (β = −0.31 SE 0.11, P = 0.003) and agreeableness (β = −0.38 SE 0.12, P = 0.002) and was positively associated with neuroticism (β = 0.24 SE 0.09, P = 0.005) and anxiety (β = 0.48 SE 0.09, P < 0.0001). We also found a significant interaction effect of COMT met alleles (β = −32.5 SE 14.1, P = 0.021). in patients genotyped for COMT val158met (N  = 87) specifically COMT × conscientiousness (β = 0.73 SE 0.26, P = 0.0042) and COMT × anxiety (β = −0.42 SE 0.16, P = 0.0078) interaction effects. Conclusion These findings potentially broaden our understanding of the factors underlying clinical complaints to include the personality dimension of conscientiousness and its modification by COMT. PMID:25722948

  5. Catechol-O-methyltransferase Val(108/158)Met polymorphism affects fronto-limbic connectivity during emotional processing in bipolar disorder.

    PubMed

    Vai, B; Riberto, M; Poletti, S; Bollettini, I; Lorenzi, C; Colombo, C; Benedetti, F

    2016-12-30

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inactivates catecholamines, Val/Val genotype was associated to an increased amygdala (Amy) response to negative stimuli and can influence the symptoms severity and the outcome of bipolar disorder, probably mediated by the COMT polymorphism (rs4680) interaction between cortical and subcortical dopaminergic neurotransmission. The aim of this study is to explore how rs4680 and implicit emotional processing of negative emotional stimuli could interact in affecting the Amy connectivity in bipolar depression. Forty-five BD patients (34 Met carriers vs. 11 Val/Val) underwent fMRI scanning during implicit processing of fearful and angry faces. We explore the effect of rs4680 on the strength of functional connectivity from the amygdalae to whole brain. Val/Val and Met carriers significantly differed for the connectivity between Amy and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and supramarginal gyrus. Val/Val patients showed a significant positive connectivity for all of these areas, where Met carriers presented a significant negative one for the connection between DLPFC and Amy. Our findings reveal a COMT genotype-dependent difference in corticolimbic connectivity during affective regulation, possibly identifying a neurobiological underpinning of clinical and prognostic outcome of BD. Specifically, a worse antidepressant recovery and clinical outcome previously detected in Val/Val patients could be associated to a specific increased sensitivity to negative emotional stimuli.

  6. Variation in the dopamine D2 receptor gene plays a key role in human pain and its modulation by transcranial magnetic stimulation.

    PubMed

    Jääskeläinen, Satu K; Lindholm, Pauliina; Valmunen, Tanja; Pesonen, Ullamari; Taiminen, Tero; Virtanen, Arja; Lamusuo, Salla; Forssell, Heli; Hagelberg, Nora; Hietala, Jarmo; Pertovaara, Antti

    2014-10-01

    We tested whether variation of the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene contributes to individual differences in thermal pain sensitivity and analgesic efficacy of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) in healthy subjects (n=29) or susceptibility to neuropathic pain in patients with neurophysiologically confirmed diagnosis (n=16). Thermal sensitivity of healthy subjects was assessed before and after navigated rTMS provided to the S1/M1 cortex. All subjects were genotyped for the DRD2 gene 957C>T and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) protein Val158Met polymorphisms. In healthy subjects, 957C>T influenced both innocuous and noxious thermal detection thresholds that were lowest in 957TT homozygotes (P values from .0277 to .0462). rTMS to S1 cortex had analgesic effect only in 957TT homozygote genotype (P=.0086). In patients, prevalence of 957TT homozygote genotype was higher than in a healthy Finnish population (50% vs 27%; P=.0191). Patients with 957TT genotype reported more severe pain than patients with other genotypes (P=.0351). COMT Val158Met polymorphism was not independently associated with the studied variables. Genetic regulation of DRD2 function by 957C>T polymorphism thus seems to influence thermal and pain sensitivity, its modulation by rTMS, and susceptibility to neuropathic pain. This indicates a central role for the dopamine system and DRD2 in pain and analgesia. This may have clinical implications regarding individualized selection of patients for rTMS treatment and assessment of risks for neuropathic pain.

  7. Variants in maternal COMT and MTHFR genes and risk of neural tube defects in offspring.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jufen; Zhang, Yali; Jin, Lei; Li, Guoxing; Wang, Linlin; Bao, Yanping; Fu, Yunting; Li, Zhiwen; Zhang, Le; Ye, Rongwei; Ren, Aiguo

    2015-04-01

    Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T and catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) G158A are associated with a risk of neural tube defects (NTDs) in offspring. This study examined the effect of a MTHFR × COMT interaction on the risk of NTDs in a Chinese population with a high prevalence of NTDs. A total of 576 fetuses or newborns with NTDs and 594 controls were genotyped for MTHFRrs1801133, MTHFRrs1801131, and COMTrs4680 and COMTrs737865. Information on maternal sociodemographic characteristics, reproductive history, and related behavior was collected through face-to-face interviews. Possible interactions between genetic variants of MTHFR and COMT were examined. MTHFR C677T homozygous TT was associated with an elevated risk of total NTDs (odds ratio [OR] = 1.37, 95 % confidence interval [CI] = 0.93-2.03) and of anencephaly (OR = 1.67, 95 % CI = 0.98-2.84) compared with the CC genotype. There was a COMT rs737865 CC × MTHFR rs1801133 TT interaction for total NTDs (OR = 3.02, 95 % CI = 1.00-9.14) and for anencephaly (OR = 3.39, 95 % CI = 0.94-12.18). No interaction was found between COMT rs4680 AA/AG and MTHFR CT/TT genotypes for total NTDs or any subtype of NTD. The interaction of COMT rs737865 and MTHFR C677T was associated with an increased risk of NTDs, especially anencephaly, in a Chinese population with a high prevalence of NTDs.

  8. Time course field analysis of COMT-downregulated switchgrass: Lignification, recalcitrance, and rust susceptibility

    DOE PAGES

    Baxter, Holly L.; Mazarei, Mitra; Fu, Chunxiang; ...

    2016-05-18

    Modifying plant cell walls by manipulating lignin biosynthesis can improve biofuel yields from lignocellulosic crops. For example, transgenic switchgrass lines with downregulated expression of caffeic acid O-methyltransferase, a lignin biosynthetic enzyme, produce up to 38% more ethanol than controls. The aim of the present study was to understand cell wall lignification over the second and third growing seasons of COMT-downregulated field-grown switchgrass. COMT gene expression, lignification, and cell wall recalcitrance were assayed for two independent transgenic lines at monthly intervals. Switchgrass rust (Puccinia emaculata) incidence was also tracked across the seasons. Trends in lignification over time differed between the 2more » years. In 2012, sampling was initiated in mid-growing season on reproductive-stage plants and there was little variation in the lignin content of all lines (COMT-downregulated and control) over time. COMT-downregulated lines maintained 11-16% less lignin, 33-40% lower S/G (syringyl-to-guaiacyl) ratios, and 15-42% higher sugar release relative to controls for all time points. In 2013, sampling was initiated earlier in the season on elongation-stage plants and the lignin content of all lines steadily increased over time, while sugar release expectedly decreased. S/G ratios increased in non-transgenic control plants as biomass accumulated over the season, while remaining relatively stable across the season in the COMT-downregulated lines. Differences in cell wall chemistry between transgenic and non-transgenic lines were not apparent until plants transitioned to reproductive growth in mid-season, after which the cell walls of COMT-downregulated plants exhibited phenotypes consistent with what was observed in 2012. There were no differences in rust damage between transgenics and controls at any time point. Finally, these results provide relevant fundamental insights into the process of lignification in a maturing field-grown biofuel

  9. Time course field analysis of COMT-downregulated switchgrass: Lignification, recalcitrance, and rust susceptibility

    SciTech Connect

    Baxter, Holly L.; Mazarei, Mitra; Fu, Chunxiang; Cheng, Qunkang; Turner, Geoffrey B.; Sykes, Robert W.; Windham, Mark T.; Davis, Mark F.; Dixon, Richard A.; Wang, Zeng -Yu; Stewart, Jr., C. Neal

    2016-05-18

    Modifying plant cell walls by manipulating lignin biosynthesis can improve biofuel yields from lignocellulosic crops. For example, transgenic switchgrass lines with downregulated expression of caffeic acid O-methyltransferase, a lignin biosynthetic enzyme, produce up to 38% more ethanol than controls. The aim of the present study was to understand cell wall lignification over the second and third growing seasons of COMT-downregulated field-grown switchgrass. COMT gene expression, lignification, and cell wall recalcitrance were assayed for two independent transgenic lines at monthly intervals. Switchgrass rust (Puccinia emaculata) incidence was also tracked across the seasons. Trends in lignification over time differed between the 2 years. In 2012, sampling was initiated in mid-growing season on reproductive-stage plants and there was little variation in the lignin content of all lines (COMT-downregulated and control) over time. COMT-downregulated lines maintained 11-16% less lignin, 33-40% lower S/G (syringyl-to-guaiacyl) ratios, and 15-42% higher sugar release relative to controls for all time points. In 2013, sampling was initiated earlier in the season on elongation-stage plants and the lignin content of all lines steadily increased over time, while sugar release expectedly decreased. S/G ratios increased in non-transgenic control plants as biomass accumulated over the season, while remaining relatively stable across the season in the COMT-downregulated lines. Differences in cell wall chemistry between transgenic and non-transgenic lines were not apparent until plants transitioned to reproductive growth in mid-season, after which the cell walls of COMT-downregulated plants exhibited phenotypes consistent with what was observed in 2012. There were no differences in rust damage between transgenics and controls at any time point. Finally, these results provide relevant fundamental insights into the process of lignification in a maturing field-grown biofuel

  10. Synthesis and optimization of N-heterocyclic pyridinones as catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhijian; Harrison, Scott T; Schubert, Jeffrey W; Sanders, John M; Polsky-Fisher, Stacey; Zhang, Nanyan Rena; McLoughlin, Debra; Gibson, Christopher R; Robinson, Ronald G; Sachs, Nancy A; Kandebo, Monika; Yao, Lihang; Smith, Sean M; Hutson, Pete H; Wolkenberg, Scott E; Barrow, James C

    2016-06-15

    A series of N-heterocyclic pyridinone catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors were synthesized. Physicochemical properties, including ligand lipophilic efficiency (LLE) and clogP, were used to guide compound design and attempt to improve inhibitor pharmacokinetics. Incorporation of heterocyclic central rings provided improvements in physicochemical parameters but did not significantly reduce in vitro or in vivo clearance. Nevertheless, compound 11 was identified as a potent inhibitor with sufficient in vivo exposure to significantly affect the dopamine metabolites homovanillic acid (HVA) and dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), and indicate central COMT inhibition.

  11. Neurobiology of aggression and violence in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Soyka, Michael

    2011-09-01

    There is much evidence that schizophrenia patients have an increased risk for aggression and violent behavior, including homicide. The neurobiological basis and correlates of this risk have not been much studied. While genome-wide association studies are lacking, a number of candidate genes have been investigated. By far, the most intensively studied is the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene on chromosome 22. COMT is involved in the metabolism of dopamine, a key neurotransmitter in schizophrenia pathophysiology. Several studies suggest that the Val158Met polymorphism of this gene affects COMT activity. Methionine (Met)/Met homozygote schizophrenia patients show 4- to 5-fold lower COMT activity than valine (Val)/Val homozygotes, and some but not all studies have found an association with aggression and violence. Recently, a new functional single-nucleotide polymorphism in the COMT gene, Ala72Ser, was found to be associated with homicidal behavior in schizophrenia, but this finding warrants further replication. Studies published so far indicate that an association with the monoamine oxidase A, B, or tryptophan hydroxylase 1 genes is unlikely. Data for the brain-derived neurotrophic factor gene are conflicting and limited. Data from the limited number of neuroimaging studies performed to date are interesting. Frontal and temporal lobe abnormalities are found consistently in aggressive schizophrenia patients. Positron emission tomography and single photon-emission computed tomography (SPECT) data indicate deficits also in the orbitofrontal and temporal cortex. Some functional magnetic resonance imaging studies found a negative association of violent behavior with frontal and right-sided inferior parietal activity. Neuroimaging studies may well help further elucidate the interrelationship between neurocognitive functioning, personality traits, and antisocial and violent behavior.

  12. Chronic adolescent exposure to delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in COMT mutant mice: impact on indices of dopaminergic, endocannabinoid and GABAergic pathways.

    PubMed

    Behan, Aine T; Hryniewiecka, Magdalena; O'Tuathaigh, Colm M P; Kinsella, Anthony; Cannon, Mary; Karayiorgou, Maria; Gogos, Joseph A; Waddington, John L; Cotter, David R

    2012-06-01

    Cannabis use confers a two-fold increase in risk for psychosis, with adolescent use conferring an even greater risk. A high-low activity polymorphism in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), a gene encoding the COMT enzyme involved in dopamine clearance in the brain, may interact with adolescent cannabis exposure to increase risk for schizophrenia. The impact of such an interaction on central neurotransmitter pathways implicated in schizophrenia is unknown. Male mice with knockout of the COMT gene were treated chronically with delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) during adolescence (postnatal day 32-52). We measured the size and density of GABAergic cells and the protein expression of cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1R) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HPC) in knockout mice relative to heterozygous mutants and wild-type controls. Size and density of dopaminergic neurons was also assessed in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) across the genotypes. COMT genotype × THC treatment interactions were observed for: (1) dopaminergic cell size in the VTA, (2) CB1R protein expression in the HPC, and (3) parvalbumin (PV) cell size in the PFC. No effects of adolescent THC treatment were observed for PV and dopaminergic cell density across the COMT genotypes. COMT genotype modulates the effects of chronic THC administration during adolescence on indices of neurotransmitter function in the brain. These findings illuminate how COMT deletion and adolescent cannabis use can interact to modulate the function of neurotransmitters systems implicated in schizophrenia.

  13. [Five Franche-Comté doctors and surgeons during the Revolution, Empire and the Restoration].

    PubMed

    Antoine, Henri-Michel; Magnin, Pierre; Maurat, Jean-Pierre

    2007-01-01

    Five doctors played an important part in medicine in Franche-Comté and more generally speaking in France, during the French Revolution, Empire and Restauration: J.F. Desault, E. Tourtelle, P.F. Percy, J.F. Thomassin and P.F. Briot.

  14. Hybridization of downregulated-COMT transgenic switchgrass lines with field selected switchgrass for improved biomass traits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Transgenic switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been produced for improved cell walls for biofuels. Downregulated caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) switchgrass produced significantly more biomass and biofuel than the non-transgenic progenitor line. In the present study we sought to further...

  15. Genetic influences on insight problem solving: the role of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene polymorphisms

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Weili; Shang, Siyuan; Su, Yanjie

    2015-01-01

    People may experience an “aha” moment, when suddenly realizing a solution of a puzzling problem. This experience is called insight problem solving. Several findings suggest that catecholamine-related genes may contribute to insight problem solving, among which the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is the most promising candidate. The current study examined 753 healthy individuals to determine the associations between 7 candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms on the COMT gene and insight problem-solving performance, while considering gender differences. The results showed that individuals carrying A allele of rs4680 or T allele of rs4633 scored significantly higher on insight problem-solving tasks, and the COMT gene rs5993883 combined with gender interacted with correct solutions of insight problems, specifically showing that this gene only influenced insight problem-solving performance in males. This study presents the first investigation of the genetic impact on insight problem solving and provides evidence that highlights the role that the COMT gene plays in insight problem solving. PMID:26528222

  16. Genetic influences on insight problem solving: the role of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Weili; Shang, Siyuan; Su, Yanjie

    2015-01-01

    People may experience an "aha" moment, when suddenly realizing a solution of a puzzling problem. This experience is called insight problem solving. Several findings suggest that catecholamine-related genes may contribute to insight problem solving, among which the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is the most promising candidate. The current study examined 753 healthy individuals to determine the associations between 7 candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms on the COMT gene and insight problem-solving performance, while considering gender differences. The results showed that individuals carrying A allele of rs4680 or T allele of rs4633 scored significantly higher on insight problem-solving tasks, and the COMT gene rs5993883 combined with gender interacted with correct solutions of insight problems, specifically showing that this gene only influenced insight problem-solving performance in males. This study presents the first investigation of the genetic impact on insight problem solving and provides evidence that highlights the role that the COMT gene plays in insight problem solving.

  17. A Genetic Variant (COMT) Coding Dopaminergic Activity Predicts Personality Traits in Healthy Elderly.

    PubMed

    Kotyuk, Eszter; Duchek, Janet; Head, Denise; Szekely, Anna; Goate, Alison M; Balota, David A

    2015-08-01

    Association studies between the NEO five factor personality inventory and COMT rs4680 have focused on young adults and the results have been inconsistent. However, personality and cortical changes with age may put older adults in a more sensitive range for detecting a relationship. The present study examined associations of COMT rs4680 and personality in older adults. Genetic association analyses were carried out between the NEO and the targeted COMT rs4680 in a large, well-characterized sample of healthy, cognitively normal older adults (N = 616, mean age = 69.26 years). Three significant associations were found: participants with GG genotype showed lower mean scores on Neuroticism (p = 0.039) and higher scores on Agreeableness (p = 0.020) and Conscientiousness (p = 0.006) than participants with AA or AG genotypes. These results suggest that older adults with higher COMT enzymatic activity (GG), therefore lower dopamine level, have lower Neuroticism scores, and higher Agreeableness and Conscientiousness scores. This is consistent with a recent model of phasic and tonic dopamine release suggesting that even though GG genotype is associated with lower tonic dopamine release, the phasic release of dopamine might be optimal for a more adaptive personality profile.

  18. A Genetic Variant (COMT) Coding Dopaminergic Activity Predicts Personality Traits in Healthy Elderly

    PubMed Central

    Kotyuk, Eszter; Duchek, Janet; Head, Denise; Szekely, Anna; Goate, Alison M.; Balota, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Association studies between the NEO five factor personality inventory and COMT rs4680 have focused on young adults and the results have been inconsistent. However, personality and cortical changes with age may put older adults in a more sensitive range for detecting a relationship. The present study examined associations of COMT rs4680 and personality in older adults. Genetic association analyses were carried out between the NEO and the targeted COMT rs4680 in a large, well-characterized sample of healthy, cognitively normal older adults (N = 616, mean age = 69.26 years). Three significant associations were found: participants with GG genotype showed lower mean scores on Neuroticism (p = 0.039) and higher scores on Agreeableness (p = 0.020) and Conscientiousness (p = 0.006) than participants with AA or AG genotypes. These results suggest that older adults with higher COMT enzymatic activity (GG), therefore lower dopamine level, have lower Neuroticism scores, and higher Agreeableness and Conscientiousness scores. This is consistent with a recent model of phasic and tonic dopamine release suggesting that even though GG genotype is associated with lower tonic dopamine release, the phasic release of dopamine might be optimal for a more adaptive personality profile. PMID:25960587

  19. Characterizing the roles of Met31 and Met32 in coordinating Met4-activated transcription in the absence of Met30

    PubMed Central

    Carrillo, Emilio; Ben-Ari, Giora; Wildenhain, Jan; Tyers, Mike; Grammentz, Dilon; Lee, Traci A.

    2012-01-01

    Yeast sulfur metabolism is transcriptionally regulated by the activator Met4. Met4 lacks DNA-binding ability and relies on interactions with Met31 and Met32, paralogous proteins that bind the same cis-regulatory element, to activate its targets. Although Met31 and Met32 are redundant for growth in the absence of methionine, studies indicate that Met32 has a prominent role over Met31 when Met30, a negative regulator of Met4 and Met32, is inactive. To characterize different roles of Met31 and Met32 in coordinating Met4-activated transcription, we examined transcription in strains lacking either Met31 or Met32 upon Met4 induction in the absence of Met30. Microarray analysis revealed that transcripts involved in sulfate assimilation and sulfonate metabolism were dramatically decreased in met32Δ cells compared to its wild-type and met31Δ counterparts. Despite this difference, both met31Δ and met32Δ cells used inorganic sulfur compounds and sulfonates as sole sulfur sources in minimal media when Met30 was present. This discrepancy may be explained by differential binding of Met31 to Cbf1-dependent promoters between these two conditions. In the absence of Met30, genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation analyses found that Met32 bound all Met4-bound targets, supporting Met32 as the main platform for Met4 recruitment. Finally, Met31 and Met32 levels were differentially regulated, with Met32 levels mimicking the profile for active Met4. These different properties of Met32 likely contribute to its prominent role in Met4-activated transcription when Met30 is absent. PMID:22438580

  20. COMT Diplotype Amplifies Effect of Stress on Risk of Temporomandibular Pain

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, A.E.; Ohrbach, R.; Bair, E.; Maixner, W.; Greenspan, J.D.; Fillingim, R.B.; Smith, S.; Diatchenko, L.

    2015-01-01

    When measured once, psychological stress predicts development of painful temporomandibular disorder (TMD). However, a single measurement fails to characterize the dynamic nature of stress over time. Moreover, effects of stress on pain likely vary according to biological susceptibility. We hypothesized that temporal escalation in stress exacerbates risk for TMD, and the effect is amplified by allelic variants in a gene, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), regulating catechol neurotransmitter catabolism. We used data from the Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment prospective cohort study of 2,707 community-dwelling adults with no lifetime history of TMD on enrollment. At baseline and quarterly periods thereafter, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) measured psychological stress. Genotyped DNA from blood samples determined COMT diplotypes. During follow-up of 0.25 to 5.2 y, 248 adults developed examiner-verified incident TMD. PSS scores at baseline were 20% greater (P < 0.001) in adults who developed incident TMD compared with TMD-free controls. Baseline PSS scores increased by 9% (P = 0.003) during follow-up in cases but remained stable in controls. This stress escalation was limited to incident cases with COMT diplotypes coding for low-activity COMT, signifying impaired catabolism of catecholamines. Cox regression models confirmed significant effects on TMD hazard of both baseline PSS (P < 0.001), modeled as a time-constant covariate, and change in PSS (P < 0.001), modeled as a time-varying covariate. Furthermore, a significant (P = 0.04) interaction of COMT diplotype and time-varying stress showed that a postbaseline increase of 1.0 standard deviation in PSS more than doubled risk of TMD incidence in subjects with low-activity COMT diplotypes (hazard ratio = 2.35; 95% confidence limits: 1.66, 3.32), an effect not found in subjects with high-activity COMT diplotypes (hazard ratio = 1.42; 95% confidence limits: 0.96, 2.09). Findings provide novel

  1. COMT Diplotype Amplifies Effect of Stress on Risk of Temporomandibular Pain.

    PubMed

    Slade, G D; Sanders, A E; Ohrbach, R; Bair, E; Maixner, W; Greenspan, J D; Fillingim, R B; Smith, S; Diatchenko, L

    2015-09-01

    When measured once, psychological stress predicts development of painful temporomandibular disorder (TMD). However, a single measurement fails to characterize the dynamic nature of stress over time. Moreover, effects of stress on pain likely vary according to biological susceptibility. We hypothesized that temporal escalation in stress exacerbates risk for TMD, and the effect is amplified by allelic variants in a gene, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), regulating catechol neurotransmitter catabolism. We used data from the Orofacial Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment prospective cohort study of 2,707 community-dwelling adults with no lifetime history of TMD on enrollment. At baseline and quarterly periods thereafter, the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) measured psychological stress. Genotyped DNA from blood samples determined COMT diplotypes. During follow-up of 0.25 to 5.2 y, 248 adults developed examiner-verified incident TMD. PSS scores at baseline were 20% greater (P < 0.001) in adults who developed incident TMD compared with TMD-free controls. Baseline PSS scores increased by 9% (P = 0.003) during follow-up in cases but remained stable in controls. This stress escalation was limited to incident cases with COMT diplotypes coding for low-activity COMT, signifying impaired catabolism of catecholamines. Cox regression models confirmed significant effects on TMD hazard of both baseline PSS (P < 0.001), modeled as a time-constant covariate, and change in PSS (P < 0.001), modeled as a time-varying covariate. Furthermore, a significant (P = 0.04) interaction of COMT diplotype and time-varying stress showed that a postbaseline increase of 1.0 standard deviation in PSS more than doubled risk of TMD incidence in subjects with low-activity COMT diplotypes (hazard ratio = 2.35; 95% confidence limits: 1.66, 3.32), an effect not found in subjects with high-activity COMT diplotypes (hazard ratio = 1.42; 95% confidence limits: 0.96, 2.09). Findings provide novel

  2. Effects of COMT inhibitors on striatal dopamine metabolism: A microdialysis study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kaakkola, S.; Wurtman, R. J.

    1992-01-01

    In vivo microdialysis was used to examine the effect of two new catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors, Ro 40-7592 and OR-611, on extracellular levels of dopamine, dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA), and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in rat striatum. The interactions of the COMT inhibitors with nomifensine, clorgyline, and deprenyl were also studied. Ro 40-7592 (3-30 mg/kg. i.p.) decreased dose-dependently the efflux of HVA, increased that of DOPAC, and tended to increase that of dopamine. Higher doses of OR-611 (30-100 mg/kg, i.p.) also decreased the dialysate level of HVA, increased that of DOPAC, and tended to increase that of dopamine. Ro 40-7592 was about ten-fold as potent as OR-611. Neither of the COMT inhibitors changed dialysate levels of 6-HIAA. An OR-611 dose of 10 mg/kg i.p. had no significant effect, in contrast to Ro 40-7592, on any of the parameters studied; this dose was thus used to differentiate between the effects of central and peripheral COMT inhibition. Both nomifensine (15 mg/kg, i.p.) and clorgyline (4 mg/kg, i.p.) alone elevated extracellular dopamine levels, and lowered those of DOPAC and HVA, though there were quantitative and temporal differences between the drugs. L-deprenyl (1 mg/kg, i.p.) alone had no significant effect on any of the compounds measured. Ro 40-7592 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) potentiated the effect of nomifensine on dopamine efflux, and it tended to increase clorgyline-induced dopamine efflux. DOPAC levels in dialysates were significantly increased by combinations of Ro 40-7592 and nomifensine or clorgyline, whereas HVA remained about as low as they were after Ro 40-7592 alone. Ro 40-7592 had no significant interactions with L-deprenyl. OR-611 (10 mg/kg, i.p.) did not modify the effects on dopamine metabolism of nomifensine, clorgyline, or L-deprenyl. These data show that Ro 40-7592 is a potent centrally active COMT inhibitor, whereas OR-611 is principally a peripherally active inhibitor

  3. MET deregulation in breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Landi, Lorenza

    2015-01-01

    Background Mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) is an oncogene encoding for a trans-membrane tyrosine kinase receptor activated by the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). MET has a normal function in organ development during embryogenesis and in tissue homeostasis during adult life. Deregulation of HGF/MET signaling pathway is frequently observed in many cancer types, conferring invasive growth and tendency to progression. MET deregulation is due to gene amplification or increased copy number, gene mutation, receptor over-expression or ligand autocrine loops activation. These events lead to migration, invasion, proliferation, metastatic spread and neo-angiogenesis of cancer cells, suggesting that anti-HGF/MET agents may represent a potential antitumor strategy. In breast cancer (BC), preclinical and clinical data demonstrated the role of HGF/MET signalling pathway in carcinogenesis, disease progression and resistance features. Methods For this review article, all published data on HGF/MET in BC were collected and analyzed. Results Several evidences underline that, in early BC, MET over-expression has an independent negative prognostic significance, regardless of method used for evaluation and BC subtypes. Available data suggest that MET is a relevant target particularly in basal-like (BL) and in triple negative BC. Moreover, preclinical and retrospective data support the critical role of MET deregulation in the development of resistance to target-agents, such as anti-HER2 strategies. Conclusions MET is a promising new target in BC. Several anti-MET agents are under investigation and ongoing clinical trials will clarify its relevance in BC treatment. PMID:26366398

  4. Nuclear factor-kappa B regulates pain and COMT expression in a rodent model of inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Hartung, Jane E.; Eskew, Olivia; Wong, Terrence; Tchivileva, Inna E.; Oladosu, Folabomi A.; O’Buckley, Sandra C.; Nackley, Andrea G.

    2015-01-01

    Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) is a ubiquitously expressed protein complex regulating the transcription of genes involved in inflammation and pain. Increased NF-κB activity in immune and nervous system cells is linked to several chronic pain conditions in humans as well as inflammation- and nerve injury-evoked pain in animals. A recent in vitro study further demonstrates that increased NF-κB activity in astrocytes decreases transcription of catechol-o-methyltransferase (COMT), an enzyme that inactivates catecholamines that cause pain. The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between systemic and astrocytic NF-κB activity, pain, and COMT expression in an animal model of inflammation. Results demonstrated that administration of the inflammatory stimulant complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) led to increased pain and decreased COMT protein expression in an NF-κB-dependent manner. Specifically, we found that rats and mice receiving intraplantar CFA exhibited increased behavioral responses to mechanical and thermal heat stimuli. CFA-evoked pain was blocked in rats receiving a pre-emptive systemic dose of the NF-κB inhibitor MG132 and exacerbated in IKKca mice with constitutive NF-κB activity in astrocytes. Furthermore, we observed NF-κB-linked reductions in COMT expression in midbrain at 6h and 1d following CFA in rats and at 1h and 1d in forebrain and midbrain following CFA in IKKca mice. Collectively, these results demonstrate that systemic and astrocytic NF-κB activity drive inflammatory pain and regulate the expression of COMT in forebrain and midbrain structures. PMID:26187567

  5. Dopamine genes and reward dependence in adolescents with excessive internet video game play.

    PubMed

    Han, Doug Hyun; Lee, Young Sik; Yang, Kevin C; Kim, Eun Young; Lyoo, In Kyoon; Renshaw, Perry F

    2007-09-01

    Excessive internet video game play (EIGP) has emerged as a leading cause of behavioral and developmental problems in adolescents. Recent research has implicated the role of striatal dopaminergic system in the behavioral maladaptations associated with EIGP. This study investigates the reward-dependence characteristics in EIGP adolescents as it potentially relates to genetic polymorphisms of the dopaminergic system and temperament. Seventy-nine male EIGP adolescents and 75 age- and gender-matched healthy comparison adolescents were recruited. Associations were tested with respect to the reward-dependence (RD) scale in Cloninger's Temperament and Character Inventory and the frequencies of 3 dopamine polymorphisms: Taq1A1 allele of the dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2 Taq1A1) and Val158Met in the Catecholamine-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) genes. The Taq1A1 and low activity (COMT) alleles were significantly more prevalent in the EIGP group relative to the comparison group. The present EIGP group had significantly higher RD scores than controls. Within the EIGP group, the presence of the Taq1A1 allele correlated with higher RD scores. Our findings suggest that EIGP subjects have higher reward dependency and an increased prevalence of the DRD2 Taq1A1 and COMT alleles. In particular, the DRD2 Taq1A1 allele seems to be associated with reward dependence in EIGP adolescents.

  6. Impaired executive control is associated with a variation in the promoter region of the tryptophan hydroxylase 2 gene.

    PubMed

    Reuter, Martin; Ott, Ulrich; Vaitl, Dieter; Hennig, Jürgen

    2007-03-01

    Current models of attention describe attention not as a homogenous entity but as a set of neural networks whose measurement yields a set of three endophenotypes-alerting, orienting, and executive control. Previous findings revealed different neuroanatomical regions for these subsystems, and data from twin studies indicate differences in their heritability. The present study investigated the molecular genetic basis of attention in a sample of 100 healthy subjects. Attention performance was assessed with the attention network test that distinguishes alerting, orienting, and executive control (conflict) using a simple reaction time paradigm with different cues and congruent and incongruent flankers. Two gene loci on candidate genes for cognitive functioning, the functional catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) VAL158MET and the tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2) -703 G/T promoter polymorphism, were tested for possible associations with attention. COMT is involved in the catabolism of dopamine, and TPH is the rate-limiting enzyme for serotonin synthesis. Results showed no effect of the COMT polymorphism on attention performance. However, the TT genotype of TPH2 -03 G/T was significantly associated with more errors (a possible indicator of impaired impulse control; p = .001) and with decreased performance in executive control (p = .001). This single-nucleotide polymorphism on the TPH2 gene explained more than 10% of the variance in both indicators of attention stressing the role of the serotonergic system for cognitive functions.

  7. Inferring candidate genes for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) assessed by the World Health Organization Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS).

    PubMed

    Reuter, M; Kirsch, P; Hennig, J

    2006-07-01

    The present study tests the psychometric properties and validity of the German version of the World Health Organization Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Self-Report Scale (ASRS), which is a short screening instrument for use in the general population. Furthermore, two candidate genes for ADHD, the COMT VAL158MET and the 5-HT2a T102C polymorphisms, were tested for associations with the ASRS subscales inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity in N = 203 healthy subjects. The ordinal CFA yielded a two-factorial model corroborating the structure of the official English WHO version. Genetic analysis revealed an association between the VAL allele of COMT and the inattention scale (F(1, 201) = 7.20, p = 0.008), the hyperactivity/impulsivity scale (F(1, 201) = 4.30, p = 0.039), and the total ASRS scale (F(2, 201) = 7.64, p = 0.006) with highest scores in carriers of the MET/MET genotype. The C-allele of 5-HT2a was significantly associated with the hyperactivity/impulsivity scale (F(1, 201) = 5.52, p = 0.020) and the total ASRS scale (F(1, 201) = 4.21, p = 0.042) with highest scores in carriers of the TT genotype. The data provide evidence for the structural as well as for the external validity of the ASRS.

  8. MET — EDRN Public Portal

    Cancer.gov

    From NCBI Gene: The proto-oncogene MET product is the hepatocyte growth factor receptor and encodes tyrosine-kinase activity. The primary single chain precursor protein is post-translationally cleaved to produce the alpha and beta subunits, which are disulfide linked to form the mature receptor. Various mutations in the MET gene are associated with papillary renal carcinoma. Two transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008

  9. LCLS Heavy Met Outgassing Tests

    SciTech Connect

    Kishiyama, K. I.

    2010-12-01

    A Heavy Met that is 95% tungsten, 3% nickel and 2% iron and sintered to 100% density and is Ultra High Vacuum (UHV) compatible is proposed for use as the X-ray slit in the Front End Enclosure and the Fixed Mask for the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS). The Heavy Met was tested in the LLNL Vacuum Sciences and Engineering Lab (VSEL) to determine its outgassing rate and its overall compatibility with the vacuum requirements for LCLS.

  10. Influence of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene polymorphisms in pain sensibility of Brazilian fibromialgia patients.

    PubMed

    Barbosa, Flávia Regina; Matsuda, Josie Budag; Mazucato, Mendelson; de Castro França, Suzelei; Zingaretti, Sônia Marli; da Silva, Lucienir Maria; Martinez-Rossi, Nilce Maria; Júnior, Milton Faria; Marins, Mozart; Fachin, Ana Lúcia

    2012-02-01

    Fibromyalgia syndrome (FS) is a rheumatic syndrome affecting to 2-3% of individuals of productive age, mainly women. Neuroendocrine and genetic factors may play a significant role in development of the disease which is characterized by diffuse chronic pain and presence of tender points. Several studies have suggested an association between FS, especially pain sensitivity, and polymorphism of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene. The aim of the present study was to characterize the SNPs rs4680 and rs4818 of the COMT gene and assess its influence in pain sensitivity of patients with fibromyalgia screened by the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ). DNA was extracted from peripheral blood of 112 patients with fibromyalgia and 110 healthy individuals and was used as template in PCR for amplification of a 185-bp fragment of the COMT gene. The amplified fragment was sequenced for analyses of the SNPs rs4680 and rs4818. The frequency of mutant genotype AA of SNP rs6860 was 77.67% in patients with FS and 28.18% for the control group. For the SNP rs4818, the frequency of mutant genotype CC was 73.21 and 39.09% for patients with FS and controls, respectively. Moreover, the FIQ score was higher in patients with the homozygous mutant genotype for SNPs rs4680 (87.92 points) and rs4818 (86.14 points). These results suggest that SNPs rs4680 and rs4818 of the COMT gene may be associated with fibromyalgia and pain sensitivity in FS Brazilian patients.

  11. Impact of DRD2/ANKK1 and COMT Polymorphisms on Attention and Cognitive Functions in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Breton, Florence; Mallet, Jasmina; Gorwood, Philip; Dubertret, Caroline

    2017-01-01

    Background Cognitive deficits such as poor selective attention and executive functions decline have been reported in patients with schizophrenia. Many studies have emphasized the role of dopamine in regulating cognitive functions in the general population as well as in schizophrenia. However, the relationship between cognitive processes, schizophrenia and dopaminergic candidate genes is an original approach given interesting results. The purpose of the current exploratory study was to examine the interaction of dopaminergic genes (coding for dopamine receptor D2, DRD2, and for Catecholamine-O-Methyl-Transferase, COMT) with the diagnostic of schizophrenia in (i) the executive control of attention, (ii) selective attention, and (iii) executive functions. Methods and Results We recruited 52 patients with schizophrenia and 53 healthy controls who performed the Stroop Color-Word Test, the Attention Network Test and the Wisconsin Card Sorting test. Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the DRD2 gene (rs6275, rs6277, rs2242592 and rs1800497) and two SNPs in the COMT gene (rs4680 and rs165599) have been genotyped. Patients with schizophrenia performed significantly worse than controls in all cognitive performance, taking into account demographic variables. A significant gene by disease interaction was found for the Stroop interference (p = 0.002) for rs6275 of the DRD2 gene. The COMT Val/Val genotype and schizophrenia were associated with increased number of perseverative errors (p = 0.01). Conclusions In our study, the DRD2 gene is involved in attention while the COMT gene is implicated in executive functions in patients with schizophrenia. PMID:28085950

  12. Association Between Polymorphisms of DRD2, COMT, DBH, and MAO-A Genes and Migraine Susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Hu; Ji, Chun-Xue; Zhao, Lian-Li; Kong, Xiang-Jun; Zeng, Xian-Tao

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Some epidemiological studies have investigated the relationship between genetic polymorphisms of DRD2, COMT, DBH, and MAO-A and migraine susceptibility, but the results are still inconsistent. Thus, our aim was to further assess the association through a meta-analysis. We examined 5 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 4 genes, including DRD2 rs1799732 and rs6275, DBH rs7239728, MAI-A-VNTR, and COMT rs4680, and performed a meta-analysis of 11 published case–control studies including 3138 cases and 4126 controls. Odd ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were used to evaluate the association between the 5 genetic polymorphisms and migraine susceptibility. There was no significant relationship between migraine susceptibility and 4 genetic polymorphisms of DRD2 rs1799732 and rs6275, DBH rs7239728, and MAO-A-VNTR. Nevertheless, decreased risk of migraine was observed to be in association with COMT rs4680 polymorphism in overall analysis (AA vs. GG + GA: OR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.60–0.97, PHet > 0.642, I2 = 0), and in Caucasian group after subgroup analysis (AA vs. GG + GA: OR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.58–0.96, PHet > 0.433, I2 = 0). Studied polymorphisms of DRD2, DBH, and MAO-A genes may not be associated with migraine susceptibility. However, COMT rs4680 polymorphism may decrease the risk of migraine, especially in Caucasians. The failure to evaluate environmental influence and provide adjusted effect size estimates highlights the need for additional studies in a large number to take these factors into consideration, thus better elucidating the role of the genes tested in migraine. PMID:26632697

  13. Comte, Mach, Planck, and Eddington: a study of influence across generations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batten, Alan H.

    2016-04-01

    Auguste Comte is frequently ridiculed by astronomers for saying that human beings would never be able to know the physical nature and constitution of the stars. His philosophy, however, influenced scientists throughout his lifetime and for over a century after his death. That influence is traced here in the work of three outstanding scientists who spanned, roughly speaking, three successive generations after his own, namely, Ernst Mach, Max Planck and Arthur Stanley Eddington.

  14. Association of COMT and SLC6A3 polymorphisms with impulsivity, response inhibition and brain function.

    PubMed

    Kasparbauer, Anna-Maria; Merten, Natascha; Aichert, Désirée S; Wöstmann, Nicola; Meindl, Thomas; Rujescu, Dan; Ettinger, Ulrich

    2015-10-01

    Evidence of the genetic correlates of inhibitory control is scant. Two previously studied dopamine-related polymorphisms, COMT rs4680 and the SLC6A3 3' UTR 40-base-pair VNTR (rs28363170), have been associated with response inhibition, however with inconsistent findings. Here, we investigated the influence of these two polymorphisms in a large healthy adult sample (N = 515) on a response inhibition battery including the antisaccade, stop-signal, go/no-go and Stroop tasks as well as a psychometric measure of impulsivity (Barratt Impulsiveness Scale) (Experiment 1). Additionally, a subsample (N = 144) was studied while performing the go/no-go, stop-signal and antisaccade tasks in 3T fMRI (Experiment 2). In Experiment 1, we did not find any significant associations of COMT or SLC6A3 with inhibitory performance or impulsivity. In Experiment 2, no association of COMT with BOLD was found. However, there were consistent main effects of SLC6A3 genotype in all inhibitory contrasts: Homozygosity of the 10R allele was associated with greater fronto-striatal BOLD response than genotypes with at least one 9R allele. These findings are consistent with meta-analyses showing that the 10R allele is associated with reduced striatal dopamine transporter expression, which in animal studies has been found to lead to increased extracellular dopamine levels. Our study thus supports the involvement of striatal dopamine in the neural mechanisms of cognitive control, in particular response inhibition.

  15. Genetic and Disorder-Specific Aspects of Resting State EEG Abnormalities in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Venables, Noah C.; Bernat, Edward M.; Sponheim, Scott R.

    2009-01-01

    We evaluated whether abnormal frequency composition of the resting state electroencephalogram (EEG) in schizophrenia was associated with genetic liability for the disorder by studying first-degree biological relatives of schizophrenia patients. The study included a data-driven method for defining EEG frequency components and determined the specificity of resting state EEG frequency abnormalities by assessing schizophrenia patients, bipolar disorder patients, and relatives of both patient groups. Schizophrenia patients and their relatives, but not bipolar patients or their relatives, exhibited increased high-frequency activity (beta) providing evidence for disturbances in resting state brain activity being specific to genetic liability for schizophrenia. Schizophrenia patients exhibited augmented low-frequency EEG activity (delta, theta), while bipolar disorder patients and the 2 groups of relatives generally failed to manifest similar low-frequency EEG abnormalities. The Val158Met polymorphism for the catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) gene was most strongly associated with delta and theta activity in schizophrenia patients. Met homozygote schizophrenia patients exhibited augmented activity for the 2 low-frequency bands compared with control subjects. Excessive high-frequency EEG activity over frontal brain regions may serve as an endophenotype that reflects cortical expression of genetic vulnerability for schizophrenia. Low-frequency resting state EEG anomalies in schizophrenia may relate to disorder-specific pathophysiology in schizophrenia and the influence of the COMT gene on tonic dopamanergic function. PMID:18381357

  16. The Role of Catechol-O-Methyl Transferase Val(108/158)Met Polymorphism (rs4680) in the Effect of Green Tea on Resting Energy Expenditure and Fat Oxidation: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Hursel, Rick; Janssens, Pilou L. H. R.; Bouwman, Freek G.; Mariman, Edwin C.; Westerterp-Plantenga, Margriet S.

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Green tea(GT) is able to increase energy expenditure(EE) and fat oxidation(FATox) via inhibition of catechol-O-methyl transferase(COMT) by catechins. However, this does not always appear unanimously because of large inter-individual variability. This may be explained by different alleles of the functional COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism that are associated with COMT enzyme activity; high-activity enzyme, COMTH(Val/Val genotype), and low-activity COMTL(Met/Met genotype). Methods Fourteen Caucasian subjects (BMI: 22.2±2.3 kg/m2, age: 21.4±2.2 years) of whom 7 with the COMTH-genotype and 7 with the COMTL-genotype were included in a randomized, cross-over study in which EE and substrate oxidation were measured with a ventilated-hood system after decaffeinated GT and placebo(PL) consumption. Results At baseline, EE, RQ, FATox and carbohydrate oxidation(CHOox) did not differ between groups. Significant interactions were observed between COMT genotypes and treatment for RQ, FATox and CHOox (p<0.05). After GT vs. PL, EE(GT: 62.2 vs. PL: 35.4 kJ.3.5 hrs; p<0.01), RQ(GT: 0.80 vs. PL: 0.83; p<0.01), FATox(GT: 18.3 vs. PL: 15.3 g/d; p<0.001) and CHOox(GT: 18.5 vs. PL: 24.3 g/d; p<0.001) were significantly different for subjects carrying the COMTH genotype, but not for subjects carrying the COMTL genotype (EE, GT: 60.3 vs. PL: 51.7 kJ.3.5 hrs; NS), (RQ, GT: 0.81 vs. PL: 0.81; NS), (FATox, GT: 17.3 vs. PL: 17.0 g/d; NS), (CHOox, GT: 22.1 vs. PL: 21.4 g/d; NS). Conclusion Subjects carrying the COMTH genotype increased energy expenditure and fat-oxidation upon ingestion of green tea catechins vs, placebo, whereas COMTL genotype carriers reacted similarly to GT and PL ingestion. The differences in responses were due to the different responses on PL ingestion, but similar responses to GT ingestion, pointing to different mechanisms. The different alleles of the functional COMT Val108/158Met polymorphism appear to play a role in the inter-individual variability for EE

  17. Genetic correlates of behavioral endophenotypes in Alzheimer disease: role of COMT, 5-HTTLPR and APOE polymorphisms.

    PubMed

    Borroni, B; Grassi, M; Agosti, C; Costanzi, C; Archetti, S; Franzoni, S; Caltagirone, C; Di Luca, M; Caimi, L; Padovani, A

    2006-11-01

    Several studies have been conducted to understand the genetic correlates of Alzheimer disease (AD)-related behavioral and psychological symptoms in dementia (BPSD). However, given that BPSD rarely occur in isolation, it has been suggested that targeting BPSD individually is too narrow of an approach if one wants to accurately define all the associated risk factors. To date, we know of no work on genetic polymorphisms related to behavioral endophenotypes in AD. The present study sought to evaluate the relationship between such behavioral endophenotypes in AD and genetic variations in dopamine- or serotonin-related genes, such as catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) or 5-HTT gene-linked promoter region (5-HTTLPR), and apolipoprotein E (APOE). Among 232 AD patients who underwent clinical and neuropsychological examination, a behavioral and psychiatric evaluation, and genotyping at COMT, 5-HTTPLR, and APOE; 66.4% showed more than one behavioral symptom. By Principal Component Analysis of Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI) symptoms four endophenotypes were identified, these were termed "psychosis", "moods", "apathy", and "frontal". Modeling NPI symptom-endophenotype-genotype relationships, and taking into account possible confounds (i.e. demographic characteristics, comorbidities, concomitant pharmacological treatments, and disease severity) by latent variable models, COMT and 5-HTTLPR genetic variations correlated with "frontal" and "psychosis" endophenotypes. APOE genotype did not correlate with any endophenotype. These findings suggest that the possibility of identifying distinct phenotypes on a genetic basis among AD patients exists, and suggest that clustering of BPSD into endophenotypes might provide a new strategy for guiding future research on this issue.

  18. Association between the COMT 158 G/A polymorphism and lung cancer risk: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Peng, Shifeng; Tong, Xiang; Liu, Sitong; Feng, Yulin; Fan, Hong

    2015-01-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) 158 G/A gene polymorphism seem to associate with lung cancer, but the results are inconclusive. This meta-analysis aims to investigate the association between COMT 158 G/A gene polymorphism and lung cancer susceptibility. We searched PubMed, Embase, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), VIP Chinese science and technology periodical database (VIP) and Wanfang databases up to March 25, 2015 for articles on the connection between the COMT 158 G/A polymorphism and the risk of lung cancer. Pooled odds ratio (OR) and corresponding 95% confidence interval (CI) were used to estimate the connection. STATA (Version 12.0) was adopted for data analysis. Overall, 6 articles of 7 studies including 2,293 cases and 2,768 controls were included in our meta-analysis. In general analysis, no significant association was found between COMT 158 G/A polymorphism and the risk of lung cancer (AA + AG vs. GG: OR 1.14, 95% CI 0.90-1.44, P=0.28). However, in subgroup analysis of different method of genotyping, we found significant increase of lung cancer risk (OR 1.30, 95% CI 1.04-1.62, I(2)=61.5%, P=0.02), also there was significant association between COMT 158 G/A polymorphism and the risk of lung cancer in Chinese non-smoker women of unsorted cancer type (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.24-1.77, I(2)=0%, P=0.00). The study indicates that COMT 158 G/A G->A gene transition might contribute to lung cancer, especially in Chinese non-smoker women.

  19. Biopsychosocial Influence on Exercise-induced Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness at the Shoulder: Pain Catastrophizing and Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Diplotype Predict Pain Ratings

    PubMed Central

    George, Steven Z.; Dover, Geoffrey C.; Wallace, Margaret R.; Sack, Brandon K.; Herbstman, Deborah M.; Aydog, Ece; Fillingim, Roger B.

    2009-01-01

    Objective The experience of pain is believed to be influenced by psychologic and genetic factors. A previous study suggested pain catastrophizing and catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) genotype influenced clinical pain ratings for patients seeking operative treatment of shoulder pain. This study investigated whether these same psychologic and genetic factors predicted responses to induced shoulder pain. Methods Participants (n=63) completed self-report questionnaires and had COMT genotype determined before performing a standardized fatigue protocol to induce delayed onset muscle soreness. Then, shoulder pain ratings, self-report of upper-extremity disability ratings, and muscle torque production were reassessed 24, 48, and 72 hours later. Results This cohort consisted of 35 women and 28 men, with a mean age of 20.9 years (SD=1.7). The frequency of COMT diplotypes was 42 with “high COMT enzyme activity” (low pain sensitivity group) and 21 with “low COMT enzyme activity” (average pain sensitivity/high pain sensitivity group). A hierarchical regression model indicated that an interaction between pain catastrophizing and COMT diplotype was the strongest unique predictor of 72-hour pain ratings. The same interaction was not predictive of self-report of disability or muscle torque production at 72 hours. The pain catastrophizing × COMT diplotype interaction indicated that participants with high pain catastrophizing and low COMT enzyme activity (average pain sensitivity/high pain sensitivity group) were more likely (relative risk=3.5, P=0.025) to have elevated pain intensity ratings (40/100 or higher). Discussion These findings from an experimental model converge with those from a surgical cohort and provide additional evidence that the presence of elevated pain catastrophizing and COMT diplotype indicative of low COMT enzyme activity have the potential to increase the risk of developing chronic pain syndromes. PMID:18936597

  20. A multicenter case-control study on screening of single nucleotide polymorphisms in estrogen-metabolizing enzymes and susceptibility to uterine leiomyoma in han chinese.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yang; Ren, Mu-Lan; Xu, Jie; Xu, Qian; Ding, Yi-Qian; Wu, Zhi-Cong; Zhang, Hai-Bao; Huang, Xian-Xia; Cai, Yun-Lang

    2014-01-01

    Uterine leiomyoma (UL) is an estrogen-responsive benign tumor in the female reproductive system and the main risk of hysterectomy for women. However, gene polymorphism of estrogen-metabolizing enzymes may lead to the different susceptibility to UL. We detected 10 single mucleotide polymorphisms in three key estrogen metabolite enzymes (COMT, CYP1A1, CYP1B1) in a Chinese Han population consisting of 800 patients and 800 healthy women from five different medical centers. The genetic polymorphism of rs3087869 (IVS1+2329C>T) (OR 3.200, 95% CI 1.614-6.345) and rs4680 (Val158Met) (OR 5.675, 95% CI 2.696-11.942) loci on COMT, rs1048943 (Ile462Val) (OR 4.629, 95% CI 2.216-9.672) and rs4646422 (Gly45Asp) (OR 3.240, 95% CI 1.624-6.461) loci on CYP1A1 and rs1065827 (Ala119Ser) (OR 5.635, 95% CI 2.990-10.619) locus on CYP1B1 were the risk factors to UL development and rs1056836 (Leu432Val) (OR 0.188, 95% CI 0.061-0.575) locus on CYB1B1 may be the protective factor to UL. The results provide a theoretical basis for genetic screening and early intervention to UL-susceptible populations.

  1. The effect of moderate acute psychological stress on working memory-related neural activity is modulated by a genetic variation in catecholaminergic function in humans.

    PubMed

    Qin, Shaozheng; Cousijn, Helena; Rijpkema, Mark; Luo, Jing; Franke, Barbara; Hermans, Erno J; Fernández, Guillén

    2012-01-01

    Acute stress has an important impact on higher-order cognitive functions supported by the prefrontal cortex (PFC) such as working memory (WM). In rodents, such effects are mediated by stress-induced alterations in catecholaminergic signaling, but human data in support of this notion is lacking. A common variation in the gene encoding Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is known to affect basal catecholaminergic availability and PFC functions. Here, we investigated whether this genetic variation (Val158Met) modulates effects of stress on WM-related neural activity in humans. In a counterbalanced crossover design, 41 healthy young men underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while performing a numerical N-back WM task embedded in a stressful or neutral context. Moderate psychological stress was induced by a well-controlled procedure involving viewing strongly aversive (versus emotionally neutral) movie material in combination with a self-referencing instruction. Acute stress resulted in genotype-dependent effects on WM performance and WM-related activation in the dorsolateral PFC, with a relatively negative impact of stress in COMT Met-homozygotes as opposed to a relatively positive effect in Val-carriers. A parallel interaction was found for WM-related deactivation in the anterior medial temporal lobe (MTL). Our findings suggest that individuals with higher baseline catecholaminergic availability (COMT Met-homozygotes) appear to reach a supraoptimal state under moderate levels of stress. In contrast, individuals with lower baselines (Val-carriers) may reach an optimal state. Thus, our data show that effects of acute stress on higher-order cognitive functions vary depending on catecholaminergic availability at baseline, and thereby corroborate animal models of catecholaminergic signaling that propose a non-linear relationship between catecholaminergic activity and prefrontal functions.

  2. An investigation of mammographic density and gene variants in healthy women.

    PubMed

    Maskarinec, Gertraud; Lurie, Galina; Williams, Andrew E; Le Marchand, Loic

    2004-11-20

    This cross-sectional study examined if polymorphisms in genes that code for enzymes involved in the production and metabolism of estrogens are associated with mammographic density, a strong predictor of breast cancer risk. The study included 328 healthy women of different ethnicities who underwent mammographic screening and donated a blood or mouthwash sample for DNA analysis. After digitizing cranio-caudal views of the mammograms, we performed computer-assisted mammographic density assessment. Following DNA extraction, samples were analyzed for polymorphisms in the COMT (Val158Met), CYP1A1 (Ile462Val), CYP1B1 (Val432Leu), CYP1A2 (*1F) and CYP17 (T27C) genes using PCR-RFLP. Breast density was lower in Caucasians than in Asians. Caucasian women were less likely to carry the CYP1A1 variant allele and more likely to carry the variant alleles for CYP1B1 and COMT than women with Asian or Hawaiian ancestry. The low-activity COMT and CYP1A2 variant alleles were weakly related to lower percent mammographic density after adjustment for age, ethnicity, body mass index and reproductive variables (p for gene-dosage =0.08 and 0.05, respectively). These relations were observed in premenopausal women only and were similar in direction and magnitude after stratification by ethnicity. We found no significant associations between breast density and the variant alleles for CYP1A1, CYP1B1 and CYP17. Our data suggest lower mammographic density for women carrying the COMT and CYP1A2 variant alleles than for women carrying the common alleles, though this is the opposite of what is commonly hypothesized from the enzyme function.

  3. Investigation of polymorphisms in genes involved in estrogen metabolism in menstrual migraine.

    PubMed

    Sutherland, Heidi G; Champion, Morgane; Plays, Amelie; Stuart, Shani; Haupt, Larisa M; Frith, Alison; MacGregor, E Anne; Griffiths, Lyn R

    2017-04-05

    Migraine is a common, disabling headache disorder, which is influenced by multiple genes and environmental triggers. After puberty, the prevalence of migraine in women is three times higher than in men and >50% of females suffering from migraine report a menstrual association, suggesting hormonal fluctuations can influence the risk of migraine attacks. It has been hypothesized that the drop in estrogen during menses is an important trigger for menstrual migraine. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes are involved in estrogen synthesis and metabolism. Functional polymorphisms in these genes can influence estrogen levels and therefore may be associated with risk of menstrual migraine. In this study we investigated four single nucleotide polymorphisms in three genes involved in estrogen metabolism that have been reported to impact enzyme levels or function, in a specific menstrual migraine cohort. 268 menstrual migraine cases and 142 controls were genotyped for rs4680 in COMT (Val158Met), rs4646903 and rs1048943 in CYP1A1 (T3801C and Ile462Val) and rs700519 in CYP19A1 (Cys264Arg). Neither genotype nor allele frequencies for the COMT and CYP SNPs genotyped were found to be significantly different between menstrual migraineurs and controls by chi-square analysis (P>0.05). Therefore we did not find association of functional polymorphisms in the estrogen metabolism genes COMT, CYP1A1 or CYP19A1 with menstrual migraine. Further studies are required to assess whether menstrual migraine is genetically distinct from the common migraine subtypes and identify genes that influence risk.

  4. Association analysis of dopaminergic gene variants (Comt, Drd4 And Dat1) with Alzheimer s disease.

    PubMed

    Lin, W Y; Wu, B T; Lee, C C; Sheu, J J; Liu, S H; Wang, W F; Tsai, C H; Liu, H P; Tsai, F J

    2012-01-01

    Defects in dopaminergic transmission play important roles in the disturbance of synaptic plasticity and even in advanced cognitive behavior. However, the relationship between genes involved in the regulation of dopamine levels and predisposition for Alzheimer s disease (AD) remains unclear. The potential association of dopamine-modulating gene polymorphisms with AD was evaluated. We performed a case-control study with 120 patients and 86 healthy controls. Two catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs2020917 and rs4646312), two dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) SNPs (rs3758653 and rs916455), and four dopamine transporter (DAT1) SNPs (rs2937639, rs6347, rs12516948 and rs11133762) were investigated. The T allele at the DRD4 SNP (rs3758653) was found to be significantly associated with AD. Our results also showed that haplotype frequencies, observed from the analyzed SNPs, were distributed significantly differently in AD patients vs control subjects. Moreover, a strong association was observed between the A allele at rs6347 of DAT1 and moderate stage of dementia. These observations suggest that genetic variations in the dopamine-modulating genes, COMT, DRD4 and DAT1, may contribute to AD pathogenesis in the Taiwanese population.

  5. Janus Molecule I: Dichotomous Effects of COMT in Neuropathic vs Nociceptive Pain Modalities

    PubMed Central

    Segall, S.K.; Maixner, W.; Belfer, I.; Wiltshire, T.; Seltzer, Z.; Diatchenko, L.

    2013-01-01

    The enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) has been shown to play a critical role in pain perception by regulating levels of epinephrine (Epi) and norepinephrine (NE). Although the key contribution of catecholamines to the perception of pain has been recognized for a long time, there is a clear dichotomy of observations. More than a century of research has demonstrated that increasing adrenergic transmission in the spinal cord decreases pain sensitivity in animals. Equally abundant evidence demonstrates the opposite effect of adrenergic signaling in the peripheral nervous system, where adrenergic signaling increases pain sensitivity. Viewing pain processing within spinal and peripheral compartments and determining the directionality of adrenergic signaling helps clarify the seemingly contradictory findings of the pain modulatory properties of adrenergic receptor agonists and antagonists presented in other reviews. Available evidence suggests that adrenergic signaling contributes to pain phenotypes through α 1/2 and β 2/3 receptors. While stimulation of α 2 adrenergic receptors seems to uniformly produce analgesia, stimulation of α 1 or β receptors produces either analgesic or hyperalgesic effects. Establishing the directionality of adrenergic receptor modulation of pain processing, and related COMT activity in different pain models are needed to bring meaning to recent human molecular genetic findings. This will enable the translation of current findings into meaningful clinical applications such as diagnostic markers and novel therapeutic targets for complex human pain conditions. PMID:22483297

  6. Janus molecule I: dichotomous effects of COMT in neuropathic vs nociceptive pain modalities.

    PubMed

    Segall, S K; Maixner, W; Belfer, I; Wiltshire, T; Seltzer, Z; Diatchenko, L

    2012-05-01

    The enzyme catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) has been shown to play a critical role in pain perception by regulating levels of epinephrine (Epi) and norepinephrine (NE). Although the key contribution of catecholamines to the perception of pain has been recognized for a long time, there is a clear dichotomy of observations. More than a century of research has demonstrated that increasing adrenergic transmission in the spinal cord decreases pain sensitivity in animals. Equally abundant evidence demonstrates the opposite effect of adrenergic signaling in the peripheral nervous system, where adrenergic signaling increases pain sensitivity. Viewing pain processing within spinal and peripheral compartments and determining the directionality of adrenergic signaling helps clarify the seemingly contradictory findings of the pain modulatory properties of adrenergic receptor agonists and antagonists presented in other reviews. Available evidence suggests that adrenergic signaling contributes to pain phenotypes through α(1/2) and β(2/3) receptors. While stimulation of α(2) adrenergic receptors seems to uniformly produce analgesia, stimulation of α(1) or β receptors produces either analgesic or hyperalgesic effects. Establishing the directionality of adrenergic receptor modulation of pain processing, and related COMT activity in different pain models are needed to bring meaning to recent human molecular genetic findings. This will enable the translation of current findings into meaningful clinical applications such as diagnostic markers and novel therapeutic targets for complex human pain conditions.

  7. Design of electrochemical biosensor systems for the detection of specific DNA sequences in PCR-amplified nucleic acids related to the catechol-O-methyltransferase Val108/158Met polymorphism based on intrinsic guanine signal.

    PubMed

    Ozkan-Ariksoysal, Dilsat; Tezcanli, Burcin; Kosova, Buket; Ozsoz, Mehmet

    2008-02-01

    Psychiatric disorders are common and complex diseases that show polygenic and multifactorial heredity. A single nucleotide polymorphism (Val108/158Met) in the catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT) gene is related to many psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, alcoholism, bipolar disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Schizophrenia is a complex disorder and a single nucleotide polymorphism (Val108/158Met) at the COMT gene is related to schizophrenia susceptibility. A novel hybridization-based disposable electrochemical DNA biosensor for the detection of a common functional polymorphism in the COMT gene from polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplicons has been described without using an external label. This developed technology combined with a disposable carbon graphite electrode and differential pulse voltammetry was performed by using short synthetic oligonucleotides and PCR amplicons in length 203 bp to measure the change of guanine oxidation signal obtained at approximately +1.0 V after DNA hybridization between probe and target (synthetic target or denatured PCR samples). COMT-specific oligonucleotides were immobilized onto the carbon surface with a simple adsorption method in two different modes: (a) Guanine-containing targets were attached or (b) inosine-substituted probes were attached onto an electrode. By controlling the surface coverage of the target DNA, the hybridization event between the probes and their synthetic targets or specific PCR products was optimized. The wild-type or polymorphic allele-specific probes/targets were also interacted with an equal amount of noncomplementary and one-base mismatch-containing DNAs in order to measure the sensor selectivity. The decrease or appearance in the intrinsic guanine signal simplified the detection procedure and shortened the assay time because protocol eliminates the label-binding step. The nonspecific binding effects were minimized by using sodium dodecyl sulfate with different washing methods

  8. Risk assessment of aggressive behavior in Chinese patients with schizophrenia by fMRI and COMT gene

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Xiaoli; Jin, Jun; Tang, Yi; Cao, Jinbo; Huang, Junjie

    2017-01-01

    Background Blood–oxygen-level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) maps cerebral activity by the hemodynamic response. Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is involved in the metabolism of dopamine. It is reported that both of these can be used to assess the aggression risk in patients with schizophrenia. However, these methods to assess the aggression risk patients with schizophrenia have not been established in China. Therefore, we deliver here a systematic review and meta-analysis based on the studies dealing with Chinese patients. Method Nine fMRI studies and 12 gene studies were included. The data of each study were extracted and summarized. Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were estimated on allele, dominant, and recessive models. Publication bias was evaluated by Begg’s funnel plot. Results Positive BOLD-fMRI values in the lower central neural system (CNS) and negative values in the high-level CNS were observed in the patients with aggression risk. A strong association was derived from the recessive gene model of COMT polymorphism rs4680 and risk in aggression behavior (odds ratio =2.10). No significant publication bias was identified. Conclusion Aggression behavior in patients with schizophrenia can be indicated by positive BOLD-fMRI values in the lower CNS and negative values in the high-level CNS and by a recessive gene model in COMT polymorphism rs4680. A combined test of fMRI and COMT gene could increase the predictive value. PMID:28223811

  9. Molecular cloning, characterization and expression of the caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) ortholog from kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We cloned the full-length of the gene putatively encoding caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) from kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.) using degenerate primers and the RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends) method. Kenaf is an herbaceous and rapidly growing dicotyledonous plant with great potential ...

  10. Reduced 3-O-methyl-dopa levels in OCD patients and their unaffected parents is associated with the low activity M158 COMT allele

    PubMed Central

    Delorme, Richard; Betancur, Catalina; Chaste, Pauline; Kernéis, Solen; Stopin, Astrid; Mouren, Marie-Christine; Collet, Corinne; Bourgeron, Thomas; Leboyer, Marion; Launay, Jean-Marie

    2010-01-01

    Background The catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene is considered as a candidate gene in obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Specifically, the COMT low-activity M158 allele has been suggested to be associated with OCD. However, there is no study reporting that COMT activity is decreased in OCD patients and that the decrease is mediated by the V158M polymorphism. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to assess COMT activity in OCD by measuring plasma levels of 3-O-methyl-dopa (3-OMD), which result from the methylation of levodopa by COMT, and to investigate the relationship between 3-OMD levels and the V158M polymorphism. We also examined whether 3-OMD levels represented an endophenotype, associated with the genetic liability to OCD, by assessing unaffected relatives of OCD patients. Method We assessed plasma 3-OMD levels in a sample of drug-free OCD probands (n = 34) and their unaffected parents (n = 63), and compared them with controls (n = 85). The COMT V158M polymorphism was genotyped in all participants. Results Lower plasma 3-OMD levels were found in OCD probands and their unaffected parents compared to controls. The COMT M158 allele was associated with reduced plasma 3-OMD levels in a co-dominant manner, both in OCD probands and their relatives, but not in controls. Conclusion Our results suggest that COMT activity could act as a limiting factor for the production of 3-OMD in OCD patients and in their relatives. These findings further support a role of COMT in the susceptibility to OCD and provide evidence that 3-OMD levels could represent an endophenotype in OCD. PMID:19676096

  11. Ionospheric Profiling using GPS/MET Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hajj, George; Romans, Larry

    1996-01-01

    A report on ionospheric profiling using GPS and MET data is presented. A description of the GPS occultation technique, some examples of GPS/MET data products, the data processing system and a preliminary validation of ionospheric profiles is discussed.

  12. The associations between OPRM 1 and COMT genotypes and postoperative pain, opioid use, and opioid-induced sedation.

    PubMed

    Henker, Richard A; Lewis, Allison; Dai, Feng; Lariviere, William R; Meng, Li; Gruen, Gary S; Sereika, Susan M; Pape, Hans; Tarkin, Ivan S; Gowda, Indira; Conley, Yvette P

    2013-07-01

    Previous studies have associated mu-opioid receptor (OPRM1) genotype with pain and analgesia responses in postoperative and patient populations. This study investigates the role of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and OPRM1 genotypes in acute postoperative pain scores, opioid use, and opioid-induced sedation after surgical procedures for orthopedic trauma in an otherwise healthy patient population. Verbal pain/sedation scores, opioid use, and physiologic responses in the immediate postoperative period were examined for association with genetic variants in Caucasians genotyped for OPRM1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) A118G and C17T and COMT SNPs. The OPRM1 A118G genotype was associated with patients' postoperative Numerical Pain scale (NPS) ratings at 15 min in the postanesthesia care unit (PACU) (p = .01) and patients' sedation scores at 15 min in the PACU (p = .02). COMT genotype (rs4818) was associated with opioid consumption in the first 45 min in the PACU (p = .04). NPS ratings at 45 min were also higher in the group of patients with A/A genotype of rs4680 than in patients with the other two genotypes at this SNP (p = .03). Our haplotype trend analysis identified a COMT haplotype "GCGG" significantly associated with NPS at 15 min (p = .0013), amount of opioids consumed in the first 45 min (p = .0024), and heart rate at 45 min in the PACU (p = .017). The results indicate that genetic variations in COMT contribute to the acute postoperative pain and analgesia responses and physiologic responses in this group of otherwise healthy postoperative orthopedic trauma patients.

  13. Simultaneous MAO-B and COMT inhibition in L-Dopa-treated patients with Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Lyytinen, J; Kaakkola, S; Ahtila, S; Tuomainen, P; Teräväinen, H

    1997-07-01

    The effect of selegiline (L-deprenyl) on plasma catecholamines, clinical response, and drug tolerability was studied in 13 patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) treated with L-Dopa/benserazide and entacapone, a peripheral catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor, in a placebo-controlled double-blind study. An L-Dopa test was performed on 3 study days. The first study day was with L-Dopa/benserazide only (control), the second after 14 days of treatment with 200 mg entacapone taken concomitantly with L-Dopa/benserazide in combination with either selegiline (10 mg daily) or placebo. After a 2-week washout period, selegiline and placebo treatments were switched, and the third study day was after 14 days of treatment. During the study days, clinical response was evaluated at 30-min intervals for 6 h, by using the motor score of the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS). In addition, repeated blood pressure measurements were made, and plasma samples were taken for analysis of L-Dopa, 3-O-methyldopa (3-OMD), dihydroxyphenyl acetic acid (DOPAC), homovanillic acid (HVA), dopamine, noradrenaline, and 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylethylene glycol (MHPG). Monoamine oxidase B (MAO-B) and COMT enzyme activities were measured from platelets and erythrocytes, respectively. Entacapone improved the clinical response to L-Dopa during both selegiline and placebo (p < 0.001) treatments. The improvement was more marked during combined selegiline and entacapone treatment than with entacapone alone (p < 0.01). Entacapone significantly increased plasma L-Dopa and DOPAC levels and decreased plasma 3-OMD and MHPG levels both with selegiline and placebo. Selegiline partially inhibited the entacapone-induced increase of plasma DOPAC. Plasma dopamine and noradrenaline levels did not change. Entacapone decreased erythrocyte COMT activity by > 35% (p < 0.001), and platelet MAO-B activity was almost completely inhibited by selegiline (p < 0.001). One patient withdrew because of

  14. Who gets afraid in the MRI-scanner? Neurogenetics of state-anxiety changes during an fMRI experiment.

    PubMed

    Mutschler, Isabella; Wieckhorst, Birgit; Meyer, Andrea H; Schweizer, Tina; Klarhöfer, Markus; Wilhelm, Frank H; Seifritz, Erich; Ball, Tonio

    2014-11-07

    Experiments using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) play a fundamental role in affective neuroscience. When placed in an MR scanner, some volunteers feel safe and relaxed in this situation, while others experience uneasiness and fear. Little is known about the basis and consequences of such inter-individually different responses to the general experimental fMRI setting. In this study emotional stimuli were presented during fMRI and subjects' state-anxiety was assessed at the onset and end of the experiment while they were within the scanner. We show that Val/Val but neither Met/Met nor Val/Met carriers of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val(158)Met polymorphism-a prime candidate for anxiety vulnerability-became significantly more anxious during the fMRI experiment (N=97 females: 24 Val/Val, 51 Val/Met, and 22 Met/Met). Met carriers demonstrated brain responses with increased stability over time in the right parietal cortex and significantly better cognitive performances likely mediated by lower levels of anxiety. Val/Val, Val/Met and Met/Met did not significantly differ in state-anxiety at the beginning of the experiment. The exposure of a control group (N=56 females) to the same experiment outside the scanner did not cause a significant increase in state-anxiety, suggesting that the increase we observe in the fMRI experiment may be specific to the fMRI setting. Our findings reveal that genetics may play an important role in shaping inter-individual different emotional, cognitive and neuronal responses during fMRI experiments.

  15. Interactions between genetic polymorphism of cytochrome P450-1B1, sulfotransferase 1A1, catechol-o-methyltransferase and tobacco exposure in breast cancer risk.

    PubMed

    Saintot, Monique; Malaveille, Christian; Hautefeuille, Agnès; Gerber, Mariette

    2003-11-20

    Genetic polymorphisms of enzymes involved in the metabolism of xenobiotics and estrogens might play a role in breast carcinogenesis related to environmental exposures. In a case-only study on 282 women with breast cancer, we studied the interaction effects (ORi) between smoking habits and the gene polymorphisms of Cytochrome P450 1B1 (Val432Leu CYP1B1), Phenol-sulfotransferase 1A1 (Arg213His SULT1A1) and Catechol-O-methyltransferase (Val158Met COMT). The smokers carrying the Val CYP1B1 allele associated with a high hydroxylation activity had a higher risk of breast cancer than never smokers with the Leu/Leu genotype (ORi=2.32, 95%CI: 1.00-5.38). Also, the smokers carrying the His SULT1A1 allele associated with a low sulfation activity had a 2-fold excess risk compared to never smokers carrying Arg/Arg SULT1A1 common genotype (ORi= 2.55, 95%CI: 1.21-5.36). The His SULT1A1 allele increased the risk only in premenopausal patients. The Met COMT allele with a lower methylation activity than Val COMT did not modify the risk among smokers. The excess risk due to joint effect could result from a higher exposure to activated tobacco-compounds for women homo/heterozygous for the Val CYP1B1 allele. Also, a lower sulfation of the tobacco carcinogens among women with His SULT1A1 could increase exposure to genotoxic compounds. Alternatively, the Val CYP1B1 or His SULT1A1 allele with modified ability to metabolize estrogens could increase the level of genotoxic catechol estrogen (i.e., 4-hydroxy-estradiol) among smokers. Our study showed that gene polymorphisms of CYP1B1 and SULT1A1 induce an individual susceptibility to breast cancer among current smokers.

  16. Study of traits and recalcitrance reduction of field-grown COMT down-regulated switchgrass

    DOE PAGES

    Li, Mi; Pu, Yunqiao; Yoo, Chang Geun; ...

    2017-01-03

    The native recalcitrance of plants hinders the biomass conversion process using current biorefinery techniques. Down-regulation of the caffeic acid O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene in the lignin biosynthesis pathway of switchgrass reduced the thermochemical and biochemical conversion recalcitrance of biomass. Due to potential environmental influences on lignin biosynthesis and deposition, studying the consequences of physicochemical changes in field-grown plants without pretreatment is essential to evaluate the performance of lignin-altered plants. In this study, we determined the chemical composition, cellulose crystallinity and the degree of its polymerization, molecular weight of hemicellulose, and cellulose accessibility of cell walls in order to better understand themore » fundamental features of why biomass is recalcitrant to conversion without pretreatment. The most important is to investigate whether traits and features are stable in the dynamics of field environmental effects over multiple years.« less

  17. Transcriptional start and MetR binding sites on the Escherichia coli metH gene.

    PubMed

    Marconi, R; Wigboldus, J; Weissbach, H; Brot, N

    1991-03-29

    The 5' upstream region of the Escherichia coli metH gene has been sequenced. Primer extension analysis revealed a transcription start site at 324 bases upstream of the initiator codon. An 8 base sequence homologous to the MetR binding region on the E. coli metE gene is present 217 bp downstream of the transcription start site. Gel retardation experiments showed that purified MetR protein could bind to a 30 base oligonucleotide containing the putative MetR binding region. No "met box" was present which explains the relative lack of regulation of the expression of the metH gene by methionine.

  18. 75 FR 1007 - MetLife, Inc. and MetLife Capital Trust V; Notice of Application

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-07

    ... COMMISSION MetLife, Inc. and MetLife Capital Trust V; Notice of Application December 30, 2009. AGENCY.... Summary of Application: MetLife Capital Trust V (the ``Trust'') and MetLife, Inc. (``MetLife'') request an... and pursuant to a Declaration of Trust that MetLife signed as sponsor. As sponsor, MetLife...

  19. The influence of levodopa and the COMT inhibitor on serum vitamin B12 and folate levels in Parkinson's disease patients.

    PubMed

    Triantafyllou, N I; Kararizou, E; Angelopoulos, E; Tsounis, S; Boufidou, F; Evangelopoulos, M E; Nikolaou, C; Vassilopoulos, D

    2007-01-01

    Serum folate and vitamin B12 levels were measured in 67 consecutive Parkinson's disease patients treated either with levodopa + dopa decarboxylase inhibitor (DDC-i) plus catechol-O-methyltransferase inhibitors (COMT-i) or only with levodopa + DDC-i. The data were compared to 67 age-matched controls. Our findings show that levodopa-treated Parkinson's disease patients have low folate (p < 0.0007) and vitamin B12 levels (p < 0.0003). They also demonstrate that the addition of a COMT-i to levodopa + DDC-i treatment causes lower serum vitamin B12 (p < 0.03) and folate levels (p < 0.005) than levodopa + DDC-i treatment alone. We suggest supplementary treatment with vitamin B12 and folic acid in these situations.

  20. COMTval158met polymorphism is associated with behavioral response and physiologic reactivity to socio-emotional stress in 4-month-old infants.

    PubMed

    Montirosso, Rosario; Provenzi, Livio; Tavian, Daniela; Missaglia, Sara; Raggi, Maria Elisabetta; Borgatti, Renato

    2016-11-01

    Individual variability exists in infants' socio-emotional stress regulation, in terms of behavioral response (i.e., negative emotionality) as well as magnitude and direction (i.e., increase or decrease) of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity (i.e., salivary cortisol post-stress concentration). The catechol-O-methyltransferase polymorphism at codon 158 (COMTval158met) associates with stress regulation, but no evidence exists for infants. This study aimed to assess the association between COMTval158met and both negative emotionality and salivary cortisol reactivity to socio-emotional stress in 4-month-old infants. Sixty-nine infants were exposed to the Face-to-Face Still-Face (FFSF) paradigm. During the FFSF paradigm, socio-emotional stress is elicited by experimental manipulation of maternal responsiveness (i.e., Still-Face episode). A double-exposure FFSF with two Still-Face episodes was used to evaluate both behavioral response and HPA axis reactivity. Negative emotionality was 1-s microanalytically coded. Magnitude (i.e., area under the curve, AUC) and Direction (increase vs. decrease) of salivary cortisol post-stress concentration were assessed. COMTval158met genotype was categorized as val-homozygotes and met-carriers. Compared to val-homozygotes, met-carriers showed higher negative emotionality during the second Still-Face episode. AUC was greater in increaser met-carriers compared to val-homozygous infants. In addition, in the presence of an increasing HPA response, the met allele emerged as a specific risk condition in the face of repeated stress exposures. The present findings further extend previous studies conducted with children and adults suggesting that the COMT met allele might be involved in stress regulation during early infancy, especially in response to repeated socio-emotional stress exposure.

  1. Association of copy number polymorphisms at the promoter and translated region of COMT with Japanese patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Higashiyama, Ryoko; Ohnuma, Tohru; Takebayashi, Yuto; Hanzawa, Ryo; Shibata, Nobuto; Yamamori, Hidenaga; Yasuda, Yuka; Kushima, Itaru; Aleksic, Branko; Kondo, Kenji; Ikeda, Masashi; Hashimoto, Ryota; Iwata, Nakao; Ozaki, Norio; Arai, Heii

    2016-04-01

    Chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and genetic variations including single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and copy number variation (CNV) in catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) situated at 22q11.2 remains controversial. Here, the genetic relationship between COMT and Japanese patients with schizophrenia was investigated by examining whether the SNPs correlated with schizophrenia based on a common disease-common variant hypothesis. Additionally, 22q11.2DS were screened based on a common disease-rare variant hypothesis; low-frequency CNVs situated at two COMT promoters and exons were investigated based on the low-frequency variants with an intermediate effect; and positive findings from the first stage were reconfirmed using a second-stage replication study including a larger sample size. Eight SNPs and 10 CNVs were investigated using Taqman SNP and CNV quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction method. For the first-stage analysis, 513 unrelated Japanese patients with schizophrenia and 705 healthy controls were examined. For the second-stage replication study, positive findings from the first stage were further investigated using a larger sample size, namely 1,854 patients with schizophrenia and 2,137 controls. The first-stage analysis showed significant associations among schizophrenia, intronic SNP rs165774, CNV6 situated at promoter 1, CNV8 at exon 6, and CNV9 at exon 7. The second-stage study showed that intronic SNP rs165774 (χ(2)  = 8.327, P = 0.0039), CNV6 (χ(2)  = 19.66, P = 0.00005), and CNV8 (χ(2)  = 16.57, P = 0.00025) were significantly associated with schizophrenia. Large and rare CNVs as well as low-frequency CNVs and relatively small CNVs, namely <30 kb in COMT, may be genetic risk factors for schizophrenia.

  2. COMT and 5-HT1A-receptor genotypes potentially affect executive functions improvement after cognitive remediation in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Bosia, Marta; Bechi, Margherita; Pirovano, Adele; Buonocore, Mariachiara; Lorenzi, Cristina; Cocchi, Federica; Bramanti, Placido; Smeraldi, Enrico; Cavallaro, Roberto

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) has been proved to improve cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and to enhance functional outcomes of classical rehabilitation. However, CRT outcomes are heterogeneous and predictors of response are still unknown. Genetic variability, especially in the dopaminergic system, has been hypothesized to affect CRT. We previously reported that rs4680 of the catechol-O-methyltrasferase (COMT) influences improvements in executive functions in patients treated with CRT, but this result was not confirmed by other studies. Such inconsistent findings may depend, other than on clinical variables, also on other genes involved in cognition. Recent studies proved that serotonin 1A receptor (5-HT1A-R) regulates dopamine in the prefrontal cortex (PFC), and clinical works suggested a 5-HT1A-R role in cognition. We then analysed possible effects of COMT rs4680 and 5-HT1A-R rs6295 on CRT outcomes, taking into account also clinical and demographic factors. Eighty-six clinically stabilized schizophrenia patients treated with three months CRT were assessed with the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, as a measure of executive functions, at enrolment and after CRT treatment, and underwent COMT and 5-HT1A-R genotyping. We found a significant main effect of COMT genotype and an interaction with 5-HT1A-R on executive function improvement after CRT. The results suggest that these two polymorphisms may have an additive effect on individual capacity to recover from cognitive deficit, probably through their role on PFC dopaminergic transmission modulation, known to be critical for modulating cognitive functions. PMID:25750798

  3. The COMT (rs165599) gene polymorphism contributes to chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment in breast cancer patients

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Huaidong; Li, Wen; Gan, Chen; Zhang, Bo; Jia, Qianqian; Wang, Kai

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effect of genetic polymorphisms of catechol-O-methyl transferase (COMT), apolipoprotein E (APOE), and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on the modulation of the chemotherapy-induced cognitive impairment (CICI) in breast cancer patients. Eighty triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) and 165 non-triple negative breast cancer (NTNBC) patients were selected, and subjected to a number of neuropsychological tests, including memory questionnaires, before and after chemotherapy. Six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), including COMT (rs165599, rs4680, rs737865), APOE (rs429358, rs7412), and BDNF (rs6265), were evaluated. The scores of breast cancer patients after chemotherapy were poorer in comparison to those before chemotherapy (t = -5.317, z = -3.372, respectively, P < 0.01), and the scores of TNBC patients were poorer than those of NTNBC patients were after chemotherapy (t = -5.997, z = -5.284, respectively, P < 0.01). Patients with the COMT (rs165599) genotype had a significantly lower chance of developing cognitive decline than the patients with the G/G genotype, and this was linear with the retrospective memory (RM) questionnaires (β = -1.441, CI (95%) = -2.781~-0.101). However, there was no significant difference between the memory scores of APOE (rs429358, rs7412) and BDNF (rs6265) carriers before or after chemotherapy. This study suggests that CICI in TNBC patients was more prominent than that in NTNBC patients after chemotherapy, and the COMT (rs165599) polymorphism was linear to the retrospective memory (RM) questionnaires, and may be a potential genetic marker for increased vulnerability to CICI in TNBC patients. PMID:27904710

  4. Interactive effects of age and multi-gene profile on motor learning and sensorimotor adaptation.

    PubMed

    Noohi, Fatemeh; Boyden, Nate B; Kwak, Youngbin; Humfleet, Jennifer; Müller, Martijn L T M; Bohnen, Nicolaas I; Seidler, Rachael D

    2016-04-01

    The interactive association of age and dopaminergic polymorphisms on cognitive function has been studied extensively. However, there is limited research on whether age interacts with the association between genetic polymorphisms and motor learning. We examined a group of young and older adults' performance in three motor tasks: explicit sequence learning, visuomotor adaptation, and grooved pegboard. We assessed whether individuals' motor learning and performance were associated with their age and genotypes. We selected three genetic polymorphisms: Catechol-O-Methyl Transferase (COMT val158met) and Dopamine D2 Receptor (DRD2 G>T), which are involved with dopaminergic regulation, and Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF val66met) that modulates neuroplasticity and has been shown to interact with dopaminergic genes. Although the underlying mechanisms of the function of these three genotypes are different, the high performance alleles of each have been linked to better learning and performance. We created a composite polygene score based on the Number of High Performance Alleles (NHPA) that each individual carried. We found several associations between genetic profile, motor performance, and sensorimotor adaptation. More importantly, we found that this association varies with age, task type, and engagement of implicit versus explicit learning processes.

  5. Clinical significance of MET in gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Inokuchi, Mikito; Otsuki, Sho; Fujimori, Yoshitaka; Sato, Yuya; Nakagawa, Masatoshi; Kojima, Kazuyuki

    2015-01-01

    Chemotherapy has become the global standard treatment for patients with metastatic or unresectable gastric cancer (GC), although outcomes remain unfavorable. Many molecular-targeted therapies inhibiting signaling pathways of various tyrosine kinase receptors have been developed, and monoclonal antibodies targeting human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 or vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 have become standard therapy for GC. Hepatocyte growth factor and its receptor, c-MET (MET), play key roles in tumor growth through activated signaling pathways from receptor in GC cells. Genomic amplification of MET leads to the aberrant activation found in GC tumors and is related to survival in patients with GC. This review discusses the clinical significance of MET in GC and examines MET as a potential therapeutic target in patients with GC. Preclinical studies in animal models have shown that MET antibodies or small-molecule MET inhibitors suppress tumor-cell proliferation and tumor progression in MET-amplified GC cells. These drugs are now being evaluated in clinical trials as treatments for metastatic or unresectable GC. PMID:26600931

  6. Prevalence, components, and correlates of metabolic syndrome (MetS) among elderly Muscovites.

    PubMed

    Metelskaya, Victoria A; Shkolnikova, Maria A; Shalnova, Svetlana A; Andreev, Evgeny M; Deev, Alexander D; Jdanov, Dmitri A; Shkolnikov, Vladimir M; Vaupel, James W

    2012-01-01

    The goal of this study is to estimate the prevalence of MetS, together with its components and correlates, among elderly Russians. Our population-based sample included randomly selected residents of Moscow aged 55 and older: 955 women with an average age of 67.6, and 833 men with an average age of 68.9. MetS was defined according to National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATPIII). The prevalence of MetS was found to be 41.7% in women and 26.8% in men. It tended to decrease with age in men, but not in women. MetS was inversely related to education in women, but not in men. The most prevalent individual components of MetS were as follows: hypertension (64.4%), abdominal obesity (55%), and decreased high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL C) (46%) for women; and hypertension (71%) and fasting hyperglycemia (35.2%) for men. An elevated level of triglycerides (TG) was the rarest MetS component, affecting 23.5% of women and 22.1% of men. The higher female prevalence of MetS was attributable to abdominal obesity. MetS was found to be associated with markers of insulin resistance (IR), low-grade inflammation, and insufficient fibrinolysis. Although the metabolic burden is an important contributor to high levels of ill-health and cardiovascular mortality among elderly Russians (especially women), it does not explain why cardiovascular mortality is much higher in Russia than in other industrialized countries.

  7. Genetic variants in TPMT and COMT are associated with hearing loss in children receiving cisplatin chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Ross, Colin J D; Katzov-Eckert, Hagit; Dubé, Marie-Pierre; Brooks, Beth; Rassekh, S Rod; Barhdadi, Amina; Feroz-Zada, Yassamin; Visscher, Henk; Brown, Andrew M K; Rieder, Michael J; Rogers, Paul C; Phillips, Michael S; Carleton, Bruce C; Hayden, Michael R

    2009-12-01

    Cisplatin is a widely used and effective chemotherapeutic agent, although its use is restricted by the high incidence of irreversible ototoxicity associated with it. In children, cisplatin ototoxicity is a serious and pervasive problem, affecting more than 60% of those receiving cisplatin and compromising language and cognitive development. Candidate gene studies have previously reported associations of cisplatin ototoxicity with genetic variants in the genes encoding glutathione S-transferases and megalin. We report association analyses for 220 drug-metabolism genes in genetic susceptibility to cisplatin-induced hearing loss in children. We genotyped 1,949 SNPs in these candidate genes in an initial cohort of 54 children treated in pediatric oncology units, with replication in a second cohort of 112 children recruited through a national surveillance network for adverse drug reactions in Canada. We identified genetic variants in TPMT (rs12201199, P value = 0.00022, OR = 17.0, 95% CI 2.3-125.9) and COMT (rs9332377, P value = 0.00018, OR = 5.5, 95% CI 1.9-15.9) associated with cisplatin-induced hearing loss in children.

  8. Arabidopsis MET1 cytosine methyltransferase mutants.

    PubMed Central

    Kankel, Mark W; Ramsey, Douglas E; Stokes, Trevor L; Flowers, Susan K; Haag, Jeremy R; Jeddeloh, Jeffrey A; Riddle, Nicole C; Verbsky, Michelle L; Richards, Eric J

    2003-01-01

    We describe the isolation and characterization of two missense mutations in the cytosine-DNA-methyltransferase gene, MET1, from the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Both missense mutations, which affect the catalytic domain of the protein, led to a global reduction of cytosine methylation throughout the genome. Surprisingly, the met1-2 allele, with the weaker DNA hypomethylation phenotype, alters a well-conserved residue in methyltransferase signature motif I. The stronger met1-1 allele caused late flowering and a heterochronic delay in the juvenile-to-adult rosette leaf transition. The distribution of late-flowering phenotypes in a mapping population segregating met1-1 indicates that the flowering-time phenotype is caused by the accumulation of inherited defects at loci unlinked to the met1 mutation. The delay in flowering time is due in part to the formation and inheritance of hypomethylated fwa epialleles, but inherited defects at other loci are likely to contribute as well. Centromeric repeat arrays hypomethylated in met1-1 mutants are partially remethylated when introduced into a wild-type background, in contrast to genomic sequences hypomethylated in ddm1 mutants. ddm1 met1 double mutants were constructed to further our understanding of the mechanism of DDM1 action and the interaction between two major genetic loci affecting global cytosine methylation levels in Arabidopsis. PMID:12663548

  9. Mars MetNet Mission Payload Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harri, A.-M.; Haukka, H.; Alexashkin, S.; Guerrero, H.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.

    2012-09-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is being developed in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission [1] is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide crucial scientific data about the Martian atmospheric phenomena.

  10. Mars MetNet Precursor Mission Status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harri, A.-M.; Aleksashkin, S.; Guerrero, H.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Haukka, H.

    2013-09-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  11. Mars MetNet Mission Status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harri, A.-M.; Aleksashkin, S.; Arruego, I.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.; Haukka, H.; Palin, M.; Nikkanen, T.

    2015-10-01

    New kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semihard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.

  12. MMPM - Mars MetNet Precursor Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harri, A.-M.; Schmidt, W.; Pichkhadze, K.; Linkin, V.; Vazquez, L.; Uspensky, M.; Polkko, J.; Genzer, M.; Lipatov, A.; Guerrero, H.; Alexashkin, S.; Haukka, H.; Savijarvi, H.; Kauhanen, J.

    2008-09-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars - MetNet in situ observation network based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called the Met-Net Lander (MNL). The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy some 20 MNLs on the Martian surface using inflatable descent system structures, which will be supported by observations from the orbit around Mars. Currently we are working on the MetNet Mars Precursor Mission (MMPM) to deploy one MetNet Lander to Mars in the 2009/2011 launch window as a technology and science demonstration mission. The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterization of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatology cycles, require simultaneous in-situ measurements by a network of observation posts on the Martian surface. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. The MetNet mission concept and key probe technologies have been developed and the critical subsystems have been qualified to meet the Martian environmental and functional conditions. Prototyping of the payload instrumentation with final dimensions was carried out in 2003-2006.This huge development effort has been fulfilled in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the Russian Lavoschkin Association (LA) and the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI) since August 2001. Currently the INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) from Spain is also participating in the MetNet payload development. To understand the behavior and dynamics of the Martian atmosphere, a wealth of simultaneous in situ observations are needed on varying types of Martian orography, terrain and altitude spanning all latitudes and longitudes. This will be performed by the Mars MetNet Mission. In addition to the science aspects the

  13. MetNet - Martian Network Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harri, A.-M.

    2009-04-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars - MetNet in situ observation network based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called the Met-Net Lander (MNL). The actual practical mission development work started in January 2009 with participation from various countries and space agencies. The scientific rationale and goals as well as key mission solutions will be discussed. The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy some 20 MNLs on the Martian surface using inflatable descent system structures, which will be supported by observations from the orbit around Mars. Currently we are working on the MetNet Mars Precursor Mission (MMPM) to deploy one MetNet Lander to Mars in the 2009/2011 launch window as a technology and science demonstration mission. The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterization of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatology cycles, require simultaneous in-situ measurements by a network of observation posts on the Martian surface. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. The MetNet mission concept and key probe technologies have been developed and the critical subsystems have been qualified to meet the Martian environmental and functional conditions. This development effort has been fulfilled in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the Russian Lavoschkin Association (LA) and the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI) since August 2001. Currently the INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) from Spain is also participating in the MetNet payload development.

  14. Mars MetNet Mission Status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Aleksashkin, Sergei; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Haukka, Harri

    2015-04-01

    New kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested. 1. MetNet Lander The MetNet landing vehicles are using an inflatable entry and descent system instead of rigid heat shields and parachutes as earlier semi-hard landing devices have used. This way the ratio of the payload mass to the overall mass is optimized. The landing impact will burrow the payload container into the Martian soil providing a more favorable thermal environment for the electronics and a suitable orientation of the telescopic boom with external sensors and the radio link antenna. It is planned to deploy several tens of MNLs on the Martian surface operating at least partly at the same time to allow meteorological network science. 2. Scientific Payload The payload of the two MNL precursor models includes the following instruments: Atmospheric instruments: 1. MetBaro Pressure device 2. MetHumi Humidity device 3. MetTemp Temperature sensors Optical devices: 1. PanCam Panoramic 2. MetSIS Solar irradiance sensor with OWLS optical wireless system for data transfer 3. DS Dust sensor The descent processes dynamic properties are monitored by a special 3-axis accelerometer combined with a 3-axis gyrometer. The data will be sent via auxiliary beacon antenna throughout the

  15. Hybridization of downregulated-COMT transgenic switchgrass lines with field-selected switchgrass for improved biomass traits

    SciTech Connect

    Baxter, Holly L.; Alexander, Lisa W.; Mazarei, Mitra; Haynes, Ellen; Turner, Geoffrey B.; Sykes, Robert W.; Decker, Stephen R.; Davis, Mark F.; Dixon, Richard A.; Wang, Zeng-Yu; Neal Stewart, C.

    2016-01-21

    Transgenic switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been produced for improved cell walls for biofuels. For instance, downregulated caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) switchgrass produced significantly more biomass and biofuel than the non-transgenic progenitor line. In this present study we sought to further improve biomass characteristics by crossing the downregulated COMT T1 lines with high-yielding switchgrass accessions in two genetic backgrounds ('Alamo' and 'Kanlow'). Crosses and T2 progeny analyses were made under greenhouse conditions to assess maternal effects, plant morphology and yield, and cell wall traits. Female parent type influenced morphology, but had no effect on cell wall traits. T2 hybrids produced with T1 COMT-downregulated switchgrass as the female parent were taller, produced more tillers, and produced 63% more biomass compared with those produced using the field selected accession as the female parent. Transgene status (presence or absence of transgene) influenced both growth and cell wall traits. T2 transgenic hybrids were 7% shorter 80 days after sowing and produced 43% less biomass than non-transgenic null-segregant hybrids. Cell wall-related differences included lower lignin content, reduced syringyl-to-guaiacyl (S/G) lignin monomer ratio, and a 12% increase in total sugar release in the T2 transgenic hybrids compared to non-transgenic null segregants. This is the first study to evaluate the feasibility of transferring the low-recalcitrance traits associated with a transgenic switchgrass line into high-yielding field varieties in an attempt to improve growth-related traits. Lastly, our results provide insights into the possible improvement of switchgrass productivity via biotechnology paired with plant breeding.

  16. Hybridization of downregulated-COMT transgenic switchgrass lines with field-selected switchgrass for improved biomass traits

    DOE PAGES

    Baxter, Holly L.; Alexander, Lisa W.; Mazarei, Mitra; ...

    2016-01-21

    Transgenic switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been produced for improved cell walls for biofuels. For instance, downregulated caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) switchgrass produced significantly more biomass and biofuel than the non-transgenic progenitor line. In this present study we sought to further improve biomass characteristics by crossing the downregulated COMT T1 lines with high-yielding switchgrass accessions in two genetic backgrounds ('Alamo' and 'Kanlow'). Crosses and T2 progeny analyses were made under greenhouse conditions to assess maternal effects, plant morphology and yield, and cell wall traits. Female parent type influenced morphology, but had no effect on cell wall traits. T2 hybrids producedmore » with T1 COMT-downregulated switchgrass as the female parent were taller, produced more tillers, and produced 63% more biomass compared with those produced using the field selected accession as the female parent. Transgene status (presence or absence of transgene) influenced both growth and cell wall traits. T2 transgenic hybrids were 7% shorter 80 days after sowing and produced 43% less biomass than non-transgenic null-segregant hybrids. Cell wall-related differences included lower lignin content, reduced syringyl-to-guaiacyl (S/G) lignin monomer ratio, and a 12% increase in total sugar release in the T2 transgenic hybrids compared to non-transgenic null segregants. This is the first study to evaluate the feasibility of transferring the low-recalcitrance traits associated with a transgenic switchgrass line into high-yielding field varieties in an attempt to improve growth-related traits. Lastly, our results provide insights into the possible improvement of switchgrass productivity via biotechnology paired with plant breeding.« less

  17. Hybridization of downregulated-COMT transgenic switchgrass lines with field-selected switchgrass for improved biomass traits

    SciTech Connect

    Baxter, Holly L.; Alexander, Lisa W.; Mazarei, Mitra; Haynes, Ellen; Turner, Geoffrey B.; Sykes, Robert W.; Decker, Stephen R.; Davis, Mark F.; Dixon, Richard A.; Wang, Zeng-Yu; Neal Stewart, C.

    2016-01-21

    Transgenic switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been produced for improved cell walls for biofuels. For instance, downregulated caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) switchgrass produced significantly more biomass and biofuel than the non-transgenic progenitor line. In the present study we sought to further improve biomass characteristics by crossing the downregulated COMT T1 lines with high-yielding switchgrass accessions in two genetic backgrounds ('Alamo' and 'Kanlow'). Crosses and T2 progeny analyses were made under greenhouse conditions to assess maternal effects, plant morphology and yield, and cell wall traits. Female parent type influenced morphology, but had no effect on cell wall traits. T2 hybrids produced with T1 COMT-downregulated switchgrass as the female parent were taller, produced more tillers, and produced 63% more biomass compared with those produced using the field selected accession as the female parent. Transgene status (presence or absence of transgene) influenced both growth and cell wall traits. T2 transgenic hybrids were 7% shorter 80 days after sowing and produced 43% less biomass than non-transgenic null-segregant hybrids. Cell wall-related differences included lower lignin content, reduced syringyl-to-guaiacyl (S/G) lignin monomer ratio, and a 12% increase in total sugar release in the T2 transgenic hybrids compared to non-transgenic null segregants. This is the first study to evaluate the feasibility of transferring the low-recalcitrance traits associated with a transgenic switchgrass line into high-yielding field varieties in an attempt to improve growth-related traits. Our results provide insights into the possible improvement of switchgrass productivity via biotechnology paired with plant breeding.

  18. Effect of Catechol-O-methyltransferase-gene (COMT) Variants on Experimental and Acute Postoperative Pain in 1,000 Women undergoing Surgery for Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kambur, Oleg; Kaunisto, Mari A.; Tikkanen, Emmi; Leal, Suzanne M.; Ripatti, Samuli; Kalso, Eija A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) metabolizes catecholamines in different tissues. Polymorphisms in COMT gene can attenuate COMT activity and increase sensitivity to pain. Human studies exploring the effect of COMT polymorphisms on pain sensitivity have mostly included small, heterogeneous samples and have ignored several important single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). This study examines the effect of COMT polymorphisms on experimental and postoperative pain phenotypes in a large ethnically homogeneous female patient cohort. Methods Intensity of cold (+2–4°C) and heat (+48°C) pain and tolerance to cold pain were assessed in 1,000 patients scheduled for breast cancer surgery. Acute postoperative pain and oxycodone requirements were recorded. Twenty-two COMT SNPs were genotyped and their association with six pain phenotypes analyzed with linear regression. Results There was no association between any of the tested pain phenotypes and SNP rs4680. The strongest association signals were seen between rs165774 and heat pain intensity as well as rs887200 and cold pain intensity. In both cases, minor allele carriers reported less pain. Neither of these results remained significant after strict multiple testing corrections. When analyzed further, the effect of rs887200 was, however, shown to be significant and consistent throughout the cold pressure test. No evidence of association between the SNPs and postoperative oxycodone consumption was found. Conclusions SNPs rs887200 and rs165774 located in the untranslated regions of the gene had the strongest effects on pain sensitivity. Their effect on pain is described here for the first time. These results should be confirmed in further studies and the potential functional mechanisms of the variants studied. PMID:24343288

  19. Modulatory effect of plasma folate and polymorphisms in one-carbon metabolism on catecholamine methyltransferase (COMT) H108L associated oxidative DNA damage and breast cancer risk.

    PubMed

    Naushad, Shaik Mohammad; Pavani, Addepalli; Rupasree, Yedluri; Sripurna, Deepti; Gottumukkala, Suryanarayana Raju; Digumarti, Raghunadha Rao; Kutala, Vijay Kumar

    2011-08-01

    The present study was aimed to investigate the modulatory role of plasma folate and eight putatively functional polymorphisms of one-carbon metabolism on catecholamine methyltransferase (COMT)-mediated oxidative DNA damage and breast cancer risk. Plasma folate and 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) were estimated by commercially available kits, while polymorphisms were screened by PCR-RFLP and PCR-AFLP methods. COMT H108L polymorphism showed independent association with breast cancer (OR: 1.73, 95% CI: 1.31-2.30). No significant interaction was observed between folate status and COMT genotype. Multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR) analysis gave evidence for the significant epistatic (gene-gene) interactions (p<0.0001) of COMT H108L with reduced folate carrier 1 (RFC1) G80A, thymidylate synthase (TYMS) 5'-UTR 3R2R, TYMS 3'-UTR ins6/de16. Increased plasma 8-oxodG were observed in cases compared to controls (mean +/- SE: 5.59 +/- 0.60 vs. 3.50 +/- 0.40 ng/ml, p<0.004). Plasma folate deficiency alone was not a significant predictor of 8-oxodG elevation. The genotype combinations namely, RFC1 G80A/methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) A66G, RFC1 G80A/SHMT C1420T/TYMS 3R2R and serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) C1420T/TYMS 3R2R/methionine synthase (MTR) A2756G/COMT H108L were strong predictors of 8-oxodG elevation in the order of risk. To conclude, the current study provides substantial evidence for a cross talk between one-carbon metabolism and COMT catalysis that might influence oxidative DNA damage and breast cancer risk.

  20. Mars MetNet Mission Payload Overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haukka, H.; Harri, A.-M.; Alexashkin, S.; Guerrero, H.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Vazquez, L.

    2012-04-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is being developed in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The main idea behind the MetNet landing vehicles is to use a state-of-the-art inflatable entry and descent system instead of rigid heat shields and parachutes as earlier semi-hard landing devices have used. This way the ratio of the payload mass to the overall mass is optimized and more mass and volume resources are spared for the science payload. The vehicle decelerates its entry speed using the inflatable structure and final landing sequence includes a cone headed body penetrating the Martian soil. It is planned to deploy several tens of MNLs on the Martian surface operating at least partly at the same time to allow meteorological network science. The payload of the two MNL precursor models includes the following instruments: Atmospheric instruments: - Pressure device (MetBaro): mass 100g, measurement range 0..1015 hPa. - Humidity device (MetHumi): mass 15g, measurement range 0..100%RH. - Temperature sensors (MetTemp): mass 2g each, measurement range -110C..+30C. Optical devices: - Panoramic camera (PanCam): mass 100g, FOV 4 lenses mounted at 90 deg - Solar irradiance sensor (MetSIS) with optical wireless system (OWLS) for data transfer: mass 115g (MetSIS) and 7g (OWLS module), wavelength range 190..1100nm. MetSIS equipped with 28 optical detectors, two temperature sensors and two solar incidence angle detectors. - Dust sensor (DS): mass 42g, resolution: 10 particles / cm3. Composition and structure device: - Magnetometer (MOURA): mass 80g, measurement range: ±30uT. MetNet Mission payload instruments are specially designed to operate in very low power conditions. MNL flexible solar panels provides a total of

  1. Polymorphism in xenobiotic and estrogen metabolizing genes, exposure to perfluorinated compounds and subsequent breast cancer risk: A nested case-control study in the Danish National Birth Cohort.

    PubMed

    Ghisari, Mandana; Long, Manhai; Røge, Durita Mohr; Olsen, Jørn; Bonefeld-Jørgensen, Eva C

    2017-04-01

    In the present case-cohort study based on prospective data from Danish women, we aimed to estimate the main effect of polymorphisms in genes known to be involved in the steroid hormone metabolic pathway and xenobiotic metabolism on the risk of developing breast cancer. We also studied a possible effect measure modification between genotypes and levels of serum perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) on the risk to breast cancer. We have previously reported a weak association between serum PFASs levels and the risk of breast cancer for this study population of Danish pregnant nulliparous women as well as in a smaller case-control study of Greenlandic women. The study population consisted of 178 breast cancer cases and 233 controls (tabnulliparous and frequency matched on age) nested within the Danish National Birth Cohort (DNBC), which was established in 1996-2002. Blood samples were drawn at the time of enrollment (6-14 week of gestation). Serum levels of 10 perfluorocarboxylated acids (PFCAs), 5 perfluorosulfonated acids (PFSAs) and 1 sulfonamide (perflurooctane-sulfonamide, PFOSA) were measured. Genotyping was conducted for CYP1A1 (Ile462Val; rs1048943), CYP1B1 (Leu432Val; rs1056836), COMT (Val158Met; rs4680), CYP17A1 (A1→ A2; rs743572); CYP19A1 (C→T; rs10046) by the TaqMan allelic discrimination method. In overall, no significant associations were found between the investigated polymorphisms and the risk of breast cancer in this study among Danish women. The previously found association between PFOSA and risk of breast cancer did vary between different genotypes, with significantly increased risk confined to homozygous carriers of the following alleles: COMT (Met), CYP17 (A1) and CYP19 (C).

  2. Playing nice: a multi-methodological study on the effects of social conformity on memory

    PubMed Central

    Deuker, Lorena; Müller, Anna R.; Montag, Christian; Markett, Sebastian; Reuter, Martin; Fell, Juergen; Trautner, Peter; Axmacher, Nikolai

    2013-01-01

    Conformity is an important aspect of social behavior. Two main motives have been identified: people may adapt their behavior to “play nice” despite knowing better (normative conformity) or they may accept the others' opinion as a valid source of information (informative conformity). Neuroimaging studies can help to distinguish between these two possibilities. Here, we present a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study on memory conformity in a real group situation. We investigated the effects of group pressure on activity in hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) which likely support informative and normative memory conformity, respectively. Furthermore, we related the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4680 [called Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met] on the gene coding for COMT to both behavior and fMRI activation. Homozygous Met-allele carriers (Val−) behaved more conformist than carriers of at least one Val-allele (Val+). In the neuroimaging data, we compared trials in which subjects were confronted with a majority of incorrect group responses to trials in which they were confronted with a majority of correct group responses. We found increased hippocampal activity when the majority of the group was correct, possibly indicating retrieval processes. Moreover, we observed enhanced activity in the ACC when the majority of the group was incorrect, suggesting that conformity was mostly normative. Most interestingly, this latter effect was more pronounced for Val− as compared to Val+ participants. This offers a speculative explanation for the higher behavioral levels of social conformity in Val− allele carriers, because their subjectively perceived conflict in the presence of an incorrect group majority may have been higher. Overall, this study demonstrates how the mechanisms leading to complex social behavior such as conformity can be studied by combining genetic analyses and fMRI in social neuroscience paradigms. PMID

  3. Playing nice: a multi-methodological study on the effects of social conformity on memory.

    PubMed

    Deuker, Lorena; Müller, Anna R; Montag, Christian; Markett, Sebastian; Reuter, Martin; Fell, Juergen; Trautner, Peter; Axmacher, Nikolai

    2013-01-01

    Conformity is an important aspect of social behavior. Two main motives have been identified: people may adapt their behavior to "play nice" despite knowing better (normative conformity) or they may accept the others' opinion as a valid source of information (informative conformity). Neuroimaging studies can help to distinguish between these two possibilities. Here, we present a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study on memory conformity in a real group situation. We investigated the effects of group pressure on activity in hippocampus and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) which likely support informative and normative memory conformity, respectively. Furthermore, we related the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs4680 [called Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met] on the gene coding for COMT to both behavior and fMRI activation. Homozygous Met-allele carriers (Val-) behaved more conformist than carriers of at least one Val-allele (Val+). In the neuroimaging data, we compared trials in which subjects were confronted with a majority of incorrect group responses to trials in which they were confronted with a majority of correct group responses. We found increased hippocampal activity when the majority of the group was correct, possibly indicating retrieval processes. Moreover, we observed enhanced activity in the ACC when the majority of the group was incorrect, suggesting that conformity was mostly normative. Most interestingly, this latter effect was more pronounced for Val- as compared to Val+ participants. This offers a speculative explanation for the higher behavioral levels of social conformity in Val- allele carriers, because their subjectively perceived conflict in the presence of an incorrect group majority may have been higher. Overall, this study demonstrates how the mechanisms leading to complex social behavior such as conformity can be studied by combining genetic analyses and fMRI in social neuroscience paradigms.

  4. A comprehensive analysis of phase I and phase II metabolism gene polymorphisms and risk of non-small cell lung cancer in smokers.

    PubMed

    Zienolddiny, Shanbeh; Campa, Daniele; Lind, Helge; Ryberg, David; Skaug, Vidar; Stangeland, Lodve B; Canzian, Federico; Haugen, Aage

    2008-06-01

    Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer mortality worldwide with smoking and occupational exposure to carcinogenic compounds as the major risk factors. Susceptibility to lung cancer is affected by existence of polymorphic genes controlling the levels of metabolic activation and detoxification of carcinogens. We have investigated 105 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 31 genes from the phase I and phase II metabolism genes and antioxidant defense genes for association with the risk of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in a Norwegian population-based study. Our results indicate that several SNPs in the phase I genes, CYP1B1, CYP2D6, CYP2E1 and CYP3A4, are associated with the risk of NSCLC. Moreover, significant associations with multiple SNPs in the phase II genes ALDH2, COMT, EPHX1, SOD2, NAT1, NAT2, GSTM3, GSTP1, GSTT2 and MPO were also found. We prioritized our findings by use of two different recently developed Bayesian statistical tools, employing conservative prior probabilities of association. When we corrected for multiple testing using these statistical tools, three novel associations of NSCLC risk with SNPs in the CYP1B1 (Arg48Gly), COMT (Val158Met) and GSTT2 (Met139Ile) genes were found noteworthy. However, only four of the previously reported associations with polymorphisms in the GSTP1 (Ala14Val), SOD2 (Val16Ala), EPHX1 (His139Arg) genes and the NAT1 fast acetylator phenotype remained significantly associated with lung cancer.

  5. Quercetin potentiates L-Dopa reversal of drug-induced catalepsy in rats: possible COMT/MAO inhibition.

    PubMed

    Singh, Amanpreet; Naidu, Pattipati S; Kulkarni, Shrinivas K

    2003-06-01

    L-Dopa plus carbidopa treatment remains the first-line therapy in Parkinson's disease. The use of catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and/or monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors as an adjunct to L-dopa therapy has yielded varying degrees of success. Quercetin, a flavonoid present in many plants, is reported to inhibit COMT and MAO activities, the key enzymes involved in the metabolism of dopamine. In the present study we have studied the effect of quercetin on the L-dopa plus carbidopa combination against perphenazine and reserpine-induced catalepsy in rats. Neuroleptic-induced catalepsy is a widely accepted animal model for testing the drugs used in parkinsonism. Catalepsy in rats was induced by administration of perphenazine (5 mg/kg i.p.) or reserpine (2.5 mg/kg i.p.) + alpha-methyl-P-tyrosine (200 mg/kg i.p.). Catalepsy in animals was assessed by using the bar test. The quercetin dose (25-100 mg/kg, p.o.) dependently reversed perphenazine- as well as reserpine-induced catalepsy. When quercetin was combined with a subthreshold dose of L-dopa plus carbidopa, the anticatatonic effect was potentiated. Pretreatment with a central COMT inhibitor, 3,5-dinitrocatechol (OR-486) (10 mg/kg p.o.), or a MAO-B inhibitor, selegiline (5 mg/kg i.p.), also potentiated the actions of threshold dose of quercetin against perphenazine- or reserpine-induced catalepsy. On the other hand adenosine (100 mg/kg i.p.), which is known to decrease the release of catecholamines through an action on presynaptic A(1) receptors, partly reversed the protective effect of quercetin against perphenazine-induced catalepsy. Quercetin through its COMT and MAO enzyme-inhibiting properties might potentiate the anticatatonic effect of L-dopa plus carbidopa treatment. The results of the present study strongly suggest that quercetin could serve as an effective adjunct to L-dopa therapy in Parkinson's disease.

  6. Linking unfounded beliefs to genetic dopamine availability

    PubMed Central

    Schmack, Katharina; Rössler, Hannes; Sekutowicz, Maria; Brandl, Eva J.; Müller, Daniel J.; Petrovic, Predrag; Sterzer, Philipp

    2015-01-01

    Unfounded convictions involving beliefs in the paranormal, grandiosity ideas or suspicious thoughts are endorsed at varying degrees among the general population. Here, we investigated the neurobiopsychological basis of the observed inter-individual variability in the propensity toward unfounded beliefs. One hundred two healthy individuals were genotyped for four polymorphisms in the COMT gene (rs6269, rs4633, rs4818, and rs4680, also known as val158met) that define common functional haplotypes with substantial impact on synaptic dopamine degradation, completed a questionnaire measuring unfounded beliefs, and took part in a behavioral experiment assessing perceptual inference. We found that greater dopamine availability was associated with a stronger propensity toward unfounded beliefs, and that this effect was statistically mediated by an enhanced influence of expectations on perceptual inference. Our results indicate that genetic differences in dopaminergic neurotransmission account for inter-individual differences in perceptual inference linked to the formation and maintenance of unfounded beliefs. Thus, dopamine might be critically involved in the processes underlying one's interpretation of the relationship between the self and the world. PMID:26483654

  7. Association of the Apolipoprotein E 2 Allele with Concurrent Occurrence of Endometrial Hyperplasia and Endometrial Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Ivanova, Tatiana I.; Krikunova, Ludmila I.; Ryabchenko, Nikolay I.; Mkrtchyan, Liana S.; Khorokhorina, Vera A.; Salnikova, Lyubov E.

    2015-01-01

    Genes encoding proteins with antioxidant properties may influence susceptibility to endometrial hyperplasia (EH) and endometrial carcinoma (ECa). Patients with EH (n = 89), EH concurrent with ECa (n = 76), ECa (n = 186), and healthy controls (n = 1110) were genotyped for five polymorphic variants in the genes involved in metabolism of lipoproteins (APOE Cys112Arg and Arg158Cys), iron (HFE Cys282Tyr and His63Asp), and catecholamines (COMT Val158Met). Patients and controls were matched by ethnicity (all Caucasians), age, body mass index (BMI), and incidence of hypertension and diabetes. The frequency of the APOE E 2 allele (158Cys) was higher in patients with EH + ECa than in controls (P = 0.0012, PBonferroni = 0.018, OR = 2.58, 95% CI 1.49–4.45). The APOE E 4 allele (112Arg) was more frequently found in patients with EH than in controls and HFE minor allele G (63Asp) had a protective effect in the ECa group, though these results appeared to be nonsignificant after correction for multiple comparisons. The results of the study indicate that E 2 allele might be associated with concurrent occurrence of EH and ECa. PMID:25741405

  8. Linking unfounded beliefs to genetic dopamine availability.

    PubMed

    Schmack, Katharina; Rössler, Hannes; Sekutowicz, Maria; Brandl, Eva J; Müller, Daniel J; Petrovic, Predrag; Sterzer, Philipp

    2015-01-01

    Unfounded convictions involving beliefs in the paranormal, grandiosity ideas or suspicious thoughts are endorsed at varying degrees among the general population. Here, we investigated the neurobiopsychological basis of the observed inter-individual variability in the propensity toward unfounded beliefs. One hundred two healthy individuals were genotyped for four polymorphisms in the COMT gene (rs6269, rs4633, rs4818, and rs4680, also known as val (158) met) that define common functional haplotypes with substantial impact on synaptic dopamine degradation, completed a questionnaire measuring unfounded beliefs, and took part in a behavioral experiment assessing perceptual inference. We found that greater dopamine availability was associated with a stronger propensity toward unfounded beliefs, and that this effect was statistically mediated by an enhanced influence of expectations on perceptual inference. Our results indicate that genetic differences in dopaminergic neurotransmission account for inter-individual differences in perceptual inference linked to the formation and maintenance of unfounded beliefs. Thus, dopamine might be critically involved in the processes underlying one's interpretation of the relationship between the self and the world.

  9. Combination Training in Aging Individuals Modifies Functional Connectivity and Cognition, and Is Potentially Affected by Dopamine-Related Genes

    PubMed Central

    Pieramico, Valentina; Esposito, Roberto; Sensi, Francesca; Cilli, Franco; Mantini, Dante; Mattei, Peter A.; Frazzini, Valerio; Ciavardelli, Domenico; Gatta, Valentina; Ferretti, Antonio; Romani, Gian Luca; Sensi, Stefano L.

    2012-01-01

    Background Aging is a major co-risk factor in many neurodegenerative diseases. Cognitive enrichment positively affects the structural plasticity of the aging brain. In this study, we evaluated effects of a set of structured multimodal activities (Combination Training; CT) on cognitive performances, functional connectivity, and cortical thickness of a group of healthy elderly individuals. CT lasted six months. Methodology Neuropsychological and occupational performances were evaluated before and at the end of the training period. fMRI was used to assess effects of training on resting state network (RSN) functional connectivity using Independent Component Analysis (ICA). Effects on cortical thickness were also studied. Finally, we evaluated whether specific dopamine-related genes can affect the response to training. Principal Findings Results of the study indicate that CT improves cognitive/occupational performances and reorganizes functional connectivity. Intriguingly, individuals responding to CT showed specific dopamine-related genotypes. Indeed, analysis of dopamine-related genes revealed that carriers of DRD3 ser9gly and COMT Val158Met polymorphisms had the greatest benefits from exposure to CT. Conclusions and Significance Overall, our findings support the idea that exposure to a set of structured multimodal activities can be an effective strategy to counteract aging-related cognitive decline and also indicate that significant capability of functional and structural changes are maintained in the elderly. PMID:22937122

  10. Acute anxiolytic effects of quetiapine during virtual reality exposure--a double-blind placebo-controlled trial in patients with specific phobia.

    PubMed

    Diemer, Julia; Domschke, Katharina; Mühlberger, Andreas; Winter, Bernward; Zavorotnyy, Maxim; Notzon, Swantje; Silling, Karen; Arolt, Volker; Zwanzger, Peter

    2013-11-01

    Anxiety disorders are among the most frequent psychiatric disorders. With regard to pharmacological treatment, antidepressants, the calcium modulator pregabalin and benzodiazepines are recommended according to current treatment guidelines. With regard to acute states of anxiety, so far practically only benzodiazepines provide an immediate anxiolytic effect. However, the risk of tolerance and dependency limits the use of this class of medication. Therefore, there is still a need for alternative pharmacologic strategies. Increasing evidence points towards anxiety-reducing properties of atypical antipsychotics, particularly quetiapine. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate the putative acute anxiolytic effects of this compound, choosing the induction of acute anxiety in patients with specific phobia as a model for the evaluation of ad-hoc anxiolytic properties in a proof-of-concept approach. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 58 patients with arachnophobia were treated with a single dose of quetiapine XR or placebo prior to a virtual reality spider challenge procedure. Treatment effects were monitored using rating scales for acute anxiety as well as measurements of heart rate and skin conductance. Overall, quetiapine showed significant anxiolytic effects compared to placebo. However, effects were not seen on the primary outcome measure (VAS Anxiety), but were limited to somatic anxiety symptoms. Additionally, a significant reduction of skin conductance was observed. Further exploratory analyses hint towards a mediating role of the (COMT) val158met genotype on treatment response. The present results thus suggest a possible suitability of quetiapine in the acute treatment of anxiety, particularly with regard to somatic symptoms.

  11. Alcoholism: genes and mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Oroszi, Gabor; Goldman, David

    2004-12-01

    Alcoholism is a chronic relapsing/remitting disease that is frequently unrecognized and untreated, in part because of the partial efficacy of treatment. Only approximately one-third of patients remain abstinent and one-third have fully relapsed 1 year after withdrawal from alcohol, with treated patients doing substantially better than untreated [1]. The partial effectiveness of strategies for prevention and treatment, and variation in clinical course and side effects, represent a challenge and an opportunity to better understand the neurobiology of addiction. The strong heritability of alcoholism suggests the existence of inherited functional variants of genes that alter the metabolism of alcohol and variants of other genes that alter the neurobiologies of reward, executive cognitive function, anxiety/dysphoria, and neuronal plasticity. Each of these neurobiologies has been identified as a critical domain in the addictions. Functional alleles that alter alcoholism-related intermediate phenotypes include common alcohol dehydrogenase 1B and aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 variants that cause the aversive flushing reaction; catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) Val158Met leading to differences in three aspects of neurobiology: executive cognitive function, stress/anxiety response, and opioid function; opioid receptor micro1 (OPRM1) Asn40Asp, which may serve as a gatekeeper molecule in the action of naltrexone, a drug used in alcoholism treatment; and HTTLPR, which alters serotonin transporter function and appears to affect stress response and anxiety/dysphoria, which are factors relevant to initial vulnerability, the process of addiction, and relapse.

  12. Everolimus induces Met inactivation by disrupting the FKBP12/Met complex

    PubMed Central

    Raimondo, Lucia; D'Amato, Valentina; Servetto, Alberto; Rosa, Roberta; Marciano, Roberta; Formisano, Luigi; Mauro, Concetta Di; Orsini, Roberta Clara; Cascetta, Priscilla; Ciciola, Paola; De Maio, Ana Paula; Di Renzo, Maria Flavia; Cosconati, Sandro; Bruno, Agostino; Randazzo, Antonio; Napolitano, Filomena; Montuori, Nunzia; Veneziani, Bianca Maria; Placido, Sabino De; Bianco, Roberto

    2016-01-01

    Inhibition of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is a promising treatment strategy for several cancer types. Rapamycin derivatives such as everolimus are allosteric mTOR inhibitors acting through interaction with the intracellular immunophilin FKBP12, a prolyl isomerase with different cellular functions. Although mTOR inhibitors have significantly improved survival of different cancer patients, resistance and lack of predictive factors of response remain unsolved issues. To elucidate the mechanisms of resistance to everolimus, we evaluated Met activation in everolimus-sensitive/resistant human cancer cells, in vitro and in vivo. Biochemical and computational analyses were performed. Everolimus-resistant cells were xenografted into mice (10/group) and studied for their response to everolimus and Met inhibitors. The statistical significance of the in vitro results was evaluated by Student's t test. Everolimus reduced Met phosphorylation in everolimus-sensitive cells. This event was mediated by the formation of a Met-FKBP12 complex, which in turn is disrupted by everolimus. Aberrant Met activation in everolimus-resistant cells and overexpression of wild-type/mutant Met caused everolimus resistance. Pharmacological inhibition and RNA silencing of Met are effective in condition of everolimus resistance (P<0.01). In mice xenografted with everolimus-resistant cells, the combination of everolimus with the Met inhibitor PHA665752 reduced tumor growth and induced a statistically significant survival advantage (combination vs control P=0.0005). FKBP12 binding is required for full Met activation and everolimus can inhibit Met. Persistent Met activation might sustain everolimus resistance. These results identify a novel everolimus mechanism of action and suggest the development of clinical strategies based on Met inhibitors in everolimus-resistant cancers. PMID:27223077

  13. Methionine synthesis in Escherichia coli: effect of the MetR protein on metE and metH expression.

    PubMed

    Cai, X Y; Maxon, M E; Redfield, B; Glass, R; Brot, N; Weissbach, H

    1989-06-01

    Studies by Urbanowski et al. [Urbanowski, M. L., Stauffer, L. T., Plamann, L. S. & Stauffer, G. V. (1987) J. Bacteriol. 169, 1391-1397] have identified a regulatory locus, called metR, required for the expression of the metE and metH genes. We recently purified the MetR protein from Escherichia coli and showed that it could stimulate the in vitro expression of the metE gene and autoregulate its own synthesis. In the present study, the purified MetR protein has been shown to stimulate the in vitro expression of the metH gene. Also, the in vitro synthesized MetE, MetH, and MetR proteins were shown to be biologically active. The transcription start sites for the metE and metR genes have been determined, and DNA footprinting experiments have identified regions in the metE-metR intergenic sequence that are protected by either the MetR or MetJ proteins.

  14. [Economic assessment of the routine use of Oncotype DX® assay for early breast cancer in Franche-Comte region].

    PubMed

    Nerich, Virginie; Curtit, Elsa; Bazan, Fernando; Montcuquet, Philippe; Villanueva, Cristian; Chaigneau, Loïc; Cals, Laurent; Méneveau, Nathalie; Dobi, Erion; Altmotlak, Hamadi; Algros, Marie-Paule; Choulot, Marie-Jeanne; Nallet, Gilles; Limat, Samuel; Mansion, Sylvie; Pivot, Xavier

    2014-01-01

    Oncotype DX® has been validated as quantifying the likelihood of distant recurrence at 10 years and overall chemotherapy benefit in patients with estrogen-receptor-positive and HER-2-negative early breast cancer. In 2012, this genomic signature was routinely available for patients in Franche-Comté, France. Patients eligible for Oncotype DX(®) testing had a ER-positive, HER-2-négative early breast cancer with a nodal involvement limited to 0 or 1 positive-node without extracapsular spread; an adjuvant chemotherapy was indicated based on usual prognostic factors. The aim was to assess the economic impact of Oncotype DX(®) testing in a French region. A cost-minimisation analysis from the French Public Healthcare System perspective was performed. The availability of Oncotype DX(®) in Franche-Comté, France, and its use in clinical routine allowed a decrease of 73 % of adjuvant chemotherapy without increase of the cost of the patients' management and with a potential reduction of the cost for the French Public Healthcare System. This strategy was successful and may allow the reimbursement of this test in France for patients with early breast cancer.

  15. Perceived stress during pregnancy and the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) rs165599 polymorphism impacts on childhood IQ.

    PubMed

    Lamb, Yvette N; Thompson, John M D; Murphy, Rinki; Wall, Clare; Kirk, Ian J; Morgan, Angharad R; Ferguson, Lynnette R; Mitchell, Edwin A; Waldie, Karen E

    2014-09-01

    Maternal stress during pregnancy has been associated with a range of adverse outcomes in offspring and the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) gene has been linked to differential susceptibility to the consequences of antenatal stress. This study examined two functional polymorphisms of the COMT gene (rs4680 and rs165599) in relation to maternal perceived stress and childhood cognitive performance. Data from the longitudinal Auckland Birthweight Collaborative (ABC) study was used. Maternal perceived stress over the prior month was measured at birth, 3.5 and 7years. Full-Scale IQ (FSIQ) was measured at ages 7 and 11. At age 11, a total of 546 DNA samples were collected from the child participants. Data were subjected to a series of split-plot ANCOVAs with birthweight for gestational age and maternal school leaving age as covariates. There were direct effects of maternal stress during the last month of pregnancy on offspring FSIQ at ages 7 and 11years. A significant interaction revealed that children exposed to high maternal antenatal stress had significantly lower FSIQ scores at both 7 and 11years of age than those exposed to low stress, only when they were carriers of the rs165599 G allele. At each age, this difference was of approximately 5 IQ points. The G allele of the rs165599 polymorphism may confer genetic susceptibility to negative cognitive outcomes arising from exposure to antenatal stress. This finding highlights the need to consider gene-environment interactions when investigating the outcomes of antenatal stress exposure.

  16. [Logic model of the Franche-Comté Regional Health Project: advantages and limitations for the evaluation process].

    PubMed

    Michaud, Claude; Sannino, Nadine; Duboudin, Cédric; Baudier, François; Guillin, Caroline; Billondeau, Christine; Mansion, Sylvie

    2014-01-01

    The French "Hospitals, patients, health and territories" law of July 2009 created the Regional Health Project (PRS) to support regional health policy, and requires evaluation of these projects. The construction of these projects, which includes prevention planning, care planning, and medical and social welfare planning, presents an unprecedented complexity in France, where evaluation programmes are still in their infancy. To support future evaluations, the Franche-Comté Regional Health Agency (ARS FC), assisted by the expertise of EFECT Consultants, decided to reconstruct the PRS logic model. This article analyzes the advantages and limitations of this approach. The resulting logic model allows visualization of the strategy adopted to achieve the Franche-Comté PRS ambitions and expected results. The model highlights four main aspects of structural change to the health system, often poorly visible in PRS presentation documents. This model also establishes links with the usual public policy evaluation issues and facilitates their prioritization. This approach also provides a better understanding of the importance of analysis of the programme construction in order to be effective rather than direct analysis of the effects, which constitutes the natural tendency of current practice. The main controversial limit concerns the retrospective design of the PRS framework, both in terms of the reliability of interpretation and adoption by actors not directly involved in this initiative.

  17. FKBP5, SERT and COMT mRNA expressions in the peripheral leukocytes during menstruation cycle in healthy reproductive females.

    PubMed

    Kinouchi, Sawako; Iga, Jun-Ichi; Ueno, Shu-Ichi; Yamauchi, Ken; Numata, Shusuke; Song, Hongwei; Sumitani, Satsuki; Shibuya-Tayoshi, Sumiko; Haku, Mari; Yasui, Toshiyuki; Irahara, Minoru; Morita, Kyoko; Rokutan, Kazuhito; Ohmori, Tetsuro

    2008-03-21

    There have been several evidences that the mRNA expressions in the peripheral leukocytes may indicate not only physical but also psychological states. The purpose of this study is whether the mRNA expressional changes in the leukocytes are related to the mental states across the menstrual cycle in reproductive healthy female subjects. Thirty-eight female subjects (22.4+/-1.4 year-old) were participated in this study at three menstruation cycle periods (menstrual, follicular and luteal phase). The FKBP5 (FK506-binding protein gene), SERT (serotonin transporter gene) and COMT (catechol-o-methyltransferase gene) mRNA expressions in the leukocytes were determined with hormonal data. The psychological changes were assessed with self-rating hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS). Only one thirds of subjects (n=12) had regular menstrual cycles during the experiment. So we analyzed the data from these 12 subjects. The anxiety score of each subject was changed across the menstrual cycle (Friedman test: P<0.05). The FKBP5 mRNA expression was significantly lower in the follicular phase than in the other phases but no changes were seen in either SERT or COMT mRNA expressions among the phases. In conclusion, there are differences of HADS anxiety score and FKBP5 mRNA expression in the leukocytes across the menstrual cycle but there is no correlation between anxiety scores and FKBP5 mRNA.

  18. Lack of influence of COMT and NET genes variants on executive functions in schizophrenic and bipolar patients, their first-degree relatives and controls.

    PubMed

    Szöke, A; Schürhoff, F; Méary, A; Mathieu, F; Chevalier, F; Trandafir, A; Alter, C; Roy, I; Bellivier, F; Leboyer, M

    2006-07-05

    Abnormal dopaminergic function in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) may be a key factor in the etiopathogeny of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Both schizophrenic and bipolar subjects have executive functions (EF) deficits, thought to reflect abnormal PFC function. The main inactivation pathways for dopamine in the PFC are enzymatic cleavage by the Carboxy-O-Methyl-Transferase (COMT) and reuptake by the nor-epinephrine transporter (NET). Our aim in this study was to replicate previous studies that investigated influence of the COMT genotype on EF in schizophrenic subjects, their relatives and controls and extend their scope by including bipolar patients, and their relatives and by exploring NET gene polymorphisms influence on executive performances. We investigated one functional polymorphism of the COMT gene and two polymorphisms of the NET gene. EF were assessed by means of the Trail Making Test (TMT) and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). We assessed the effect of each of the three genotypes on EF for the whole sample (N = 318) and separately in schizophrenic (N = 66), bipolar (N = 94) and healthy subjects (i.e., relatives and controls N = 158). Separate analyses were performed because of the presence, in patients samples, of potentially confounding factors, especially medication. Genotype had no significant effect on the cognitive measures in any of the analyses (for the two EF measures, the three polymorphisms, and the four groups). In our sample we found no evidence in favor of a major effect of COMT or NET polymorphisms on the two tests of EF.

  19. Assessment of Cellular Estrogenic Activity Based on Estrogen Receptor-Mediated Reduction of Soluble-Form Catechol-O-Methyltransferase (COMT) Expression in an ELISA-Based System

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Philip Wing-Lok; Tse, Zero Ho-Man; Liu, Hui-Fang; Lu, Song; Ho, Jessica Wing-Man; Kung, Michelle Hiu-Wai; Ramsden, David Boyer; Ho, Shu-Leong

    2013-01-01

    Xenoestrogens are either natural or synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of endogenous estrogen. These compounds, such as bisphenol-A (BPA), and phthalates, are commonly found in plastic wares. Exposure to these compounds poses major risk to human health because of the potential to cause endocrine disruption. There is huge demand for a wide range of chemicals to be assessed for such potential for the sake of public health. Classical in vivo assays for endocrine disruption are comprehensive but time-consuming and require sacrifice of experimental animals. Simple preliminary in vitro screening assays can reduce the time and expense involved. We previously demonstrated that catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is transcriptionally regulated by estrogen via estrogen receptor (ER). Therefore, detecting corresponding changes of COMT expression in estrogen-responsive cells may be a useful method to estimate estrogenic effects of various compounds. We developed a novel cell-based ELISA to evaluate cellular response to estrogenicity by reduction of soluble-COMT expression in ER-positive MCF-7 cells exposed to estrogenic compounds. In contrast to various existing methods that only detect bioactivity, this method elucidates direct physiological effect in a living cell in response to a compound. We validated our assay using three well-characterized estrogenic plasticizers - BPA, benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), and di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP). Cells were exposed to either these plasticizers or 17β-estradiol (E2) in estrogen-depleted medium with or without an ER-antagonist, ICI 182,780, and COMT expression assayed. Exposure to each of these plasticizers (10-9-10-7M) dose-dependently reduced COMT expression (p<0.05), which was blocked by ICI 182,780. Reduction of COMT expression was readily detectable in cells exposed to picomolar level of E2, comparable to other in vitro assays of similar sensitivity. To satisfy the demand for in vitro assays targeting different cellular

  20. Assessment of cellular estrogenic activity based on estrogen receptor-mediated reduction of soluble-form catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) expression in an ELISA-based system.

    PubMed

    Ho, Philip Wing-Lok; Tse, Zero Ho-Man; Liu, Hui-Fang; Lu, Song; Ho, Jessica Wing-Man; Kung, Michelle Hiu-Wai; Ramsden, David Boyer; Ho, Shu-Leong

    2013-01-01

    Xenoestrogens are either natural or synthetic compounds that mimic the effects of endogenous estrogen. These compounds, such as bisphenol-A (BPA), and phthalates, are commonly found in plastic wares. Exposure to these compounds poses major risk to human health because of the potential to cause endocrine disruption. There is huge demand for a wide range of chemicals to be assessed for such potential for the sake of public health. Classical in vivo assays for endocrine disruption are comprehensive but time-consuming and require sacrifice of experimental animals. Simple preliminary in vitro screening assays can reduce the time and expense involved. We previously demonstrated that catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is transcriptionally regulated by estrogen via estrogen receptor (ER). Therefore, detecting corresponding changes of COMT expression in estrogen-responsive cells may be a useful method to estimate estrogenic effects of various compounds. We developed a novel cell-based ELISA to evaluate cellular response to estrogenicity by reduction of soluble-COMT expression in ER-positive MCF-7 cells exposed to estrogenic compounds. In contrast to various existing methods that only detect bioactivity, this method elucidates direct physiological effect in a living cell in response to a compound. We validated our assay using three well-characterized estrogenic plasticizers - BPA, benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP), and di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP). Cells were exposed to either these plasticizers or 17β-estradiol (E2) in estrogen-depleted medium with or without an ER-antagonist, ICI 182,780, and COMT expression assayed. Exposure to each of these plasticizers (10(-9)-10(-7)M) dose-dependently reduced COMT expression (p<0.05), which was blocked by ICI 182,780. Reduction of COMT expression was readily detectable in cells exposed to picomolar level of E2, comparable to other in vitro assays of similar sensitivity. To satisfy the demand for in vitro assays targeting different cellular

  1. COMT and DAT1 genes are associated with hyperactivity and inattention traits in the 1993 Pelotas Birth Cohort: evidence of sex-specific combined effect

    PubMed Central

    Akutagava-Martins, Glaucia C.; Salatino-Oliveira, Angelica; Kieling, Christian; Genro, Julia P.; Polanczyk, Guilherme V.; Anselmi, Luciana; Menezes, Ana M.B.; Gonçalves, Helen; Wehrmeister, Fernando C.; Barros, Fernando C.; Callegari-Jacques, Sidia M.; Rohde, Luis A.; Hutz, Mara H.

    2016-01-01

    Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms are dimensionally distributed in the population. This study aimed to assess the role of the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) and of the dopamine transporter (DAT1) genes on ADHD symptoms in the general population. Methods We investigated 4101 individuals from the 1993 Pelotas Birth Cohort Study using the parent version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) at ages 11 and 15 years. The SDQ hyperactivity/inattention scores were the main outcomes. Results Linear regression analyses demonstrated that the increasing number of COMT158Val and DAT1 10R alleles significantly predicted increasing SDQ hyperactivity/inattention scores in boys at both 11 and 15 years of age (β coefficient = 0.049, t = 2.189, p = 0.029, R2 = 0.012, and β coefficient = 0.064, t = 2.832, p = 0.005, R2 = 0.008, respectively). The presence of both COMT158Val and DAT1 10R alleles was also associated with full categorical ADHD diagnosis at 18 years of age in boys (χ2 = 4.561, p = 0.033, odds ratio 2.473, 95% confidence interval 1.048–5.838) from this cohort. We did not observe these associations in girls. Limitations Our analyses of SDQ hyperactivity/inattention scores were not corrected for SDQ scores of conduct problems because these variables were highly correlated. Conclusion This study demonstrates a role for COMT and DAT1 genes on hyperactivity/inattention symptoms and provides further support for ADHD as the extreme of traits that vary in the population. It also confirms previous evidence for sexual dimorphism on COMT and DAT1 gene expression. PMID:27327562

  2. Rebound Effects Caused by Withdrawal of MET Kinase Inhibitor Are Quenched by a MET Therapeutic Antibody.

    PubMed

    Pupo, Emanuela; Ducano, Nadia; Lupo, Barbara; Vigna, Elisa; Avanzato, Daniele; Perera, Timothy; Trusolino, Livio; Lanzetti, Letizia; Comoglio, Paolo M

    2016-09-01

    MET oncogene amplification is emerging as a major mechanism of acquired resistance to EGFR-directed therapy in lung and colorectal cancers. Furthermore, MET amplification predicts responsiveness to MET inhibitors currently in clinical trials. Among the anti-MET drugs available, ATP-competitive small-molecule kinase inhibitors abrogate receptor autophosphorylation and downstream activation of ERK1/2 and AKT, resulting in cell-cycle arrest. However, this antiproliferative effect allows persistence of a pool of cancer cells that are quiescent but alive. Once the inhibition is removed, rebound activation of MET-driven cell proliferative pathways and tumor growth may occur, an adverse event observed frequently in clinical settings after drug discontinuation. Here we show that inhibitor withdrawal prompts receptor phosphorylation to levels higher than those displayed at steady-state and generates a rebound effect pushing quiescent cancer cells back into the cell cycle, both in vitro and in experimental tumor models in vivo Mechanistically, we found that inhibitor treatment blocks MET endocytosis, causing a local increase in the number of receptors at the plasma membrane. Upon inhibitor washout, the receptor is readily rephosphorylated. The initial phosphorylation is not only increased but also prolonged in duration due to downmodulation of a phosphatase-mediated MET-negative feedback loop, which accompanies receptor internalization. Notably, treatment with a MET therapeutic antibody that induces proteolytic cleavage of the receptor at the cell surface substantially prevents this rebound effect, providing a rationale to combine or alternate these mechanistically different types of MET-targeted therapy. Cancer Res; 76(17); 5019-29. ©2016 AACR.

  3. Angular MET sensor for precise azimuth determination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaitsev, Dmitry; Antonov, Alexander; Krishtop, Vladimir

    2016-12-01

    This paper describes using a MET-based low-noise angular motion sensor to precisely determine azimuth direction in a dynamic-scheme method of measuring Earth's rotation velocity vector. The scheme includes installing a sensor on a rotating platform so that it could scan a space and seek for the position of highest Earth's rotation vector projection on its axis. This method is very efficient provided a low-noise sensor is used. We take a low-cost angular sensor based on MET (molecular electronic transduction) technology. Sensors of this kind were originally developed for the seismic activity monitoring and are well-known for very good noise performance and high sensitivity. This approach, combined with use of special signal processing algorithms, allowed for reaching the accuracy of 0.07° for a measurement time of 200 seconds.

  4. Smart Polymeric Nanocarriers of Met-enkephalin.

    PubMed

    Szweda, Roza; Trzebicka, Barbara; Dworak, Andrzej; Otulakowski, Lukasz; Kosowski, Dominik; Hertlein, Justyna; Haladjova, Emi; Rangelov, Stanislav; Szweda, Dawid

    2016-08-08

    This study describes a novel approach to polymeric nanocarriers of the therapeutic peptide met-enkephalin based on the aggregation of thermoresponsive polymers. Thermoresponsive bioconjugate poly((di(ethylene glycol) monomethyl ether methacrylate)-ran-(oligo(ethylene glycol) monomethyl ether methacrylate) is synthesized by AGET ATRP using modified met-enkephalin as a macroinitiator. The abrupt heating of bioconjugate water solution leads to the self-assembly of bioconjugate chains and the formation of mesoglobules of controlled sizes. Mesoglobules formed by bioconjugates are stabilized by coating with cross-linked two-layer shell via nucleated radical polymerization of N-isopropylacrylamide using a degradable cross-linker. The targeting peptide RGD, containing the fluorescence marker carboxyfluorescein, is linked to a nanocarrier during the formation of the outer shell layer. In the presence of glutathione, the whole shell is completely degradable and the met-enkephalin conjugate is released. It is anticipated that precisely engineered nanoparticles protecting their cargo will emerge as the next-generation platform for cancer therapy and many other biomedical applications.

  5. Could the organ shortage ever be met?

    PubMed

    Levitt, Mairi

    2015-01-01

    The organ shortage is commonly presented as having a clear solution, increase the number of organs donated and the problem will be solved. In the light of the Northern Ireland Assembly's consultation on moving to an opt-out organ donor register this article focuses on the social factors and complexities which impact strongly on both the supply of, and demand for, transplantable organs. Judging by the experience of other countries presumed consent systems may or may not increase donations but have not met demand. Donation rates have risen considerably in all parts of the UK recently but there is also an increasing demand for organs. Looking at international donation rates and attitudes, future demand for organs and education on donation, the question is whether the organ shortage could ever be met. The increase in longevity, in rates of diabetes and obesity and in alcohol related liver disease all contribute both to increased demand for transplants, and re-transplants, and a reduction in the number of usable organs. It is unlikely that demand could ever be met, since, if supply was unlimited, the focus would move to financial resources and competing demands on the health care budget in a publicly funded health system. These factors point to the need to focus on ways of reducing, or at least stabilizing, demand where lifestyle factors contribute to the underlying disease.

  6. Paranormal experience and the COMT dopaminergic gene: a preliminary attempt to associate phenotype with genotype using an underlying brain theory.

    PubMed

    Raz, Amir; Hines, Terence; Fossella, John; Castro, Daniella

    2008-01-01

    Paranormal belief and suggestibility seem related. Given our recent findings outlining a putative association between suggestibility and a specific dopaminergic genetic polymorphism, we hypothesized that similar exploratory genetic data may offer supplementary insights into a similar correlation with paranormal belief. With more affordable costs and better technology in the aftermath of the human genome project, genotyping is increasingly ubiquitous. Compelling brain theories guide specific research hypotheses as scientists begin to unravel tentative relationships between phenotype and genotype. In line with a dopaminergic brain theory, we tried to correlate a specific phenotype concerning paranormal belief with a dopaminergic gene (COMT) known for its involvement in prefrontal executive cognition and for a polymorphism that is positively correlated with suggestibility. Although our preliminary findings are inconclusive, the research approach we outline should pave the road to a more scientific account of elucidating paranormal belief.

  7. Estradiol replacement enhances fear memory formation, impairs extinction and reduces COMT expression levels in the hippocampus of ovariectomized female mice.

    PubMed

    McDermott, Carmel M; Liu, Dan; Ade, Catherine; Schrader, Laura A

    2015-02-01

    Females experience depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety disorders at approximately twice the rate of males, but the mechanisms underlying this difference remain undefined. The effect of sex hormones on neural substrates presents a possible mechanism. We investigated the effect of ovariectomy at two ages, before puberty and in adulthood, and 17β-estradiol (E2) replacement administered chronically in drinking water on anxiety level, fear memory formation, and extinction. Based on previous studies, we hypothesized that estradiol replacement would impair fear memory formation and enhance extinction rate. Females, age 4 weeks and 10 weeks, were divided randomly into 4 groups; sham surgery, OVX, OVX+low E2 (200nM), and OVX+high E2 (1000nM). Chronic treatment with high levels of E2 significantly increased anxiety levels measured in the elevated plus maze. In both age groups, high levels of E2 significantly increased contextual fear memory but had no effect on cued fear memory. In addition, high E2 decreased the rate of extinction in both ages. Finally, catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) is important for regulation of catecholamine levels, which play a role in fear memory formation and extinction. COMT expression in the hippocampus was significantly reduced by high E2 replacement, implying increased catecholamine levels in the hippocampus of high E2 mice. These results suggest that estradiol enhanced fear memory formation, and inhibited fear memory extinction, possibly stabilizing the fear memory in female mice. This study has implications for a neurobiological mechanism for PTSD and anxiety disorders.

  8. Synthesis of [{sup 18}F]Ro41-0960, a potent COMT inhibitor, for use in vivo mapping with PET

    SciTech Connect

    Ding, Y.S.; Sugano, Y.; Gatley, S.J.

    1995-05-01

    Catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMPT; EC 2.1.1.6) is one of the two major enzymes which metabolize the catecholamine neurotransmitters. It is distributed throughout the body and brain and is elevated in breast cancer tissue when it plays a role in estrogen metabolism. It is also an important molecular target in the development of drugs to treat Parkinson`s disease (PD). Because COMT regulates the concentration of important neurotransmitter amines such as dopamine, there is speculation that abnormalities in its activity may be associated with neurological, and psychiatric disorders. Ro41-9060(3,4-dihydroxy-5-nitro-2{prime}-fluorobenzophenone) is a potent, fluorine containing COMT inhibitor which has been reported to cross the blood brain barrier. It is structurally similar to Ro40-7592 which is currently undergoing clinical trials in PD. We report the synthesis of [{sup 18}F]Ro41-0960, for investigation for mapping COMT and for studies of COMT drugs. [{sup 18}F]Ro41-0960 was synthesized by the nucleophilic aromatic substitution reaction with NCA [{sup 18}F] fluoride on a protected precursor (prepared via a five-step synthesis) followed by hydrolysis with HBr (synthesis time of 100 min; radiochemical yield of 5-7% (EOB)). Though Ro41-0960 has been reported to cross the blood brain barrier, PET studies in baboon demonstrated that an almost complete absence of the drug from the brain both at tracer doses and with the addition of unlabeled drug (1.5 mg/kg) at all times through a 90 min experimental interval. The plasma to brain ratios of F-18 average about 40:1. However, high uptake was observed in the kidneys and in other organs which are known to have high COMT. Studies in mice showed that at 30 min after injection of tracer, F-18 in kidneys was largely as [{sup 18}F]Ro-41-0960 and that it could be displaced with unlabeled Ro41-0960. These studies provide the first example of a positron emitter labeled COMT radiotracer.

  9. Phoenix `07 MET Pressure sensor: Instrument

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polkko, J.; Kahanpää, H.; Harri, A.-M.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Mäkelä, M.; Savijarvi, H.; Kauhanen, J.

    2008-09-01

    Abstract The Phoenix '07 Lander landed successfully on the Martian northern polar region 25.5.2008. The mission is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA's) Scout program. The seminal questions for the Phoenix mission are: (1) can the Martian arctic support life, (2) what is the history of water at the landing site, and (3) how is the Martian climate affected by polar dynamics. These translate into practical science goals and tasks of characterizing the surface, analyzing samples of the soil and ice, and to observing and monitoring the atmospheric conditions and phenomena. Meteorology experiment (MET) onboard the Phoenix '07 lander will provide the first surface based observations of atmospheric pressure, temperature and wind in the Martian polar region above the polar circle. The MET instrument also includes a lidar for detecting dust and ice particles in the air column above the lander. Pressure observations are crucial for the success of the MET experiment. The Martian atmosphere goes through a large scale atmospheric pressure cycle due to the annual condensation and sublimation of the atmospheric carbon dioxide. Pressure also exhibits short period variations associated with dust storms, tides and other atmospheric events. A series of pressure measurements can hence tell us about the large scale state and dynamics of the atmosphere. The shorter time scale phenomena are also important in contributing to our understanding of mixing and transport of heat, dust and water vapour. The pressure observations are performed by a FMI (Finnish Meteorological Institute) instrument, based on micro machined Barocap capacitic pressure sensor heads manufactured by Vaisala Inc. Similar instruments have been used in several earlier missions (Mars-96, Mars Polar Lander, Beagle-2 and Huygens), Phoenix being the first successful landing on Mars. A similar instrument is included also in the Mars Science Laboratory '09 rover. Pressure sensor technology

  10. ARM mobile facility surface meteorology (MET) handbook.

    SciTech Connect

    Ritsche, M. T.; Environmental Science Division

    2006-04-01

    The Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Mobile Facility Surface Meteorology station (MET) uses mainly conventional in situ sensors to obtain 1-min statistics of surface wind speed, wind direction, air temperature, relative humidity (RH), barometric pressure, and rainrate. Additional sensors may be added to or removed from the base set of sensors depending upon the deployment location, climate regime, or programmatic needs. In addition, sensor types may change depending upon the climate regime of the deployment. These changes/additions are noted in Section 3.

  11. The control region of the metH gene of Salmonella typhimurium LT2: an atypical met promoter.

    PubMed

    Urbanowski, M L; Stauffer, G V

    1988-12-15

    The control region of the Salmonella typhimurium metH gene was sequenced and the transcription start point was determined by S1 nuclease mapping experiments. Activation of the metH gene by the metR gene product was shown to occur at the level of transcription. The translation start site was determined by amino acid sequence analysis of the amino terminus of a chimeric Met-Lac fusion protein encoded by a metH-lacZ gene fusion. Analysis of the nucleotide sequence of the metH promoter region showed that two sequence elements, present in the promoters of all other met biosynthetic genes thus far examined, are not present in the metH promoter region, namely, the repeated MetJ repressor recognition sequence 5'-AGACGTCT-3' and a highly conserved sequence 5'-TGGA----TAAAC-3' of unknown function.

  12. c-Met in chromophobe renal cell carcinoma.

    PubMed

    Erlmeier, Franziska; Ivanyi, Philipp; Hartmann, Arndt; Autenrieth, Michael; Wiedemann, Max; Weichert, Wilko; Steffens, Sandra

    2017-02-01

    c-Met plays a role as a prognostic marker in clear cell renal cell carcinoma. In addition, recently the tyrosine kinase inhibitor cabozantinib targeting c-Met was approved for the treatment of advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). In contrast to clear cell RCC, little is known about c-Met expression patterns in rarer RCC subtypes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence, distribution and prognostic impact of c-Met expression on chromophobe (ch)RCC. Patients who underwent renal surgery due to chRCC were retrospectively evaluated. Tumor specimens were analyzed for c-Met expression by immunohistochemistry. Expression data were associated with clinicopathological parameters including patient survival. Eighty-one chRCC patients were eligible for analysis. Twenty-four (29.6%) patients showed a high c-Met expression (c-Met(high), staining intensity higher than median). Our results showed an association between c-Met(high) expression and the existence of lymph node metastasis (p = 0.007). No further significant clinicopathological associations with c-Met were identified, also regarding c-Met expression and overall survival. In conclusion, to our knowledge this is the first study evaluating the prognostic impact of c-Met in a considerably large cohort of chRCC. High c-Met expression is associated with the occurrence of lymph node metastasis. This indicates that c-Met might be implicated into metastatic progression in chRCC.

  13. Mars MetNet Precursor Mission Status

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Aleksashkin, Sergey; Guerrero, Héctor; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Haukka, Harri

    2013-04-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is being developed in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL), using an inflatable entry and descent system instead of rigid heat shields and parachutes as earlier semi-hard landing devices have used. This way the ratio of the payload mass to the overall mass is optimized. The landing impact will burrow the payload container into the Martian soil providing a more favorable thermal environment for the electronics and a suitable orientation of the telescopic boom with external sensors and the radio link antenna. It is planned to deploy several tens of MNLs on the Martian surface operating at least partly at the same time to allow meteorological network science. For the precursor mission (MMPM) intended to verify the landing concept and key technology during a real Mars mission all qualification activities are completed and the payload and system flight model components are being manufactured. The descent processes dynamic properties are monitored by a special 3-axis accelerometer combined with a 3-axis gyrometer. The data will be sent via auxiliary beacon antenna throughout the descent phase starting shortly after separation from the spacecraft. Details of the current MMPM system and payload configuration and their performance parameters will be shown.

  14. Tobacco and estrogen metabolic polymorphisms and risk of non-small cell lung cancer in women

    PubMed Central

    Cote, Michele L.; Yoo, Wonsuk; Wenzlaff, Angela S.; Prysak, Geoffrey M.; Santer, Susan K.; Claeys, Gina B.; Van Dyke, Alison L.; Land, Susan J.; Schwartz, Ann G.

    2009-01-01

    To explore the potential role for estrogen in lung cancer susceptibility, candidate single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in tobacco and estrogen metabolism genes were evaluated. Population-based cases (n = 504) included women aged 18–74, diagnosed with NSCLC in metropolitan Detroit between November 2001 and October 2005. Population-based controls (n = 527) were identified through random digit dialing and matched on race and age. Eleven SNPs in 10 different genes were examined in relation to risk: CYP1A1 Msp1, CYP1A1 Ile462Val, CYP1B1 Leu432Val, CYP17, CYP19A1, XRCC1 Gln399Arg, COMT Val158Met, NQO1 Pro187Ser, GSTM1, GSTT1 and GSTP1 Ile105Val. Lung cancer risk associated with individual SNPs was seen for GSTP1 [A allele; odds ratio (OR) = 1.85; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.04–3.27] and XRCC1 (A/A genotype; OR = 1.68; 95% CI, 1.01–2.79) in white women and CYP1B1 (G allele; OR = 11.1; 95% CI, 1.18–104) in black women smokers. White women smokers carrying two risk genotypes at the following loci were at increased risk of lung cancer compared with individuals not carrying risk alleles at these loci: CYP17 and GSTM1, COMT and GSTM1, CYP17 and GSTT1, XRCC1 and GSTP1, CYP1B1 and XRCC1 and COMT and XRCC1. The most parsimonious model of lung cancer risk in white smoking women included age, family history of lung cancer, history of chronic lung disease, pack-years, body mass index, XRCC1 A/A genotype, GSTM1 null and COMT A/G or G/G genotype. These findings support the need for continued study of estrogen in relation to lung cancer risk. Polymorphisms in the tobacco metabolism, estrogen metabolism and DNA repair pathways will be useful in developing more predictive models of individual risk. PMID:19174490

  15. Impact of COMT H108L, MAOB int 13 A>G and DRD2 haplotype on the susceptibility to Parkinson's disease in South Indian subjects.

    PubMed

    Kumudini, Nadella; Umai, Addepally; Devi, Yalavarthy Prameela; Naushad, Shaik Mohammad; Mridula, Rukmini; Borgohain, Rupam; Kutala, Vijay Kumar

    2013-10-01

    In view of documented evidence demonstrating the association of dopaminergic metabolism and neurotransmission with Parkinson's disease (PD), a case-control study was conducted to investigate the impact of particular polymorphisms in the catechol O-methyl transferase (COMT) H108L, monoamine oxidase B (MAOB) int 13 A>G, dopamine transporter 1 (DAT1) A1215G, dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) Taq1A, DRD2 Taq1B and DRD2 Taq1D genes on the susceptibility to PD. PCR-RFLP method was used for the genetic analysis. The COMT H108L polymorphism increased PD risk by 1.4-fold (95%CI: 1.02-1.98), whereas reduced risk was observed with MAOB int 13 A>G polymorphism (OR: 0.77, 95%CI: 0.51-0.99). Multifactor dimensionality reduction analysis showed gene-gene interactions between these two loci that resulted in loss of the protective role of MAOB G-allele in the presence of COMT L-allele. DAT1A1215G polymorphism in the exon 9 was not associated with PD. Individually, DRD2 polymorphisms showed null association. However, all-variant haplotype of DRD2 locus i.e. T-G-T haplotype showed 29.8-fold risk for PD compared to all-wild haplotype i.e., C-A-C haplotype (95%CI: 6.85-130.4). To conclude, genetic variants of COMT, MAOB and DRD2 loci modulate susceptibility to PD in South Indian subjects.

  16. Combined effect of CYP1B1, COMT, GSTP1, and MnSOD genotypes and risk of postmenopausal breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Cerne, Jasmina-Ziva; Pohar-Perme, Maja; Novakovic, Srdjan; Frkovic-Grazio, Snjezana; Stegel, Vida

    2011-01-01

    Objective Estrogen plays a key role in breast cancer development and functionally relevant genetic variants within the estrogen metabolic pathway are prime candidates for a possible association with breast cancer risk. We investigated the independent and the combined effects of commonly occurring polymorphisms in four genes encoding key proteins of estrogen metabolic pathway on their potential contribution to breast cancer risk. Methods We studied 530 breast cancer cases and 270 controls of the same age and ethnicity participating in a case-control study of postmenopausal women. Genotyping was conducted for CYP1B1 (rs1056836), COMT (rs4680), GSTP1 (rs1695), and MnSOD (rs4880) polymorphisms by polymerase chain reaction based restriction fragment length polymorphism and TaqMan allelic discrimination method. Adjusted ORs and 95% CIs were calculated using logistic regression. Results None of the 4 genetic variants examined contributed to breast cancer risk individually. When the combined effects of the risk genotypes were investigated, significant associations were observed among women with two high-risk genotypes in CYP1B1 and COMT (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.1 to 3.5) and two high-risk genotypes in COMT and MnSOD (OR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.0 to 3.8), compared to those with low-risk genotypes. Conclusion Our results suggest that individual susceptibility to breast cancer incidence may be increased by combined effects of the high-risk genotypes in CYP1B1, COMT, and MnSOD estrogen metabolic genes. PMID:21860737

  17. Yokukansan, a Traditional Japanese Medicine, Enhances the L-DOPA-Induced Rotational Response in 6-Hydroxydopamine-Lesioned Rats: Possible Inhibition of COMT.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Yasushi; Ebihara, Kosuke; Tabuchi, Masahiro; Imamura, Sachiko; Sekiguchi, Kyoji; Mizoguchi, Kazushige; Kase, Yoshio; Koganemaru, Go; Abe, Hiroshi; Ikarashi, Yasushi

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of the traditional Japanese medicine yokukansan (YKS) on the function of dopamine (DA) in the rat nigrostriatal system. Unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine lesions were produced in the rat nigrostriatal system. Despite a marked loss in the striatal immunoreactivity of tyrosine hydroxylase on the lesion side, striatal serotonin (5-HT) immunoreactivity was not affected. Treatment using L-3,4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (L-DOPA) in conjunction with benserazide for 15 d induced abnormal involuntary movements (AIMs) such as locomotive (rotational response), axial, forelimb, and orolingual movements in the lesioned rats. The L-DOPA-induced locomotive and axial, but not forelimb and orolingual, AIMs were significantly increased and prolonged by the pre-administration of YKS. We next investigated the effects of YKS on the production of DA from L-DOPA in 5-HT synthetic RIN 14B cells. RIN 14B cells produced DA and its metabolite, 3-methoxytyramine (3-MT), following L-DOPA treatment. YKS significantly augmented DA production and inhibited its metabolism to 3-MT in a manner similar to the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitor entacapone. YKS and some alkaloids (corynoxeine: CX, geissoschizine methyl ether: GM) in Uncaria hook, a constituent herb of YKS, also inhibited COMT activity, indicating that the augmenting effect of YKS on L-DOPA-induced DA production in 5-HT synthetic cells was due to the inhibition of COMT by CX and GM. Our results suggest that YKS facilitates the DA supplemental effect of L-DOPA, and that COMT inhibition by CX and GM contributes, at least in part, to the effects of YKS.

  18. The seasonal activity and the effect of mechanical bending and wounding on the PtCOMT promoter in Betula pendula Roth.

    PubMed

    Tiimonen, Heidi; Häggman, Hely; Tsai, Chung-Jui; Chiang, Vincent; Aronen, Tuija

    2007-08-01

    In this study, 900-bp (signed as p including nucleotides -1 to -886) and partly deleted (signed as dp including nucleotides -1 to -414) COMT (caffeate/5-hydroxyferulate O-methyltransferase) promoters from Populus tremuloides Michx. were fused to the GUS reporter gene, and the tissue-specific expression patterns of the promoters were determined in Betula pendula Roth along the growing season, and as a response to mechanical bending and wounding. The main activity of the PtCOMTp- and PtCOMTdp-promoters, determined by the histochemical GUS assay, was found in the developing xylem of stems during the 8th-13th week and in the developing xylem of roots in the 13th week of the growing season. The GUS expression patterns did not differ among the xylem cell types. The PtCOMT promoter-induced GUS expression observed in phloem fibres suggests a need for PtCOMT expression and thus syringyl (S) lignin synthesis in fibre lignification. However, the PtCOMTdp-promoter induced GUS expression in stem trichomes, which may contribute to the biosynthesis of phenylpropanoid pathway-derived compounds other than lignin. Finally, a strong GUS expression was induced by the PtCOMT promoters in response to mechanical stem bending but not to wounding. The lack of major differences between the PtCOMTp- and PtCOMTdp-promoters suggests that the deleted promoter sequence (including nucleotides -415 to -886) did not contain a significant regulatory element contributing to the GUS expression in young B. pendula trees.

  19. [MET receptor inhibition: Hope against resistance to targeted therapies?

    PubMed

    Hochart, Audrey; Leblond, Pierre; Le Bourhis, Xuefen; Meignan, Samuel; Tulasne, David

    2017-02-01

    Overcoming the drug resistance remains a crucial issue in cancer treatment. For refractory patients, the use of MET receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors seems to be hopeful. Indeed, important mechanisms underlying drug resistance argue for association of MET inhibitors with targeted therapies, both on first-line to prevent a primary resistance and on the second line to overcoming acquired resistance. Indeed, met gene amplification is the second most common alteration involved in acquired resistance to anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) therapies in non-small cells lung cancer (NSCLC). Hypoxia, for its part, can activate MET transcription and amplifies HGF signaling resulting in MET activation, which could be involved in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors escape. In HER2 positive breast cancers, MET amplification may also induce tumor cells a hatch escape, resulting in secondary resistance. Finally, some patients with BRAF mutated melanoma exhibit primary resistance to BRAF inhibition by stromal HGF (ligand of MET) secretion resulting in MET receptor activation. Experimental data highlight the role of MET in primary and secondary resistance and encourage combined treatments including MET inhibitors. In this context, several promising clinical trials are in progress in numerous cancers (NSCLC, melanoma, breast cancer, glioblastoma…) using combination of anti-MET and other specific therapies targeting EGFR, BRAF, VEGF or HER2. This review summarizes the potential benefits that MET inhibition should provide to patients with cancer refractory to targeted therapies.

  20. The modified obstetric metabolic equivalent (MET): finding a MET that fits in pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Campbell, C G; Foster, R C; Lanningham-Foster, L M; Smith, K M

    2012-06-01

    The Compendium of Physical Activities (CPA) provides the energy expenditure (EE) for hundreds of daily activities reported in metabolic equivalents (MET). It remains to be determined if the metabolic changes of pregnancy alter the use of the CPA MET (METCPA) in this population. The energy cost of rest, activities of daily living (ADL; typing, folding laundry and sweeping) and treadmill walking [2.0, 2.5, 3.0 mph (0% incline), 3.0 mph (3% incline)] were compared with the METCPA from the 2000 and 2011 CPA in 30 pregnant women (10-14 weeks gestation) using indirect calorimetry (IC). The METCPA for each activity was compared against two measured IC values: METabsolute (3.5 ml O2/kg/min) and METratio (EEactivity/EErest). Means for both comparisons were tested by one-sample t-test. Measured MET correlated with the 2011 METCPA: METabsolute v. METCPA R 2 = 0.906, P < 0.0001; METratio v. METCPA R 2 = 0.861, P < 0.0001. Differences between measured MET values and the 2011 METCPA ranged from 16% underestimation to 48% overestimation. Using the absolute definition, the METCPA significantly overestimated the ADL (P < 0.0005); yet, no significant differences were found between walking at 0% grade and METCPA. Conversely, only folding laundry was significantly different with the ratio definition, whereas walking at a level grade was significantly underestimated (P < 0.0001). Similar observations were found using the 2000 CPA. The use of the METCPA to estimate EE in pregnant women can result in significant over- or underestimation, depending on the activity and the definition of the MET that is used.

  1. MET: roles in epithelial-mesenchymal transition and cancer stemness

    PubMed Central

    Jeon, Hye-Min

    2017-01-01

    In a number of cancers, deregulated MET pathway leads to aberrantly activated proliferative and invasive signaling programs that promote malignant transformation, cell motility and migration, angiogenesis, survival in hypoxia, and invasion. A better understanding of oncogenic MET signaling will help us to discover effective therapeutic approaches and to identify which tumors are likely to respond to MET-targeted cancer therapy. In this review, we will summarize the roles of MET signaling in cancer, with particular focus on epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer stemness. Then, we will provide update on MET targeting agents and discuss the challenges that should be overcome for the development of an effective therapy. PMID:28164090

  2. Commonly-occurring polymorphisms in the COMT, DRD1 and DRD2 genes influence different aspects of motor sequence learning in humans.

    PubMed

    Baetu, Irina; Burns, Nicholas R; Urry, Kristi; Barbante, Girolamo Giovanni; Pitcher, Julia B

    2015-11-01

    Performing sequences of movements is a ubiquitous skill that involves dopamine transmission. However, it is unclear which components of the dopamine system contribute to which aspects of motor sequence learning. Here we used a genetic approach to investigate the relationship between different components of the dopamine system and specific aspects of sequence learning in humans. In particular, we investigated variations in genes that code for the catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) enzyme, the dopamine transporter (DAT) and dopamine D1 and D2 receptors (DRD1 and DRD2). COMT and the DAT regulate dopamine availability in the prefrontal cortex and the striatum, respectively, two key regions recruited during learning, whereas dopamine D1 and D2 receptors are thought to be involved in long-term potentiation and depression, respectively. We show that polymorphisms in the COMT, DRD1 and DRD2 genes differentially affect behavioral performance on a sequence learning task in 161 Caucasian participants. The DRD1 polymorphism predicted the ability to learn new sequences, the DRD2 polymorphism predicted the ability to perform a previously learnt sequence after performing interfering random movements, whereas the COMT polymorphism predicted the ability to switch flexibly between two sequences. We used computer simulations to explore potential mechanisms underlying these effects, which revealed that the DRD1 and DRD2 effects are possibly related to neuroplasticity. Our prediction-error algorithm estimated faster rates of connection strengthening in genotype groups with presumably higher D1 receptor densities, and faster rates of connection weakening in genotype groups with presumably higher D2 receptor densities. Consistent with current dopamine theories, these simulations suggest that D1-mediated neuroplasticity contributes to learning to select appropriate actions, whereas D2-mediated neuroplasticity is involved in learning to inhibit incorrect action plans. However, the

  3. Detoxication of structurally diverse polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) o-quinones by human recombinant catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) via O-methylation of PAH catechols.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li; Jin, Yi; Chen, Mo; Huang, Meng; Harvey, Ronald G; Blair, Ian A; Penning, Trevor M

    2011-07-22

    Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) are environmental and tobacco carcinogens. Metabolic activation of intermediate PAH trans-dihydrodiols by aldo-keto reductases (AKRs) leads to the formation of electrophilic and redox-active o-quinones. We investigated whether O-methylation by human recombinant soluble catechol-O-methyltransferase (S-COMT) is a feasible detoxication step for a panel of structurally diverse PAH-catechols produced during the redox-cycling process. Classes of PAH non-K-region o-quinones (bay region, methylated bay region, and fjord region o-quinones) produced by AKRs were employed in the studies. PAH o-quinones were reduced to the corresponding catechols by dithiothreitol under anaerobic conditions and then further O-methylated by human S-COMT in the presence of S-[³H]adenosyl-l-methionine as a methyl group donor. The formation of the O-methylated catechols was detected by HPLC-UV coupled with in-line radiometric detection, and unlabeled products were also characterized by LC-MS/MS. Human S-COMT was able to catalyze O-methylation of all of the PAH-catechols and generated two isomeric metabolites in different proportions. LC-MS/MS showed that each isomer was a mono-O-methylated metabolite. ¹H NMR was used to assign the predominant positional isomer of benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-catechol as the O-8-monomethylated catechol. The catalytic efficiency (k(cat)/K(m)) varied among different classes of PAH-catechols by 500-fold. The ability of S-COMT to produce two isomeric products from PAH-catechols was rationalized using the crystal structure of the enzyme. We provide evidence that O-8-monomethylated benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-catechol is formed in three different human lung cell lines. It is concluded that human S-COMT may play a critical role in the detoxication of PAH o-quinones generated by AKRs.

  4. Depleting MET-Expressing Tumor Cells by ADCC Provides a Therapeutic Advantage over Inhibiting HGF/MET Signaling.

    PubMed

    Hultberg, Anna; Morello, Virginia; Huyghe, Leander; De Jonge, Natalie; Blanchetot, Christophe; Hanssens, Valérie; De Boeck, Gitte; Silence, Karen; Festjens, Els; Heukers, Raimond; Roux, Benjamin; Lamballe, Fabienne; Ginestier, Christophe; Charafe-Jauffret, Emmanuelle; Maina, Flavio; Brouckaert, Peter; Saunders, Michael; Thibault, Alain; Dreier, Torsten; de Haard, Hans; Michieli, Paolo

    2015-08-15

    Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor MET represent validated targets for cancer therapy. However, HGF/MET inhibitors being explored as cancer therapeutics exhibit cytostatic activity rather than cytotoxic activity, which would be more desired. In this study, we engineered an antagonistic anti-MET antibody that, in addition to blocking HGF/MET signaling, also kills MET-overexpressing cancer cells by antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC). As a control reagent, we engineered the same antibody in an ADCC-inactive form that is similarly capable of blocking HGF/MET activity, but in the absence of any effector function. In comparing these two antibodies in multiple mouse models of cancer, including HGF-dependent and -independent tumor xenografts, we determined that the ADCC-enhanced antibody was more efficacious than the ADCC-inactive antibody. In orthotopic mammary carcinoma models, ADCC enhancement was crucial to deplete circulating tumor cells and to suppress metastases. Prompted by these results, we optimized the ADCC-enhanced molecule for clinical development, generating an antibody (ARGX-111) with improved pharmacologic properties. ARGX-111 competed with HGF for MET binding, inhibiting ligand-dependent MET activity, downregulated cell surface expression of MET, curbing HGF-independent MET activity, and engaged natural killer cells to kill MET-expressing cancer cells, displaying MET-specific cytotoxic activity. ADCC assays confirmed the cytotoxic effects of ARGX-111 in multiple human cancer cell lines and patient-derived primary tumor specimens, including MET-expressing cancer stem-like cells. Together, our results show how ADCC provides a therapeutic advantage over conventional HGF/MET signaling blockade and generates proof-of-concept for ARGX-111 clinical testing in MET-positive oncologic malignancies.

  5. Polymorphisms in Phase I and Phase II genes and breast cancer risk and relations to persistent organic pollutant exposure: a case–control study in Inuit women

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background We have previously reported that chemicals belonging to the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) such as perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are risk factors in Breast Cancer (BC) development in Greenlandic Inuit women. The present case–control study aimed to investigate the main effect of polymorphisms in genes involved in xenobiotic metabolism and estrogen biosynthesis, CYP1A1, CYP1B1, COMT and CYP17, CYP19 and the BRCA1 founder mutation in relation to BC risk and to explore possible interactions between the gene polymorphisms and serum POP levels on BC risk in Greenlandic Inuit women. Methods The study population consisted of 31 BC cases and 115 matched controls, with information on serum levels of POPs. Genotyping was conducted for CYP1A1 (Ile462Val; rs1048943), CYP1B1 (Leu432Val; rs1056836), COMT (Val158Met; rs4680), CYP17A1 (A1> A2; rs743572); CYP19A1 (C> T; rs10046) and CYP19A1 ((TTTA)n repeats) polymorphisms and BRCA1 founder mutation using TaqMan allelic discrimination method and polymerase chain reaction based restriction fragment length polymorphism. The χ2 –test was used to compare categorical variables between cases and controls and the odds ratios were estimated by unconditional logistic regression models. Results We found an independent association of CYP1A1 (Val) and CYP17 (A1) with BC risk. Furthermore, an increased BC risk was observed for women with high serum levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and carriers of at least: one CYP1A1 variant Val allele; one variant COMT Met allele; or the common CYP17 A1 allele. No combined effects were seen between PFAS exposure and CYP1B1 and CYP19 polymorphisms. The risk of BC was not found significantly associated with exposure to PCBs and OCPs, regardless of genotype for all investigated SNPs. The frequency of the Greenlandic founder mutation in BRCA1 was as expected higher in cases than in controls. Conclusions The

  6. An under-met and over-met expectations model of employee reactions to merit raises.

    PubMed

    Schaubroeck, John; Shaw, Jason D; Duffy, Michelle K; Mitra, Atul

    2008-03-01

    The authors developed a model of how raise expectations influence the relationship between merit pay raises and employee reactions and tested it using a sample of hospital employees. Pay-for-performance (PFP) perceptions were consistently related to personal reactions (e.g., pay raise happiness, pay-level satisfaction, and turnover intentions). Merit pay raises were strongly related to reactions only among employees with high raise expectations and high PFP perceptions. The interactive effects of under-met/over-met expectations and PFP perceptions were mediated by the extent to which participants saw the raise as generous and they were happy with the raises they received. The authors discuss the implications of these findings for expectation-fulfillment theories, merit pay research, and the administration of incentives.

  7. USP8 modulates ubiquitination of LRIG1 for Met degradation.

    PubMed

    Oh, Young Mi; Lee, Saet Byoul; Choi, Jaehyun; Suh, Hye-Young; Shim, Seonhui; Song, Yun-Jeong; Kim, Bogyou; Lee, Ji Min; Oh, Seung Ja; Jeong, Yunju; Cheong, Kwang Ho; Song, Paul H; Kim, Kyung-Ah

    2014-05-15

    The Met receptor tyrosine kinase is an attractive target for cancer therapy as it promotes invasive tumor growth. SAIT301 is a novel anti-Met antibody, which induces LRIG1-mediated Met degradation and inhibits tumor growth. However, detailed downstream mechanism by which LRIG1 mediates target protein down-regulation is unknown. In the present study, we discovered that SAIT301 induces ubiquitination of LRIG1, which in turn promotes recruitment of Met and LRIG1 complex to the lysosome through its interaction with Hrs, resulting in concomitant degradation of both LRIG1 and Met. We also identified USP8 as a LRIG1-specific deubiquitinating enzyme, reporting the interaction between USP8 and LRIG1 for the first time. SAIT301 triggers degradation of LRIG1 by inhibiting the interaction of LRIG1 and USP8, which regulates ubiquitin modification and stability of LRIG1. In summary, SAIT301 employs ubiquitination of LRIG1 for its highly effective Met degradation. This unique feature of SAIT301 enables it to function as a fully antagonistic antibody without Met activation. We found that USP8 is involved in deubiquitination of LRIG1, influencing the efficiency of Met degradation. The relation of Met, LRIG1 and USP8 strongly supports the potential clinical benefit of a combination treatment of a USP8 inhibitor and a Met inhibitor, such as SAIT301.

  8. 3D RoboMET Characterization

    SciTech Connect

    Madison, Jonathan D.; Susan, Donald F.; Kilgo, Alice C.

    2015-10-01

    The goal of this project is to generate 3D microstructural data by destructive and non-destructive means and provide accompanying characterization and quantitative analysis of such data. This work is a continuing part of a larger effort to relate material performance variability to microstructural variability. That larger effort is called “Predicting Performance Margins” or PPM. In conjunction with that overarching initiative, the RoboMET.3D™ is a specific asset of Center 1800 and is an automated serialsectioning system for destructive analysis of microstructure, which is called upon to provide direct customer support to 1800 and non-1800 customers. To that end, data collection, 3d reconstruction and analysis of typical and atypical microstructures have been pursued for the purposes of qualitative and quantitative characterization with a goal toward linking microstructural defects and/or microstructural features with mechanical response. Material systems examined in FY15 include precipitation hardened 17-4 steel, laser-welds of 304L stainless steel, thermal spray coatings of 304L and geological samples of sandstone.

  9. Effective implementation of novel MET pharmacodynamic assays in translational studies

    PubMed Central

    Navas, Tony; Herrick, William G.; Hollingshead, Melinda G.; Bottaro, Donald P.; Doroshow, James H.; Parchment, Ralph E.

    2017-01-01

    MET tyrosine kinase (TK) dysregulation is significantly implicated in many types of cancer. Despite over 20 years of drug development to target MET in cancers, a pure anti-MET therapeutic has not yet received market approval. The failure of two recently concluded phase III trials point to a major weakness in biomarker strategies to identify patients who will benefit most from MET therapies. The capability to interrogate oncogenic mutations in MET via circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) provides an important advancement in identification and stratification of patients for MET therapy. However, a wide range in type and frequency of these mutations suggest there is a need to carefully link these mutations to MET dysregulation, at least in proof-of-concept studies. In this review, we elaborate how we can utilize recently developed and validated pharmacodynamic biomarkers of MET not only to show target engagement, but more importantly to quantitatively measure MET dysregulation in tumor tissues. The MET assay endpoints provide evidence of both canonical and non-canonical MET signaling, can be used as “effect markers” to define biologically effective doses (BEDs) for molecularly targeted drugs, confirm mechanism-of-action in testing combination of drugs, and establish whether a diagnostic test is reporting MET dysregulation. We have established standard operating procedures for tumor biopsy collections to control pre-analytical variables that have produced valid results in proof-of-concept studies. The reagents and procedures are made available to the research community for potential implementation on multiple platforms such as ELISA, quantitative immunofluorescence assay (qIFA), and immuno-MRM assays. PMID:28164088

  10. MET Inhibition in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Zuoquan; Lee, Young H.; Boeke, Marta; Jilaveanu, Lucia B.; Liu, Zongzhi; Bottaro, Donald P.; Kluger, Harriet M.; Shuch, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Background: Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most lethal form of kidney cancer. Small molecule VEGFR inhibitors are widely used but are not curative and various resistance mechanisms such as activation of the MET pathway have been described. Dual MET/VEGFR2 inhibitors have recently shown clinical benefit but limited preclinical data evaluates their effects in ccRCC. Methods: An interrogation of the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset was performed to evaluate oncogenic alterations in the MET/VEGFR2 pathway. We evaluated the in vitro effects of Cabozantinib, a dual MET/VEGFR2 inhibitor, using a panel of ccRCC cell lines. Drug effects of cell viability and proliferation, migration, cell scatter, anchorage independent growth, and downstream MET/VEGFR2 signaling pathways were assessed. Results: Twelve percent of TCGA cases had possible MET/HGF oncogenic alterations with co-occurrence noted (p<0.001). MET/HGF altered cases had worse overall survival (p=0.044). Cabozantinib was a potent inhibitor of MET and VEGFR2 in vitro in our cell line panel. PI3K, MAPK and mTOR pathways were also suppressed by cabozantinib, however the effects on cell viability in vitro were modest. At nanomolar concentrations of cabozantinib, HGF-stimulated migration, invasion, cellular scattering and soft agar colony formation were inhibited. Conclusions: We provide further preclinical rationale for dual MET/VEGFR2 inhibition in ccRCC. While the MET pathway is implicated in VEGFR resistance, dual inhibitors may have direct anti-tumor effects in a patient subset with evidence of MET pathway involvement. Cabozantinib is a potent dual MET/VEGFR2 inhibitor, significantly inhibits cell migration and invasion in vitro and likely has anti-angiogenic effects similar to other VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Future work involving in vivo models will be useful to better define mechanisms of potential anti-tumor activity. PMID:27390595

  11. Training with Simulated Team Members (Trainen met Gesimuleerde Teamieden).

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    can only be integrated when team members are training together. And this improves the transfer of knowledge and skills. Practising with simulated team...And this improves the transfer of knowledge and skills. Practising with simulated team members offers the advantages of training apart and training...respectievelijke taken perfect uitvoeren. In dat geval is trainen met gesimuleerde teamleden vergelijkbaar met trainen met ervaren teamleden (vgl

  12. HGF-MET in cancer progression and biomarker discovery.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Kunio; Umitsu, Masataka; De Silva, Dinuka M; Roy, Arpita; Bottaro, Donald P

    2017-01-08

    Signaling driven by hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and MET receptor facilitates conspicuous biological responses such as epithelial cell migration, 3-D morphogenesis, and survival. The dynamic migration and promotion of cell survival induced by MET activation are bases respectively for invasion-metastasis and resistance against targeted drugs in cancers. Recent studies indicated that MET in tumor-derived exosomes facilitates metastatic niche formation and metastasis in malignant melanoma. In lung cancer, gene amplification-induced MET activation and ligand-dependent MET activation in autocrine/paracrine manner are causes for resistance to EGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors and ALK inhibitors. HGF secreted in the tumor microenvironment contributes to the innate and acquired resistance to RAF inhibitors. Changes in serum/plasma HGF, soluble MET, and phosphor-MET have been confirmed to be associated with disease progression, metastasis, therapy response, and survival. Higher serum/plasma HGF levels are associated with therapy resistance and/or metastasis, while lower HGF levels are associated with progression-free survival and overall survival after treatment with targeted drugs in lung cancer, gastric cancer, colon cancer, and malignant melanoma. Urinary soluble MET levels in patients with bladder cancer are higher than those in patients without bladder cancer and associated with disease progression. Some of the multi-kinase inhibitors that target MET have received regulatory approval, whereas none of the selective HGF-MET inhibitors have shown efficacy in phase III clinical trials. Validation of the HGF-MET pathway as a critical driver in cancer development/progression and utilization of appropriate biomarkers are key to development and approval of HGF-MET inhibitors for clinical use. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  13. Mars MetNet Mission Pressure and Humidity Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haukka, H.; Harri, A.-M.; Schmidt, W.; Genzer, M.; Polkko, J.; Kemppinen, O.; Leinonen, J.

    2012-09-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is being developed in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission [1] is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). MetBaro and MetHumi are part of the scientific payload of the MNL. Main scientific goal of both devices is to measure the meteorological phenomena (pressure and humidity) of the Martian atmosphere and complement the previous Mars mission atmospheric measurements (Viking and Phoenix) for better understanding of the Martian atmospheric conditions.

  14. Over-expression of a human chromosome 22q11.2 segment including TXNRD2, COMT and ARVCF developmentally affects incentive learning and working memory in mice.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Go; Harper, Kathryn M; Hiramoto, Takeshi; Funke, Birgit; Lee, MoonSook; Kang, Gina; Buell, Mahalah; Geyer, Mark A; Kucherlapati, Raju; Morrow, Bernice; Männistö, Pekka T; Agatsuma, Soh; Hiroi, Noboru

    2009-10-15

    Duplication of human chromosome 22q11.2 is associated with elevated rates of mental retardation, autism and many other behavioral phenotypes. However, because duplications cover 1.5-6 Mb, the precise manner in which segments of 22q11.2 causally affect behavior is not known in humans. We have now determined the developmental impact of over-expression of an approximately 190 kb segment of human 22q11.2, which includes the genes TXNRD2, COMT and ARVCF, on behaviors in bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic (TG) mice. BAC TG mice and wild-type (WT) mice were tested for their cognitive capacities, affect- and stress-related behaviors and motor activity at 1 and 2 months of age. An enzymatic assay determined the impact of BAC over-expression on the activity level of COMT. BAC TG mice approached a rewarded goal faster (i.e. incentive learning), but were impaired in delayed rewarded alternation during development. In contrast, BAC TG and WT mice were indistinguishable in rewarded alternation without delays, spontaneous alternation, prepulse inhibition, social interaction, anxiety-, stress- and fear-related behaviors and motor activity. Compared with WT mice, BAC TG mice had an approximately 2-fold higher level of COMT activity in the prefrontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus. These data suggest that over-expression of this 22q11.2 segment enhances incentive learning and impairs the prolonged maintenance of working memory, but has no apparent effect on working memory per se, affect- and stress-related behaviors or motor capacity. High copy numbers of this 22q11.2 segment might contribute to a highly selective set of phenotypes in learning and cognition during development.

  15. Response to MET inhibitors in patients with stage IV lung adenocarcinomas harboring MET mutations causing exon 14 skipping

    PubMed Central

    Paik, Paul K.; Drilon, Alexander; Fan, Pang-Dian; Yu, Helena; Rekhtman, Natasha; Ginsberg, Michelle S.; Borsu, Laetitia; Schultz, Nikolaus; Berger, Michael F.; Rudin, Charles M.; Ladanyi, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Mutations in the MET exon 14 RNA splice acceptor and donor sites, which lead to exon skipping, deletion of the juxtamembrane domain containing the Cbl E3-ubiquitin ligase binding site, and decreased turnover of the resultant aberrant MET protein, were previously reported to be oncogenic in preclinical models. We now report responses to the MET inhibitors crizotinib and cabozantinib in four patients with stage IV lung adenocarcinomas harboring mutations leading to MET exon 14 skipping, highlighting a new therapeutic strategy for the 4% of lung adenocarcinoma patients whose tumors harbor this previously underappreciated genetic alteration. PMID:25971939

  16. Dopamine and the Creative Mind: Individual Differences in Creativity Are Predicted by Interactions between Dopamine Genes DAT and COMT.

    PubMed

    Zabelina, Darya L; Colzato, Lorenza; Beeman, Mark; Hommel, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    The dopaminergic (DA) system may be involved in creativity, however results of past studies are mixed. We attempted to clarify this putative relation by considering the mediofrontal and the nigrostriatal DA pathways, uniquely and in combination, and their contribution to two different measures of creativity--an abbreviated version of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, assessing divergent thinking, and a real-world creative achievement index. We found that creativity can be predicted from interactions between genetic polymorphisms related to frontal (COMT) and striatal (DAT) DA pathways. Importantly, the Torrance test and the real-world creative achievement index related to different genetic patterns, suggesting that these two measures tap into different aspects of creativity, and depend on distinct, but interacting, DA sub-systems. Specifically, we report that successful performance on the Torrance test is linked with dopaminergic polymorphisms associated with good cognitive flexibility and medium top-down control, or with weak cognitive flexibility and strong top-down control. The latter is particularly true for the originality factor of divergent thinking. High real-world creative achievement, on the other hand, as assessed by the Creative Achievement Questionnaire, is linked with dopaminergic polymorphisms associated with weak cognitive flexibility and weak top-down control. Taken altogether, our findings support the idea that human creativity relies on dopamine, and on the interaction between frontal and striatal dopaminergic pathways in particular. This interaction may help clarify some apparent inconsistencies in the prior literature, especially if the genes and/or creativity measures were analyzed separately.

  17. Dopamine and the Creative Mind: Individual Differences in Creativity Are Predicted by Interactions between Dopamine Genes DAT and COMT

    PubMed Central

    Zabelina, Darya L.; Colzato, Lorenza; Beeman, Mark; Hommel, Bernhard

    2016-01-01

    The dopaminergic (DA) system may be involved in creativity, however results of past studies are mixed. We attempted to clarify this putative relation by considering the mediofrontal and the nigrostriatal DA pathways, uniquely and in combination, and their contribution to two different measures of creativity–an abbreviated version of the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking, assessing divergent thinking, and a real-world creative achievement index. We found that creativity can be predicted from interactions between genetic polymorphisms related to frontal (COMT) and striatal (DAT) DA pathways. Importantly, the Torrance test and the real-world creative achievement index related to different genetic patterns, suggesting that these two measures tap into different aspects of creativity, and depend on distinct, but interacting, DA sub-systems. Specifically, we report that successful performance on the Torrance test is linked with dopaminergic polymorphisms associated with good cognitive flexibility and medium top-down control, or with weak cognitive flexibility and strong top-down control. The latter is particularly true for the originality factor of divergent thinking. High real-world creative achievement, on the other hand, as assessed by the Creative Achievement Questionnaire, is linked with dopaminergic polymorphisms associated with weak cognitive flexibility and weak top-down control. Taken altogether, our findings support the idea that human creativity relies on dopamine, and on the interaction between frontal and striatal dopaminergic pathways in particular. This interaction may help clarify some apparent inconsistencies in the prior literature, especially if the genes and/or creativity measures were analyzed separately. PMID:26783754

  18. Success, but Slowly, as Met School Redefines Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearson, George

    2012-01-01

    Seven Oaks Met School, the only high school in Canada that is part of the U.S.-based Big Picture Learning network of innovative schools, graduated its first class this spring. Internships with businesses and institutions in the community are a core element of the Met School experience. Students report on their internship experience, as well as on…

  19. MET-EGFR dimerization in lung adenocarcinoma is dependent on EGFR mtations and altered by MET kinase inhibition

    PubMed Central

    Owen, William; Weitsman, Gregory; Fruhwirth, Gilbert; Dunn, Robert G.; Neat, Michael J.; McCaughan, Frank; Parker, Peter; Ng, Tony; Santis, George

    2017-01-01

    Advanced lung cancer has poor survival with few therapies. EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have high response rates in patients with activating EGFR mutations, but acquired resistance is inevitable. Acquisition of the EGFR T790M mutation causes over 50% of resistance; MET amplification is also common. Preclinical data suggest synergy between MET and EGFR inhibitors. We hypothesized that EGFR-MET dimerization determines response to MET inhibition, depending on EGFR mutation status, independently of MET copy number. We tested this hypothesis by generating isogenic cell lines from NCI-H1975 cells, which co-express L858R and T790M EGFR mutations, namely H1975L858R/T790M (EGFR TKI resistant); H1975L858R (sensitized) and H1975WT (wild-type). We assessed cell proliferation in vitro and tumor growth/stroma formation in derived xenograft models in response to a MET TKI (SGX523) and correlated with EGFR-MET dimerization assessed by Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET). SGX523 significantly reduced H1975L858R/T790M cell proliferation, xenograft tumor growth and decreased ERK phosphorylation. The same was not seen in H1975L858R or H1975WT cells. SGX523 only reduced stroma formation in H1975L858R. SGX523 reduced EGFR-MET dimerization in H1975L858R/T790M but induced dimer formation in H1975L858R with no effect in H1975WT. Our data suggests that MET inhibition by SGX523 and EGFR-MET heterodimerisation are determined by EGFR genotype. As tumor behaviour is modulated by this interaction, this could determine treatment efficacy. PMID:28141869

  20. Epistatic interactions involving DRD2, DRD4, and COMT polymorphisms and risk of substance abuse in women with binge-purge eating disturbances.

    PubMed

    Steiger, Howard; Thaler, Lea; Gauvin, Lise; Joober, Ridha; Labbe, Aurelie; Israel, Mimi; Kucer, Audrey

    2016-06-01

    Substance abuse is common in individuals with bulimia-spectrum (binge-purge) eating disturbances, a co-occurrence that has been attributed to shared neurobiological substrates--notably alterations in dopaminergic activity. We examined the implications of variations of selected, dopamine-relevant polymorphisms (DRD2 Taq1A, DRD4 7R, and COMT) for risk of substance abuse in women with binge-purge eating syndromes. We genotyped 183 women (66.1% showing full-threshold BN and 33.9% showing sub-syndromic variants), and assessed lifetime presence of alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, and stimulant abuse or dependence using structured interviews. Tests for main and interaction effects of various allele combinations revealed that individuals who carried high function COMT and low-function DRD4 7R alleles (a combination expected to be associated with higher risk) did indeed show more lifetime substance abuse and, specifically, more cannabis abuse. Our findings suggest that a gene combination that, in theory, codes for low levels of dopaminergic neurotransmission coincides with sensitivity to substance abuse in a sample displaying binge-purge eating-disorder variants.

  1. Virus-induced silencing of Comt, pAmt and Kas genes results in a reduction of capsaicinoid accumulation in chili pepper fruits.

    PubMed

    del Rosario Abraham-Juárez, Ma; del Carmen Rocha-Granados, Ma; López, Mercedes G; Rivera-Bustamante, Rafael Francisco; Ochoa-Alejo, Neftalí

    2008-02-01

    Capsaicinoids are responsible for the pungent taste of chili pepper fruits of Capsicum species. Capsaicinoids are biosynthesized through both the phenylpropanoid and the branched-fatty acids pathways. Fragments of Comt (encoding a caffeic acid O-methyltransferase), pAmt (a putative aminotransferase), and Kas (a beta-keto-acyl-[acyl-carrier-protein] synthase) genes, that are differentially expressed in placenta tissue of pungent chili pepper, were individually inserted into a Pepper huasteco yellow veins virus (PHYVV)-derived vector to determine, by virus-induced gene silencing, irrespective of whether these genes are involved in the biosynthesis of capsaicinoids. Reduction of the respective mRNA levels as well as the presence of related siRNAs confirmed the silencing of these three genes. Morphological alterations were evident in plants inoculated with PHYVV::Comt and PHYVV::Kas constructs; however, plants inoculated with PHYVV::pAmt showed no evident alterations. On the other hand, fruit setting was normal in all cases. Biochemical analysis of placenta tissues showed that, indeed, independent silencing of all three genes led to a dramatic reduction in capsaicinoid content in the fruits demonstrating the participation of these genes in capsaicinoid biosynthesis. Using this approach it was possible to generate non-pungent chili peppers at high efficiency.

  2. A potyvirus-based gene vector allows producing active human S-COMT and animal GFP, but not human sorcin, in vector-infected plants.

    PubMed

    Kelloniemi, Jani; Mäkinen, Kristiina; Valkonen, Jari P T

    2006-05-01

    Potato virus A (PVA), a potyvirus with a (+)ssRNA genome translated to a large polyprotein, was engineered and used as a gene vector for expression of heterologous proteins in plants. Foreign genes including jellyfish GFP (Aequorea victoria) encoding the green fluorescent protein (GFP, 27 kDa) and the genes of human origin (Homo sapiens) encoding a soluble resistance-related calcium-binding protein (sorcin, 22 kDa) and the catechol-O-methyltransferase (S-COMT; 25 kDa) were cloned between the cistrons for the viral replicase and coat protein (CP). The inserts caused no adverse effects on viral infectivity and virulence, and the inserted sequences remained intact in progeny viruses in the systemically infected leaves. The heterologous proteins were released from the viral polyprotein following cleavage by the main viral proteinase, NIa, at engineered proteolytic processing sites flanking the insert. Active GFP, as indicated by green fluorescence, and S-COMT with high levels of enzymatic activity were produced. In contrast, no sorcin was detected despite the expected equimolar amounts of the foreign and viral proteins being expressed as a polyprotein. These data reveal inherent differences between heterologous proteins in their suitability for production in plants.

  3. COMT inhibition with tolcapone in the treatment algorithm of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD): relevance for motor and non-motor features

    PubMed Central

    Antonini, Angelo; Abbruzzese, Giovanni; Barone, Paolo; Bonuccelli, Ubaldo; Lopiano, Leonardo; Onofrj, Marco; Zappia, Mario; Quattrone, Aldo

    2008-01-01

    Levodopa is the most effective treatment in Parkinson’s disease and the association with COMT inhibitors widens its plasma bioavailability and effectiveness. Tolcapone is a potent COMT inhibitor whose utilization in PD is limited due to safety concerns on liver toxicity. However, recent data indicate that if liver function is actively monitored, tolerability is no worse than other currently available therapies. By contrast, administration of tolcapone is associated with significant clinical improvement and benefit involves also non-motor features. In this review we discuss the rationale for the use of tolcapone in association with levodopa and other treatments in PD, and we provide an indirect comparison of current strategies to reduce “off” time. We propose that future guidelines include a trial with tolcapone in all PD patients who continue to complain about motor fluctuations despite treatment with entacapone and/or MAO-B inhibitors. Moreover, we suggest that tolcapone should be considered before surgical or infusional strategies are applied. PMID:18728767

  4. Structural Diversity in the AdoMet Radical Enzyme Superfamily

    PubMed Central

    Dowling, Daniel P.; Vey, Jessica L.; Croft, Anna K.; Drennan, Catherine L.

    2012-01-01

    AdoMet radical enzymes are involved in processes such as cofactor biosynthesis, anaerobic metabolism, and natural product biosynthesis. These enzymes utilize the reductive cleavage of S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) to afford L-methionine and a transient 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical, which subsequently generates a substrate radical species. By harnessing radical reactivity, the AdoMet radical enzyme superfamily is responsible for an incredible diversity of chemical transformations. Structural analysis reveals that family members adopt a full or partial Triose-phosphate Isomerase Mutase (TIM) barrel protein fold, containing core motifs responsible for binding a catalytic [4Fe-4S] cluster and AdoMet. Here we evaluate over twenty structures of AdoMet radical enzymes and classify them into two categories: traditional and ThiC-like (named for the structure of 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine phosphate synthase (ThiC)). In light of new structural data, we reexamine the traditional structural motifs responsible for binding the [4Fe-4S] cluster and AdoMet, and compare and contrast these motifs with the ThiC case. We also review how structural data combine with biochemical, spectroscopic, and computational data to help us understand key features of this enzyme superfamily, such as the energetics, the triggering, and the molecular mechanisms of AdoMet reductive cleavage. PMID:22579873

  5. Mutations Preventing Regulated Exon Skipping in MET Cause Osteofibrous Dysplasia

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Mary J.; Kannu, Peter; Sharma, Swarkar; Neyt, Christine; Zhang, Dongping; Paria, Nandina; Daniel, Philip B.; Whetstone, Heather; Sprenger, Hans-Georg; Hammerschmidt, Philipp; Weng, Angela; Dupuis, Lucie; Jobling, Rebekah; Mendoza-Londono, Roberto; Dray, Michael; Su, Peiqiang; Wilson, Megan J.; Kapur, Raj P.; McCarthy, Edward F.; Alman, Benjamin A.; Howard, Andrew; Somers, Gino R.; Marshall, Christian R.; Manners, Simon; Flanagan, Adrienne M.; Rathjen, Karl E.; Karol, Lori A.; Crawford, Haemish; Markie, David M.; Rios, Jonathan J.; Wise, Carol A.; Robertson, Stephen P.

    2015-01-01

    The periosteum contributes to bone repair and maintenance of cortical bone mass. In contrast to the understanding of bone development within the epiphyseal growth plate, factors that regulate periosteal osteogenesis have not been studied as intensively. Osteofibrous dysplasia (OFD) is a congenital disorder of osteogenesis and is typically sporadic and characterized by radiolucent lesions affecting the cortical bone immediately under the periosteum of the tibia and fibula. We identified germline mutations in MET, encoding a receptor tyrosine kinase, that segregate with an autosomal-dominant form of OFD in three families and a mutation in a fourth affected subject from a simplex family and with bilateral disease. Mutations identified in all families with dominant inheritance and in the one simplex subject with bilateral disease abolished the splice inclusion of exon 14 in MET transcripts, which resulted in a MET receptor (METΔ14) lacking a cytoplasmic juxtamembrane domain. Splice exclusion of this domain occurs during normal embryonic development, and forced induction of this exon-exclusion event retarded osteoblastic differentiation in vitro and inhibited bone-matrix mineralization. In an additional subject with unilateral OFD, we identified a somatic MET mutation, also affecting exon 14, that substituted a tyrosine residue critical for MET receptor turnover and, as in the case of the METΔ14 mutations, had a stabilizing effect on the mature protein. Taken together, these data show that aberrant MET regulation via the juxtamembrane domain subverts core MET receptor functions that regulate osteogenesis within cortical diaphyseal bone. PMID:26637977

  6. MET2 affects production of hydrogen sulfide during wine fermentation.

    PubMed

    Huang, Chien; Roncoroni, Miguel; Gardner, Richard C

    2014-08-01

    The production of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) during yeast fermentation contributes negatively to wine aroma. We have mapped naturally occurring mutations in commercial wine strains that affect production of H2S. A dominant R310G mutant allele of MET2, which encodes homoserine O-acetyltransferase, is present in several wine yeast strains as well as in the main lab strain S288c. Reciprocal hemizygosity and allele swap experiments demonstrated that the MET2 R310G allele confers reduced H2S production. Mutations were also identified in genes encoding the two subunits of sulfite reductase, MET5 and MET10, which were associated with reduced H2S production. The most severe of these, an allele of MET10, showed five additional phenotypes: reduced growth rate on sulfate, elevated secretion of sulfite, and reduced production in wine of three volatile sulfur compounds: methionol, carbon disulfide and methylthioacetate. Alleles of MET5 and MET10, but not MET2, affected H2S production measured by colour assays on BiGGY indicator agar, but MET2 effects were seen when bismuth was added to agar plates made with Sauvignon blanc grape juice. Collectively, the data are consistent with the hypothesis that H2S production during wine fermentation results predominantly from enzyme activity in the sulfur assimilation pathway. Lower H2S production results from mutations that reduce the activity of sulfite reductase, the enzyme that produces H2S, or that increase the activity of L-homoserine-O-acetyltransferase, which produces substrate for the next step in the sulfur assimilation pathway.

  7. FOXC2 promotes colorectal cancer metastasis by directly targeting MET.

    PubMed

    Cui, Y-M; Jiao, H-L; Ye, Y-P; Chen, C-M; Wang, J-X; Tang, N; Li, T-T; Lin, J; Qi, L; Wu, P; Wang, S-Y; He, M-R; Liang, L; Bian, X-W; Liao, W-T; Ding, Y-Q

    2015-08-13

    Metastasis is the major cause of death in colorectal cancer (CRC). Although multiple genes have been identified to be responsible for the development of CRC, the molecular changes that enable CRC cells to undergo early local invasion and to form distant metastatic colonies still remain largely unknown. Herein, we investigated the role of Forkhead box protein C2 (FOXC2) and explored the underlying mechanisms in invasion and metastasis of CRC. We show that both high FOXC2 expression and nuclear localization of FOXC2 are significantly correlated with advanced TNM (T=primary tumor; N=regional lymph nodes; M=distant metastasis) stages. FOXC2 enhanced the invasive abilities of CRC cells in vitro and promoted local invasion and distant metastasis in an orthotopic mouse metastatic model of CRC. Microarray analysis revealed that overexpression of FOXC2 increased the proto-oncogene MET tyrosine kinase expression and activated the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-MET signaling pathway. Furthermore, luciferase reporter assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that FOXC2 directly associated with MET promoter to increase the transcriptional activity of MET. Inhibition of MET attenuates the invasive phenotype and metastatic potential of FOXC2-overexpressing CRC cells, indicating that MET is a major mediator of FOXC2-promoted metastasis. In addition, FOXC2 expression was positively correlated with MET expression in CRC tissue samples. Our findings suggest that FOXC2 has a crucial role in CRC metastasis by regulating HGF-MET signaling via inducing MET expression, highlighting FOXC2 as a potential therapeutic target for preventing or reducing metastasis in CRC.

  8. MetNet Precursor - Network Mission to Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harri, Arri-Matti

    2010-05-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars - MetNet in situ observation network based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called the Met-Net Lander (MNL). The first MetNet vehicle, MetNet Precursor, slated for launch in 2011. The MetNet development work started already in 2001. The actual practical Precursor Mission development work started in January 2009 with participation from various space research institutes and agencies. The scientific rationale and goals as well as key mission solutions will be discussed. The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy some 20 MNLs on the Martian surface using inflatable descent system structures, which will be supported by observations from the orbit around Mars. Currently we are working on the MetNet Mars Precursor Mission (MMPM) to deploy one MetNet Lander to Mars in the 2011 launch window as a technology and science demonstration mission. The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Time-resolved in situ Martian meteorological measurements acquired by the Viking, Mars Pathfinder and Phoenix landers and remote sensing observations by the Mariner 9, Viking, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey and the Mars Express orbiters have provided the basis for our current understanding of the behavior of weather and climate on Mars. However, the available amount of data is still scarce and a wealth of additional in situ observations are needed on varying types of Martian orography, terrain and altitude spanning all latitudes and longitudes to address microscale and mesoscale atmospheric phenomena. Detailed characterization of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns and climatological cycles requires simultaneous in situ atmospheric observations. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. The MetNet mission concept and key probe

  9. Molecular genetics and antisocial behavior: where do we stand?

    PubMed

    Iofrida, Caterina; Palumbo, Sara; Pellegrini, Silvia

    2014-11-01

    Over the last two decades, it has become increasingly evident that control of aggressive behavior is modulated by the individual genetic profile as well. Several candidate genes have been proposed to play a role in the risk to develop antisocial behavior, and distinct brain imaging studies have shown that specific cortical areas may be functionally and/or structurally impaired in impulsive violent subjects on the basis of their genotypes. In this paper, we review the findings regarding four polymorphisms-MAOA (Monoamine oxidase A) uVNTR, SLC6A4 (solute carrier family 6 (neurotransmitter transporter), member 4) 5HTTLPR, COMT (Catechol-O-methyltransferase) Val158Met and DRD4 (dopamine D4 receptor) VNTR 1-11-that all have been found to be associated with an increased vulnerability for antisocial and impulsive behavior in response to aversive environmental conditions. These results, however, have not been replicated by other studies, likely because of crucial methodological discrepancies, including variability in the criteria used to define antisocial behavior and assessment of environmental factors. Finally, it has been recently proposed that these genetic variants may actually increase the individual susceptibility not merely to the negative environmental factors, but to the positive ones as well. In this view, such alleles would play a wider modulatory role, by acting as "plasticity" rather than "vulnerability" genes. Overall, these findings have potential important implications that span well outside of neuroscience and psychiatry, to embrace ethics, philosophy, and the law itself, as they pose new challenges to the very notion of Free Will. Novel properly controlled studies that examine multi-allelic genetic profiles, rather than focusing on distinct single variants, will make it possible to achieve a clearer understanding of the molecular underpinnings of the nature by nurture interaction.

  10. Genetics of Lesch's typology of alcoholism.

    PubMed

    Samochowiec, Jerzy; Kucharska-Mazur, Jolanta; Grzywacz, Anna; Pelka-Wysiecka, Justyna; Mak, Monika; Samochowiec, Agnieszka; Bienkowski, Przemyslaw

    2008-02-15

    It is widely accepted that dopamine and serotonin (5-HT) neurotransmission can be critically involved in the development of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence. Lesch's typology of alcoholism has been gaining increasing popularity as it qualitatively differentiates patients into different treatment response subgroups. The aim of the present study was to evaluate a possible genetic background of Lesch's typology with special emphasis placed on dopamine- and serotonin-related genes. 122 alcoholics (the mean age: 35+/-9 years) were investigated. According to Lesch's typology, 58 patients were of type I, 36 patients of type II, 11 patients of type III, and 17 patients of type IV. Alcohol drinking and family history was assessed by means of a structured interview, based on the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism. 150 control subjects without psychiatric disorders were also recruited. The control group was ethnically-, age- and gender-matched to the patients. The DRD2 TaqIA, exon 8, and promoter -141C ins/del polymorphisms as well as COMT Val158Met, 5HTT 44 bp del in promoter, and DAT 40 bp VNTR polymorphisms were detected by means of PCR. No significant differences were observed when the whole group of alcoholics and the controls were compared. Similarly, there were no differences between either the Lesch type I or type II alcoholics and the control subjects. No significant differences were observed between type I and type II alcoholics. Alleles frequencies were not calculated for the Lesch type III and type IV alcoholics since the number of patients was too small. The present results argue against any major role of the investigated polymorphisms in either Lesch type I or type II alcoholism. More comprehensive studies are needed to define the role of the investigated polymorphisms in Lesch type III and type IV alcoholism.

  11. Association between dopamine-related polymorphisms and plasma concentrations of prolactin during risperidone treatment in schizophrenic patients.

    PubMed

    Yasui-Furukori, Norio; Saito, Manabu; Tsuchimine, Shoko; Nakagami, Taku; Sato, Yasushi; Sugawara, Norio; Kaneko, Sunao

    2008-08-01

    Hyperprolactinemia is an inevitable consequence of treatment with antipsychotic agents to some extent because prolactin response to antipsychotics is related to dopamine blockade. Recent studies have suggested that polymorphisms of the dopamine receptors are associated with therapeutic response to antipsychotics. Thus, we studied the effects of major polymorphisms of dopamine-related genes on plasma concentration of prolactin. Subjects were 174 schizophrenic patients (68 males, 106 females) receiving 3 mg twice daily of risperidone for at least 4 weeks. Sample collections were conducted 12 h after the bedtime dosing. Five dopamine-related polymorphisms (Taq1A, -141C ins/del for DRD2, Ser9Gly for DRD3, 48 bp VNTR for DRD4, Val158Met for COMT) were identified. The mean (+/-SD) plasma concentration of prolactin in females was significantly higher than males (54.3+/-27.2 ng/ml versus 126.8+/-70.2 ng/ml, p<0.001). No dopamine-related polymorphisms differed the plasma concentration of prolactin in males or females. Multiple regression analyses including plasma drug concentration and age revealed that plasma concentration of prolactin correlated with gender (standardized partial correlation coefficients (beta)=0.551, p<0.001) and negatively with age (standardized beta=-0.202, p<0.01). No correlations were found between prolactin concentration and dopamine-related polymorphisms. These findings suggest that plasma prolactin concentrations in females are much higher than in males but the dopamine-related variants are not predominantly associated with plasma concentration of prolactin.

  12. Regular Expression-Based Learning for METs Value Extraction.

    PubMed

    Redd, Douglas; Kuang, Jinqiu; Mohanty, April; Bray, Bruce E; Zeng-Treitler, Qing

    2016-01-01

    Functional status as measured by exercise capacity is an important clinical variable in the care of patients with cardiovascular diseases. Exercise capacity is commonly reported in terms of Metabolic Equivalents (METs). In the medical records, METs can often be found in a variety of clinical notes. To extract METs values, we adapted a machine-learning algorithm called REDEx to automatically generate regular expressions. Trained and tested on a set of 2701 manually annotated text snippets (i.e. short pieces of text), the regular expressions were able to achieve good accuracy and F-measure of 0.89 and 0.86. This extraction tool will allow us to process the notes of millions of cardiovascular patients and extract METs value for use by researchers and clinicians.

  13. NARSTO EPA SS ST LOUIS AIR CHEM PM MET DATA

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2014-05-07

    NARSTO EPA SS ST LOUIS AIR CHEM PM MET DATA Project Title:  NARSTO ... Aethaelometer Anemometer Rain Gauge Pressure Sensor Radiometers Temperature Sensor Weighing Balance AA (Atomic Absorption Spectrometer) ...

  14. Regular Expression-Based Learning for METs Value Extraction

    PubMed Central

    Redd, Douglas; Kuang, Jinqiu; Mohanty, April; Bray, Bruce E.; Zeng-Treitler, Qing

    2016-01-01

    Functional status as measured by exercise capacity is an important clinical variable in the care of patients with cardiovascular diseases. Exercise capacity is commonly reported in terms of Metabolic Equivalents (METs). In the medical records, METs can often be found in a variety of clinical notes. To extract METs values, we adapted a machine-learning algorithm called REDEx to automatically generate regular expressions. Trained and tested on a set of 2701 manually annotated text snippets (i.e. short pieces of text), the regular expressions were able to achieve good accuracy and F-measure of 0.89 and 0.86. This extraction tool will allow us to process the notes of millions of cardiovascular patients and extract METs value for use by researchers and clinicians. PMID:27570673

  15. Loss of embryonic MET signaling alters profiles of hippocampal interneurons.

    PubMed

    Martins, Gabriela J; Plachez, Céline; Powell, Elizabeth M

    2007-01-01

    Hippocampal interneurons arise in the ventral forebrain and migrate dorsally in response to cues, including hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor which signals via its receptor MET. Examination of the hippocampus in adult mice in which MET had been inactivated in the embryonic proliferative zones showed an increase in parvalbumin-expressing cells in the dentate gyrus, but a loss of these cells in the CA3 region. An overall loss of calretinin-expressing cells was seen throughout the hippocampus. A similar CA3 deficit of parvalbumin and calretinin cells was observed when MET was eliminated only in postmitotic cells. These data suggest that MET is required for the proper hippocampal development, and embryonic perturbations lead to long-term anatomical defects with possible learning and memory dysfunction.

  16. MMPM - Mission implementation of Mars MetNet Precursor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harri, A.-M.

    2009-04-01

    We are developing a new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars - MetNet in situ observation network based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called the Met-Net Lander (MNL). The key technical aspects and solutions of the mission will be discussed. The eventual scope of the MetNet Mission is to deploy some 20 MNLs on the Martian surface using inflatable descent system structures, which will be supported by observations from the orbit around Mars. Currently we are working on the MetNet Mars Precursor Mission (MMPM) to deploy one MetNet Lander to Mars in the 2009/2011 launch window as a technology and science demonstration mission. The MNL will have a versatile science payload focused on the atmospheric science of Mars. Detailed characterization of the Martian atmospheric circulation patterns, boundary layer phenomena, and climatology cycles, require simultaneous in-situ measurements by a network of observation posts on the Martian surface. The scientific payload of the MetNet Mission encompasses separate instrument packages for the atmospheric entry and descent phase and for the surface operation phase. The MetNet mission concept and key probe technologies have been developed and the critical subsystems have been qualified to meet the Martian environmental and functional conditions. This development effort has been fulfilled in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), the Russian Lavoschkin Association (LA) and the Russian Space Research Institute (IKI) since August 2001. Currently the INTA (Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial) from Spain is also participating in the MetNet payload development.

  17. MONIM: the new Met Office Night Illumination Model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Revell, S. J.; Hignett, P.

    2004-09-01

    This paper describes a new model developed by the Met Office to predict night-time light levels. The Met Office Night Illumination Model (MONIM) predicts light levels both in the visible (photopic) range and in the waveband to which night vision goggles (NVGs) are sensitive. The model will be used operationally for support of night-time flying operations. The model is described in detail and its light-level forecasts are compared with observations.

  18. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harri, Ari-Matti; Aleksashkin, Sergey; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Ponomarenko, Andrey; Apestigue, Victor; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Uspensky, Mikhail; Haukka, Harri

    2016-04-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL). The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor [1] mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior. The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested. MetNet Lander The MetNet landing vehicles are using an inflatable entry and descent system instead of rigid heat shields and parachutes as earlier semi-hard landing devices have used. This way the ratio of the payload mass to the overall mass is optimized. The landing impact will burrow the payload container into the Martian soil providing a more favorable thermal environment for the electronics and a suitable orientation of the telescopic boom with external sensors and the radio link antenna. It is planned to deploy several tens of MNLs on the Martian surface operating at least partly at the same time to allow meteorological network science. Strawman Scientific Payload The strawman payload of the two MNL precursor models includes the following instruments: Atmospheric instruments: • MetBaro Pressure device • MetHumi Humidity device • MetTemp Temperature sensors Optical devices: • PanCam Panoramic • MetSIS Solar irradiance sensor with OWLS optical wireless system for data transfer • DS Dust sensor Composition and Structure Devices: • Tri-axial magnetometer MOURA • Tri-axial System Accelerometer The descent processes dynamic properties are monitored by a special

  19. Interactions among catechol-O-methyltransferase genotype, parenting, and sex predict children’s internalizing symptoms and inhibitory control: Evidence for differential susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    SULIK, MICHAEL J.; EISENBERG, NANCY; SPINRAD, TRACY L.; LEMERY-CHALFANT, KATHRYN; SWANN, GREGORY; SILVA, KASSONDRA M.; REISER, MARK; STOVER, DARYN A.; VERRELLI, BRIAN C.

    2015-01-01

    We used sex, observed parenting quality at 18 months, and three variants of the catechol-O-methyltransferase gene (Val158Met [rs4680], intron1 [rs737865], and 3′-untranslated region [rs165599]) to predict mothers’ reports of inhibitory and attentional control (assessed at 42, 54, 72, and 84 months) and internalizing symptoms (assessed at 24, 30, 42, 48, and 54 months) in a sample of 146 children (79 male). Although the pattern for all three variants was very similar, Val158Met explained more variance in both outcomes than did intron1, the 3′-untranslated region, or a haplotype that combined all three catechol-O-methyltransferase variants. In separate models, there were significant three-way interactions among each of the variants, parenting, and sex, predicting the intercepts of inhibitory control and internalizing symptoms. Results suggested that Val158Met indexes plasticity, although this effect was moderated by sex. Parenting was positively associated with inhibitory control for methionine–methionine boys and for valine–valine/valine–methionine girls, and was negatively associated with internalizing symptoms for methionine–methionine boys. Using the “regions of significance” technique, genetic differences in inhibitory control were found for children exposed to high-quality parenting, whereas genetic differences in internalizing were found for children exposed to low-quality parenting. These findings provide evidence in support of testing for differential susceptibility across multiple outcomes. PMID:25159270

  20. Mars MetNet Mission - Martian Atmospheric Observational Post Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haukka, Harri; Harri, Ari-Matti; Aleksashkin, Sergey; Arruego, Ignacio; Schmidt, Walter; Genzer, Maria; Vazquez, Luis; Siikonen, Timo; Palin, Matti

    2016-10-01

    A new kind of planetary exploration mission for Mars is under development in collaboration between the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), Lavochkin Association (LA), Space Research Institute (IKI) and Institutio Nacional de Tecnica Aerospacial (INTA). The Mars MetNet mission is based on a new semi-hard landing vehicle called MetNet Lander (MNL).The scientific payload of the Mars MetNet Precursor mission is divided into three categories: Atmospheric instruments, Optical devices and Composition and structure devices. Each of the payload instruments will provide significant insights in to the Martian atmospheric behavior.The key technologies of the MetNet Lander have been qualified and the electrical qualification model (EQM) of the payload bay has been built and successfully tested.Full Qualification Model (QM) of the MetNet landing unit with the Precursor Mission payload is currently under functional tests. In the near future the QM unit will be exposed to environmental tests with qualification levels including vibrations, thermal balance, thermal cycling and mechanical impact shock. One complete flight unit of the entry, descent and landing systems (EDLS) has been manufactured and tested with acceptance levels. Another flight-like EDLS has been exposed to most of the qualification tests, and hence it may be used for flight after refurbishments. Accordingly two flight-capable EDLS systems exist. The eventual goal is to create a network of atmospheric observational posts around the Martian surface. The next step in the MetNet Precursor Mission is the demonstration of the technical robustness and scientific capabilities of the MetNet type of landing vehicle. Definition of the Precursor Mission and discussions on launch opportunities are currently under way. The baseline program development funding exists for the next five years. Flight unit manufacture of the payload bay takes about 18 months, and it will be commenced after the Precursor Mission has been defined.

  1. MET Gene Amplification and MET Receptor Activation Are Not Sufficient to Predict Efficacy of Combined MET and EGFR Inhibitors in EGFR TKI-Resistant NSCLC Cells

    PubMed Central

    Presutti, Dario; Santini, Simonetta; Cardinali, Beatrice; Papoff, Giuliana; Lalli, Cristiana; Samperna, Simone; Fustaino, Valentina; Giannini, Giuseppe; Ruberti, Giovina

    2015-01-01

    Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), member of the human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER) family, plays a critical role in regulating multiple cellular processes including proliferation, differentiation, cell migration and cell survival. Deregulation of the EGFR signaling has been found to be associated with the development of a variety of human malignancies including lung, breast, and ovarian cancers, making inhibition of EGFR the most promising molecular targeted therapy developed in the past decade against cancer. Human non small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) with activating mutations in the EGFR gene frequently experience significant tumor regression when treated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), although acquired resistance invariably develops. Resistance to TKI treatments has been associated to secondary mutations in the EGFR gene or to activation of additional bypass signaling pathways including the ones mediated by receptor tyrosine kinases, Fas receptor and NF-kB. In more than 30–40% of cases, however, the mechanisms underpinning drug-resistance are still unknown. The establishment of cellular and mouse models can facilitate the unveiling of mechanisms leading to drug-resistance and the development or validation of novel therapeutic strategies aimed at overcoming resistance and enhancing outcomes in NSCLC patients. Here we describe the establishment and characterization of EGFR TKI-resistant NSCLC cell lines and a pilot study on the effects of a combined MET and EGFR inhibitors treatment. The characterization of the erlotinib-resistant cell lines confirmed the association of EGFR TKI resistance with loss of EGFR gene amplification and/or AXL overexpression and/or MET gene amplification and MET receptor activation. These cellular models can be instrumental to further investigate the signaling pathways associated to EGFR TKI-resistance. Finally the drugs combination pilot study shows that MET gene amplification and MET receptor activation

  2. Met interacts with EGFR and Ron in canine osteosarcoma

    PubMed Central

    McCleese, J. K.; Bear, M. D.; Kulp, S. K.; Mazcko, C.; Khanna, C.; London, C. A.

    2014-01-01

    The receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) Met is known to be over-expressed in canine osteosarcoma (OSA). In human cancers, the RTKs Met, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and Ron are frequently co-expressed and engage in heterodimerization, altering signal transduction and promoting resistance to targeted therapeutics. We found that EGFR and Ron are expressed in canine OSA cell lines and primary tissues, EGFR and Ron are frequently phosphorylated in OSA tumour samples, and Met is co-associated with EGFR and Ron in canine OSA cell lines. Transforming growth factor alpha (TGFα) and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) stimulation induced amplification of ERK1/2 and STAT3 phosphorylation in OSA cells and Met was phosphorylated following TGFα stimulation providing evidence for receptor cross-talk. Lastly, treatment of OSA cells with combined gefitinib and crizotinib inhibited cell proliferation in an additive manner. Together, these data support the notion that Met, EGFR and Ron interact in OSA cells and as such, may represent viable targets for therapeutic intervention. PMID:22235915

  3. MetAmyl: A METa-Predictor for AMYLoid Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Emily, Mathieu; Talvas, Anthony; Delamarche, Christian

    2013-01-01

    The aggregation of proteins or peptides in amyloid fibrils is associated with a number of clinical disorders, including Alzheimer's, Huntington's and prion diseases, medullary thyroid cancer, renal and cardiac amyloidosis. Despite extensive studies, the molecular mechanisms underlying the initiation of fibril formation remain largely unknown. Several lines of evidence revealed that short amino-acid segments (hot spots), located in amyloid precursor proteins act as seeds for fibril elongation. Therefore, hot spots are potential targets for diagnostic/therapeutic applications, and a current challenge in bioinformatics is the development of methods to accurately predict hot spots from protein sequences. In this paper, we combined existing methods into a meta-predictor for hot spots prediction, called MetAmyl for METapredictor for AMYLoid proteins. MetAmyl is based on a logistic regression model that aims at weighting predictions from a set of popular algorithms, statistically selected as being the most informative and complementary predictors. We evaluated the performances of MetAmyl through a large scale comparative study based on three independent datasets and thus demonstrated its ability to differentiate between amyloidogenic and non-amyloidogenic polypeptides. Compared to 9 other methods, MetAmyl provides significant improvement in prediction on studied datasets. We further show that MetAmyl is efficient to highlight the effect of point mutations involved in human amyloidosis, so we suggest this program should be a useful complementary tool for the diagnosis of these diseases. PMID:24260292

  4. "Active" cancer immunotherapy by anti-Met antibody gene transfer.

    PubMed

    Vigna, Elisa; Pacchiana, Giovanni; Mazzone, Massimiliano; Chiriaco, Cristina; Fontani, Lara; Basilico, Cristina; Pennacchietti, Selma; Comoglio, Paolo M

    2008-11-15

    Gene therapy provides a still poorly explored opportunity to treat cancer by "active" immunotherapy as it enables the transfer of genes encoding antibodies directed against specific oncogenic proteins. By a bidirectional lentiviral vector, we transferred the cDNA encoding the heavy and light chains of a monoclonal anti-Met antibody (DN-30) to epithelial cancer cells. In vitro, the transduced cells synthesized and secreted correctly assembled antibodies with the expected high affinity, inducing down-regulation of the Met receptor and strong inhibition of the invasive growth response. The inhibitory activity resulted (a) from the interference of the antibody with the Met receptor intracellular processing ("cell autonomous activity," in cis) and (b) from the antibody-induced cleavage of Met expressed at the cell surface ("bystander effect," in trans). The monoclonal antibody gene transferred into live animals by systemic administration or by local intratumor delivery resulted in substantial inhibition of tumor growth. These data provide proof of concept both for targeting the Met receptor and for a gene transfer-based immunotherapy strategy.

  5. The MetOp satellite - Weather information from polar orbit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Peter G.; Berutti, Bruno; Blythe, Paul; Callies, Joerg; Carlier, Stefane; Fransen, Cees; Krutsch, Rainer; Lefebvre, Alain-Robert; Loiselet, Marc; Stricker, Nico

    2006-08-01

    MetOp-A is Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology. With its array of advanced instruments, it will provide data of unprecedented accuracy and resolution on temperature and humidity, wind speed and direction over the ocean, and ozone and other trace gases, making a huge contribution to global weather forecasting and climate monitoring. In addition, MetOp-A will observe land and ocean surfaces and its search-and-rescue service will help ships and aircraft in distress.

  6. Remembering the early days of the Met Lab

    SciTech Connect

    Katz, J.J.

    1990-01-01

    The Met Lab was set up by the war-time Manhattan District, US Corp of Engineers to (i) find a system using normal uranium in which a chain reaction would occur; (ii) to show that if such a chain reaction did occur, it would be possible to separate plutonium chemically from the uranium matrix and the fission products formed in the chain reactions; and (iii) to prepare plans for the large-scale production of plutonium. Chemistry Section C-1 of the Met Lab was assigned the responsibility for developing separation methods for plutonium production on the industrial scale. This report describes some aspects of daily life in Section C-1.

  7. The MET Project: The Wrong 45 Million Dollar Question

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gabriel, Rachael; Allington, Richard

    2012-01-01

    In 2009, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded the investigation of a $45 million question: How can we identify and develop effective teaching? Now that the findings from their Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) project have been released, it's clear they asked a simpler question, namely, What other measures match up well with value-added…

  8. The Marshall Engineering Thermosphere (MET) Model. Volume 1; Technical Description

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, R. E.

    1998-01-01

    Volume 1 presents a technical description of the Marshall Engineering Thermosphere (MET) model atmosphere and a summary of its historical development. Various programs developed to augment the original capability of the model are discussed in detail. The report also describes each of the individual subroutines developed to enhance the model. Computer codes for these subroutines are contained in four appendices.

  9. 17 CFR 230.502 - General conditions to be met.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... advertising, including, but not limited to, the following: (1) Any advertisement, article, notice or other... 17 Commodity and Securities Exchanges 2 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false General conditions to be met. 230.502 Section 230.502 Commodity and Securities Exchanges SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION...

  10. Altered White Matter Architecture in BDNF Met Carriers

    PubMed Central

    Ziegler, Erik; Foret, Ariane; Mascetti, Laura; Muto, Vincenzo; Le Bourdiec-Shaffii, Anahita; Stender, Johan; Balteau, Evelyne; Dideberg, Vinciane; Bours, Vincent; Maquet, Pierre; Phillips, Christophe

    2013-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates the pruning of synaptically silent axonal arbors. The Met allele of the BDNF gene is associated with a reduction in the neurotrophin's activity-dependent release. We used diffusion-weighted imaging to construct structural brain networks for 36 healthy subjects with known BDNF genotypes. Through permutation testing we discovered clear differences in connection strength between subjects carrying the Met allele and those homozygotic for the Val allele. We trained a Gaussian process classifier capable of identifying the subjects' allelic group with 86% accuracy and high predictive value. In Met carriers structural connectivity was greatly increased throughout the forebrain, particularly in connections corresponding to the anterior and superior corona radiata as well as corticothalamic and corticospinal projections from the sensorimotor, premotor, and prefrontal portions of the internal capsule. Interhemispheric connectivity was also increased via the corpus callosum and anterior commissure, and extremely high connectivity values were found between inferior medial frontal polar regions via the anterior forceps. We propose that the decreased availability of BDNF leads to deficits in axonal maintenance in carriers of the Met allele, and that this produces mesoscale changes in white matter architecture. PMID:23935975

  11. NARSTO EPA SS ATLANTA 1999 CHEM PM MET DATA

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2014-04-25

    NARSTO EPA SS ATLANTA 1999 CHEM PM MET DATA Note: The negative sign is ... the longitude in the following data files: NARSTO_EPA_SS_ATLANTA_GAS_GAS_DATA_1_KB_V1.csv and ... transmission Location:  Atlanta, Georgia Spatial Resolution:  Point Measurements ...

  12. Seven Oaks Met School Builds Curriculum around Each Student

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pearson, George

    2009-01-01

    This article features Seven Oaks School Division Met School in Winnipeg, a high school that limits class size to 15, tailors its curriculum to the needs and interests of its individual students, places students in community-based internships two days a week, and keeps the teacher--called an advisor--with the same group of students from Grade 9…

  13. Lessons Learned: The MetLife Foundation Awards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kazis, Richard; Haynes, Leslie; Liebowitz, Martin

    2002-01-01

    This past year, Jobs for the Future studied strategies that community colleges are using to improve the quality and effectiveness of their services to low-income youth and adults. Much of this research was conducted for the MetLife Foundation Community College Excellence Awards Initiative. Across the country, in urban, rural, and suburban…

  14. Viewpoint: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reinert, Harry

    1981-01-01

    Points out that services to the foreign language profession, ranging from work on local committees to national leadership, are performed almost exclusively by volunteers and criticizes the attitudes of some members of the profession toward their visiting colleagues. Cites several incidents where visitors met with shocking lack of assistance and…

  15. The EGFR/ErbB3 Pathway Acts as a Compensatory Survival Mechanism upon c-Met Inhibition in Human c-Met+ Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Steinway, Steven N.; Dang, Hien; You, Hanning; Rountree, C. Bart; Ding, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Background c-Met, a high-affinity receptor for Hepatocyte Growth Factor (HGF), plays a critical role in tumor growth, invasion, and metastasis. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients with activated HGF/c-Met signaling have a significantly worse prognosis. Targeted therapies using c-Met tyrosine kinase inhibitors are currently in clinical trials for HCC, although receptor tyrosine kinase inhibition in other cancers has demonstrated early success. Unfortunately, therapeutic effect is frequently not durable due to acquired resistance. Methods We utilized the human MHCC97-H c-Met positive (c-Met+) HCC cell line to explore the compensatory survival mechanisms that are acquired after c-Met inhibition. MHCC97-H cells with stable c-Met knockdown (MHCC97-H c-Met KD cells) were generated using a c-Met shRNA vector with puromycin selection and stably transfected scrambled shRNA as a control. Gene expression profiling was conducted, and protein expression was analyzed to characterize MHCC97-H cells after blockade of the c-Met oncogene. A high-throughput siRNA screen was performed to find putative compensatory survival proteins, which could drive HCC growth in the absence of c-Met. Findings from this screen were validated through subsequent analyses. Results We have previously demonstrated that treatment of MHCC97-H cells with a c-Met inhibitor, PHA665752, results in stasis of tumor growth in vivo. MHCC97-H c-Met KD cells demonstrate slower growth kinetics, similar to c-Met inhibitor treated tumors. Using gene expression profiling and siRNA screening against 873 kinases and phosphatases, we identified ErbB3 and TGF-α as compensatory survival factors that are upregulated after c-Met inhibition. Suppressing these factors in c-Met KD MHCC97-H cells suppresses tumor growth in vitro. In addition, we found that the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway serves as a negative feedback signal responsible for the ErbB3 upregulation after c-Met inhibition. Furthermore, in vitro studies demonstrate

  16. The distinct cognitive syndromes of Parkinson's disease: 5 year follow-up of the CamPaIGN cohort.

    PubMed

    Williams-Gray, Caroline H; Evans, Jonathan R; Goris, An; Foltynie, Thomas; Ban, Maria; Robbins, Trevor W; Brayne, Carol; Kolachana, Bhaskar S; Weinberger, Daniel R; Sawcer, Stephen J; Barker, Roger A

    2009-11-01

    Cognitive abnormalities are common in Parkinson's disease, with important social and economic implications. Factors influencing their evolution remain unclear but are crucial to the development of targeted therapeutic strategies. We have investigated the development of cognitive impairment and dementia in Parkinson's disease using a longitudinal approach in a population-representative incident cohort (CamPaIGN study, n = 126) and here present the 5-year follow-up data from this study. Our previous work has implicated two genetic factors in the development of cognitive dysfunction in Parkinson's disease, namely the genes for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT Val(158)Met) and microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) H1/H2. Here, we have explored the influence of these genes in our incident cohort and an additional cross-sectional prevalent cohort (n = 386), and investigated the effect of MAPT H1/H2 haplotypes on tau transcription in post-mortem brain samples from patients with Lewy body disease and controls. Seventeen percent of incident patients developed dementia over 5 years [incidence 38.7 (23.9-59.3) per 1000 person-years]. We have demonstrated that three baseline measures, namely, age >or=72 years, semantic fluency less than 20 words in 90 s and inability to copy an intersecting pentagons figure, are significant predictors of dementia risk, thus validating our previous findings. In combination, these factors had an odds ratio of 88 for dementia within the first 5 years from diagnosis and may reflect the syndrome of mild cognitive impairment of Parkinson's disease. Phonemic fluency and other frontally based tasks were not associated with dementia risk. MAPT H1/H1 genotype was an independent predictor of dementia risk (odds ratio = 12.1) and the H1 versus H2 haplotype was associated with a 20% increase in transcription of 4-repeat tau in Lewy body disease brains. In contrast, COMT genotype had no effect on dementia, but a significant impact on Tower of London

  17. Acquired METD1228V Mutation and Resistance to MET Inhibition in Lung Cancer.

    PubMed

    Bahcall, Magda; Sim, Taebo; Paweletz, Cloud P; Patel, Jyoti D; Alden, Ryan S; Kuang, Yanan; Sacher, Adrian G; Kim, Nam Doo; Lydon, Christine A; Awad, Mark M; Jaklitsch, Michael T; Sholl, Lynette M; Jänne, Pasi A; Oxnard, Geoffrey R

    2016-12-01

    Amplified and/or mutated MET can act as both a primary oncogenic driver and as a promoter of tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) resistance in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the landscape of MET-specific targeting agents remains underdeveloped, and understanding of mechanisms of resistance to MET TKIs is limited. Here, we present a case of a patient with lung adenocarcinoma harboring both a mutation in EGFR and an amplification of MET, who after progression on erlotinib responded dramatically to combined MET and EGFR inhibition with savolitinib and osimertinib. When resistance developed to this combination, a new MET kinase domain mutation, D1228V, was detected. Our in vitro findings demonstrate that MET(D1228V) induces resistance to type I MET TKIs through impaired drug binding, while sensitivity to type II MET TKIs is maintained. Based on these findings, the patient was treated with erlotinib combined with cabozantinib, a type II MET inhibitor, and exhibited a response.

  18. Remote Sensing of Volcanic ASH at the Met Office

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marenco, F.; Kent, J.; Adam, M.; Buxmann, J.; Francis, P.; Haywood, J.

    2016-06-01

    The eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 has triggered the rapid development of volcanic ash remote sensing activities at the Met Office. Volcanic ash qualitative and quantitative mapping have been achieved using lidar on board the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM) research aircraft, and using improved satellite retrieval algorithms. After the eruption, a new aircraft facility, the Met Office Civil Contingencies Aircraft (MOCCA), has been set up to enable a rapid response, and a network of ground-based remote sensing sites with lidars and sunphotometers is currently being developed. Thanks to these efforts, the United Kingdom (UK) will be much better equipped to deal with such a crisis, should it happen in the future.

  19. Operational Use of OGC Web Services at the Met Office

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wright, Bruce

    2010-05-01

    The Met Office has adopted the Service-Orientated Architecture paradigm to deliver services to a range of customers through Rich Internet Applications (RIAs). The approach uses standard Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) web services to provide information to web-based applications through a range of generic data services. "Invent", the Met Office beta site, is used to showcase Met Office future plans for presenting web-based weather forecasts, product and information to the public. This currently hosts a freely accessible Weather Map Viewer, written in JavaScript, which accesses a Web Map Service (WMS), to deliver innovative web-based visualizations of weather and its potential impacts to the public. The intention is to engage the public in the development of new web-based services that more accurately meet their needs. As the service is intended for public use within the UK, it has been designed to support a user base of 5 million, the analysed level of UK web traffic reaching the Met Office's public weather information site. The required scalability has been realised through the use of multi-tier tile caching: - WMS requests are made for 256x256 tiles for fixed areas and zoom levels; - a Tile Cache, developed in house, efficiently serves tiles on demand, managing WMS request for the new tiles; - Edge Servers, externally hosted by Akamai, provide a highly scalable (UK-centric) service for pre-cached tiles, passing new requests to the Tile Cache; - the Invent Weather Map Viewer uses the Google Maps API to request tiles from Edge Servers. (We would expect to make use of the Web Map Tiling Service, when it becomes an OGC standard.) The Met Office delivers specialist commercial products to market sectors such as transport, utilities and defence, which exploit a Web Feature Service (WFS) for data relating forecasts and observations to specific geographic features, and a Web Coverage Service (WCS) for sub-selections of gridded data. These are locally rendered as maps or

  20. Technology evaluation: MetXia-P450, Oxford Biomedica.

    PubMed

    Hunt, S

    2001-12-01

    Oxford BioMedica is developing gene therapies for treating various forms of cancer. The therapies comprise the transfer of several anticancer genes at a time using a recombinant retrovirus approach based on the company's proprietary LTR Deleted Vector and Accelerated Vector Evolution technologies [238147]. MetXia-P450 is a gene therapy construct containing the cytochrome P450 gene CYP2B6, and is designed to be injected directly into tumors to convert them into 'drug factories'. This is achieved because CYP2B6 converts the inactive produg form cyclophosphamide into the active cytotoxic drug. MetXia-P450 is in phase I/II trials for breast cancer [339582].

  1. Quantitative imaging for development of companion diagnostics to drugs targeting HGF/MET.

    PubMed

    Huang, Fangjin; Ma, Zhaoxuan; Pollan, Sara; Yuan, Xiaopu; Swartwood, Steven; Gertych, Arkadiusz; Rodriguez, Maria; Mallick, Jayati; Bhele, Sanica; Guindi, Maha; Dhall, Deepti; Walts, Ann E; Bose, Shikha; de Peralta Venturina, Mariza; Marchevsky, Alberto M; Luthringer, Daniel J; Feller, Stephan M; Berman, Benjamin; Freeman, Michael R; Alvord, W Gregory; Vande Woude, George; Amin, Mahul B; Knudsen, Beatrice S

    2016-10-01

    The limited clinical success of anti-HGF/MET drugs can be attributed to the lack of predictive biomarkers that adequately select patients for treatment. We demonstrate here that quantitative digital imaging of formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissues stained by immunohistochemistry can be used to measure signals from weakly staining antibodies and provides new opportunities to develop assays for detection of MET receptor activity. To establish a biomarker panel of MET activation, we employed seven antibodies measuring protein expression in the HGF/MET pathway in 20 cases and up to 80 cores from 18 human cancer types. The antibodies bind to epitopes in the extra (EC)- and intracellular (IC) domains of MET (MET4(EC), SP44_MET(IC), D1C2_MET(IC)), to MET-pY1234/pY1235, a marker of MET kinase activation, as well as to HGF, pSFK or pMAPK. Expression of HGF was determined in tumour cells (T_HGF) as well as in stroma surrounding cancer (St_HGF). Remarkably, MET4(EC) correlated more strongly with pMET (r = 0.47) than SP44_MET(IC) (r = 0.21) or D1C2_MET(IC) (r = 0.08) across 18 cancer types. In addition, correlation coefficients of pMET and T_HGF (r = 0.38) and pMET and pSFK (r = 0.56) were high. Prediction models of MET activation reveal cancer-type specific differences in performance of MET4(EC), SP44_MET(IC) and anti-HGF antibodies. Thus, we conclude that assays to predict the response to HGF/MET inhibitors require a cancer-type specific antibody selection and should be developed in those cancer types in which they are employed clinically.

  2. MetMAb, the one-armed 5D5 anti-c-Met antibody, inhibits orthotopic pancreatic tumor growth and improves survival.

    PubMed

    Jin, Hongkui; Yang, Renhui; Zheng, Zhong; Romero, Mally; Ross, Jed; Bou-Reslan, Hani; Carano, Richard A D; Kasman, Ian; Mai, Elaine; Young, Judy; Zha, Jiping; Zhang, Zemin; Ross, Sarajane; Schwall, Ralph; Colbern, Gail; Merchant, Mark

    2008-06-01

    The hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) and its receptor, c-Met, have been implicated in driving proliferation, invasion, and poor prognosis in pancreatic cancer. Here, we investigated the expression of HGF and c-Met in primary pancreatic cancers and described in vitro and in vivo models in which MetMAb, a monovalent antibody against c-Met, was evaluated. First, expression of HGF and MET mRNA was analyzed in 59 primary pancreatic cancers and 51 normal samples, showing that both factors are highly expressed in pancreatic cancer. We next examined HGF responsiveness in pancreatic cancer lines to select lines that proliferate in response to HGF. Based on these studies, two lines were selected for further in vivo model development: BxPC-3 (c-Met(+), HGF(-)) and KP4 (c-Met(+), HGF(+)) cells. As BxPC-3 cells are responsive to exogenous HGF, s.c. tumor xenografts were grown in a paracrine manner with purified human HGF provided by osmotic pumps, wherein MetMAb treatment significantly inhibited tumor growth. KP4 cells are autocrine for HGF and c-Met, and MetMAb strongly inhibited s.c. tumor growth. To better model pancreatic cancer and to enable long-term survival studies, an orthotopic model of KP4 was established. MetMAb significantly inhibited orthotopic KP4 tumor growth in 4-week studies monitored by ultrasound and also improved survival in 90-day studies. MetMAb significantly reduced c-Met phosphorylation in orthotopic KP4 tumors with a concomitant decrease in Ki-67 staining. These data suggest that the HGF/c-Met axis plays an important role in the progression of pancreatic cancer and that targeting c-Met therein may have therapeutic value.

  3. Worldwide distribution of PSEN1 Met146Leu mutation

    PubMed Central

    Bernardi, L.; Colao, R.; Rubino, E.; Smirne, N.; Frangipane, F.; Terni, B.; Curcio, S.A.M.; Mirabelli, M.; Clodomiro, A.; Di Lorenzo, R.; Maletta, R.; Anfossi, M.; Gallo, M.; Geracitano, S.; Tomaino, C.; Muraca, M. G.; Leotta, A.; Lio, S. G.; Pinessi, L.; Rainero, I.; Sorbi, S.; Nee, L.; Milan, G.; Pappatá, S.; Postiglione, A.; Abbamondi, N.; Forloni, G.; St. George Hyslop, P.; Rogaeva, E.; Bugiani, O.; Giaccone, G.; Foncin, J. F.; Spillantini, M. G.; Puccio, G.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: Large kindreds segregating familial Alzheimer disease (FAD) offer the opportunity of studying clinical variability as observed for presenilin 1 (PSEN1) mutations. Two early-onset FAD (EOFAD) Calabrian families with PSEN1 Met146Leu (ATG/CTG) mutation constitute a unique population descending from a remote common ancestor. Recently, several other EOFAD families with the same mutation have been described worldwide. Methods: We searched for a common founder of the PSEN1 Met146Leu mutation in families with different geographic origins by genealogic and molecular analyses. We also investigated the phenotypic variability at onset in a group of 50 patients (mean age at onset 40.0 ± 4.8 years) by clinical, neuropsychological, and molecular methodologies. Results: EOFAD Met146Leu families from around the world resulted to be related and constitute a single kindred originating from Southern Italy before the 17th century. Phenotypic variability at onset is broad: 4 different clinical presentations may be recognized, 2 classic for AD (memory deficits and spatial and temporal disorientation), whereas the others are expressions of frontal impairment. The apathetic and dysexecutive subgroups could be related to orbital-medial prefrontal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex dysfunction. Conclusions: Genealogic and molecular findings provided evidence that the PSEN1 Met146Leu families from around the world analyzed in this study are related and represent a single kindred originating from Southern Italy. The marked phenotypic variability might reflect early involvement by the pathologic process of different cortical areas. Although the clinical phenotype is quite variable, the neuropathologic and biochemical characteristics of the lesions account for neurodegenerative processes unmistakably of Alzheimer nature. PMID:20164095

  4. Application of MET for the validation of satellite precipitation estimates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kucera, P.; Brown, B.; Bullock, R.; Ahijevych, D.

    2009-04-01

    The goal of this study is to demonstrate the usefulness of the NCAR Model Evaluation Tools (MET) applied to the validation of high-resolution satellite rainfall estimates. MET provides grid-to-point, grid-to-grid, and advanced spatial validation techniques in one unified, modular toolkit that can be applied to a variety of spatial fields (e.g., satellite precipitation estimates). Most validation studies rely on the use of standard validation measures (mean error, bias, mean absolute error, and root mean squared error, etc.) to quantify the quality of the precipitation estimates. Often these measures indicate poorer performance because, among other things, they are unable to account for small-scale variability or discriminate types of errors such as displacement in time and/or space (location, intensity, and orientation errors, etc.) in the precipitation estimates. This issue has motivated recent research and development of many new techniques such as, but not limited to, scale decomposition, fuzzy neighborhood, and object orientated methods for evaluating spatial precipitation estimates. This study will compute statistics for high resolution satellite estimates of precipitation using standard validation measures for the comparison with object orientated measures using the MET built-in Method for Object-based Diagnostic Evaluation (MODE) algorithm using the radar-rainfall estimates as the reference. Rainfall estimates generated by the TRMM Multi-satellite precipitation analysis (TMPA) and CPC Morphing technique (CMORPH) will be used demonstrate the new validation techniques.

  5. MetAP1 and MetAP2 drive cell selectivity for a potent anti-cancer agent in synergy, by controlling glutathione redox state

    PubMed Central

    Frottin, Frédéric; Bienvenut, Willy V.; Bignon, Jérôme; Jacquet, Eric; Jacome, Alvaro Sebastian Vaca; Van Dorsselaer, Alain; Cianferani, Sarah; Carapito, Christine; Meinnel, Thierry; Giglione, Carmela

    2016-01-01

    Fumagillin and its derivatives are therapeutically useful because they can decrease cancer progression. The specific molecular target of fumagillin is methionine aminopeptidase 2 (MetAP2), one of the two MetAPs present in the cytosol. MetAPs catalyze N-terminal methionine excision (NME), an essential pathway of cotranslational protein maturation. To date, it remains unclear the respective contribution of MetAP1 and MetAP2 to the NME process in vivo and why MetAP2 inhibition causes cell cycle arrest only in a subset of cells. Here, we performed a global characterization of the N-terminal methionine excision pathway and the inhibition of MetAP2 by fumagillin in a number of lines, including cancer cell lines. Large-scale N-terminus profiling in cells responsive and unresponsive to fumagillin treatment revealed that both MetAPs were required in vivo for M[VT]X-targets and, possibly, for lower-level M[G]X-targets. Interestingly, we found that the responsiveness of the cell lines to fumagillin was correlated with the ability of the cells to modulate their glutathione homeostasis. Indeed, alterations to glutathione status were observed in fumagillin-sensitive cells but not in cells unresponsive to this agent. Proteo-transcriptomic analyses revealed that both MetAP1 and MetAP2 accumulated in a cell-specific manner and that cell sensitivity to fumagillin was related to the levels of these MetAPs, particularly MetAP1. We suggest that MetAP1 levels could be routinely checked in several types of tumor and used as a prognostic marker for predicting the response to treatments inhibiting MetAP2. PMID:27542228

  6. HGF/Met and FOXM1 form a positive feedback loop and render pancreatic cancer cells resistance to Met inhibition and aggressive phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Cui, J; Xia, T; Xie, D; Gao, Y; Jia, Z; Wei, D; Wang, L; Huang, S; Quan, M; Xie, K

    2016-09-08

    Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)/Met signaling has critical roles in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) development and progression and is considered a potential therapeutic target for this disease. However, the mechanism of aberrant activation of HGF/Met signaling and resistance to Met inhibition in PDA remains unclear. The mechanistic role of cross talk between Forkhead box M1 (FOXM1) and HGF/Met signaling in promotion of PDA growth and resistance to Met inhibition was examined using cell culture, molecular biology and mouse models; and the relevance of our experimental and mechanistic findings were validated using human PDA tissues. Met was markedly overexpressed in both PDA cell lines and pancreatic tumor specimens, and the expression of Met correlated directly with that of FOXM1 in human tumor specimens. Mechanistically, FOXM1 bound to the promoter region of the Met gene and transcriptionally increased the expression of Met. Increased expression of FOXM1 enhanced the activation of HGF/Met signaling and its downstream pathways, including retrovirus-associated DNA sequences/extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, phosphoinositide 3-kinase/AKT and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3. Furthermore, activation of HGF/Met signaling increased the expression and transcriptional activity of FOXM1, and the cross talk between FOXM1 and HGF/Met signaling promoted PDA growth and resistance to Met inhibition. Collectively, our findings identified a positive feedback loop formed by FOXM1 and HGF/Met and revealed that this loop is a potentially effective therapeutic target for PDA.

  7. Absolute Quantitation of Met Using Mass Spectrometry for Clinical Application: Assay Precision, Stability, and Correlation with MET Gene Amplification in FFPE Tumor Tissue

    PubMed Central

    Catenacci, Daniel V. T.; Liao, Wei-Li; Thyparambil, Sheeno; Henderson, Les; Xu, Peng; Zhao, Lei; Rambo, Brittany; Hart, John; Xiao, Shu-Yuan; Bengali, Kathleen; Uzzell, Jamar; Darfler, Marlene; Krizman, David B.; Cecchi, Fabiola; Bottaro, Donald P.; Karrison, Theodore; Veenstra, Timothy D.; Hembrough, Todd; Burrows, Jon

    2014-01-01

    Background Overexpression of Met tyrosine kinase receptor is associated with poor prognosis. Overexpression, and particularly MET amplification, are predictive of response to Met-specific therapy in preclinical models. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues is currently used to select for ‘high Met’ expressing tumors for Met inhibitor trials. IHC suffers from antibody non-specificity, lack of quantitative resolution, and, when quantifying multiple proteins, inefficient use of scarce tissue. Methods After describing the development of the Liquid-Tissue-Selected Reaction Monitoring-mass spectrometry (LT-SRM-MS) Met assay, we evaluated the expression level of Met in 130 FFPE gastroesophageal cancer (GEC) tissues. We assessed the correlation of SRM Met expression to IHC and mean MET gene copy number (GCN)/nucleus or MET/CEP7 ratio by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Results Proteomic mapping of recombinant Met identified 418TEFTTALQR426 as the optimal SRM peptide. Limits of detection (LOD) and quantitation (LOQ) for this peptide were 150 and 200 amol/µg tumor protein, respectively. The assay demonstrated excellent precision and temporal stability of measurements in serial sections analyzed one year apart. Expression levels of 130 GEC tissues ranged (<150 amol/µg to 4669.5 amol/µg. High correlation was observed between SRM Met expression and both MET GCN and MET/CEP7 ratio as determined by FISH (n = 30; R2 = 0.898). IHC did not correlate well with SRM (n = 44; R2 = 0.537) nor FISH GCN (n = 31; R2 = 0.509). A Met SRM level of ≥1500 amol/µg was 100% sensitive (95% CI 0.69–1) and 100% specific (95% CI 0.92–1) for MET amplification. Conclusions The Met SRM assay measured the absolute Met levels in clinical tissues with high precision. Compared to IHC, SRM provided a quantitative and linear measurement of Met expression, reliably distinguishing between non-amplified and amplified MET

  8. Results from a four-year study on the prevalence of nosocomial infections in Franche-Comté: attempt to rank the risk of nosocomial infection.

    PubMed

    Floret, N; Bailly, P; Bertrand, X; Claude, B; Louis-Martinet, C; Picard, A; Tueffert, N; Talon, D

    2006-08-01

    The aim of this study was to rank the risk of nosocomial infection (NI) according to patient type by analysing the results of annual prevalence studies carried out in Franche-Comté from 2001 to 2004. Patients (N=14,905) were divided into four categories according to the number of endogenous risk factors (age, immunodepression, MacCabe score). The overall prevalence of infection was 6.1% and varied according to the category of patient from 1.93% (no risk factors) to 15.2% (three risk factors). The frequencies of NI related to an invasive procedure and to cross-contamination with multi-drug-resistant (MDR) bacteria were 30.9% and 12.3%, respectively; these percentages did not depend on the type of patient. The prevalence of NI decreased over time for patients with two or three risk factors, but was stable for patients with no risk factors. More than 40% of NIs were potentially avoidable (related to invasive procedures or involving cross-transmission of an MDR bacterium) regardless of the category of patient. This study suggests that at least 30% of NIs could be avoided.

  9. LoVo colon cancer cells resistant to oxaliplatin overexpress c-MET and VEGFR-1 and respond to VEGF with dephosphorylation of c-MET.

    PubMed

    Mezquita, Belén; Pineda, Estela; Mezquita, Jovita; Mezquita, Pau; Pau, Montserrat; Codony-Servat, Jordi; Martínez-Balibrea, Eva; Mora, Conchi; Maurel, Joan; Mezquita, Cristóbal

    2016-05-01

    Oxaliplatin-resistant LoVo colon cancer cells overexpressing c-MET and VEGFR-1 were selected to study several signaling pathways involved in chemoresistance, as well as the effect of increasing amounts of VEGF in the regulation of c-MET. In comparison with chemosensitive LoVo colon cancer cells, oxaliplatin-resistant cells (LoVoR) overexpress and phosphorylate c-MET, upregulate the expression of transmembrane and soluble VEGFR-1 and, unexpectedly, downregulate VEGF. In addition, LoVoR cells activate other transduction pathways involved in chemoresistance such as Akt, β-catenin-TCF4 and E-cadherin. While c-MET is phosphorylated in LoVoR cells expressing low levels of VEGF, c-MET phosphorylation decreases when recombinant VEGF is added into the culture medium. Inhibition of c-MET by VEGF is mediated by VEGFR-1, since phosphorylation of c-MET in the presence of VEGF is restored after silencing VEGFR-1. Dephosphorylation of c-MET by VEGF suggests that tumors coexpressing VEGFR-1 and c-MET may activate c-MET as a result of anti-VEGF therapy.

  10. Higher Levels of c-Met Expression and Phosphorylation Identify Cell Lines With Increased Sensitivity to AMG-458, a Novel Selective c-Met Inhibitor With Radiosensitizing Effects

    SciTech Connect

    Li Bo; Torossian, Artour; Sun, Yunguang; Du, Ruihong; Dicker, Adam P.; Lu Bo

    2012-11-15

    Purpose: c-Met is overexpressed in some non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines and tissues. Cell lines with higher levels of c-Met expression and phosphorylation depend on this receptor for survival. We studied the effects of AMG-458 on 2 NSCLC cell lines. Methods and Materials: 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl) -2H-tetrazolium assays assessed the sensitivities of the cells to AMG-458. Clonogenic survival assays illustrated the radiosensitizing effects of AMG-458. Western blot for cleaved caspase 3 measured apoptosis. Immunoblotting for c-Met, phospho-Met (p-Met), Akt/p-Akt, and Erk/p-Erk was performed to observe downstream signaling. Results: AMG-458 enhanced radiosensitivity in H441 but not in A549. H441 showed constitutive phosphorylation of c-Met. A549 expressed low levels of c-Met, which were phosphorylated only in the presence of exogenous hepatocyte growth factor. The combination of radiation therapy and AMG-458 treatment was found to synergistically increase apoptosis in the H441 cell line but not in A549. Radiation therapy, AMG-458, and combination treatment were found to reduce p-Akt and p-Erk levels in H441 but not in A549. H441 became less sensitive to AMG-458 after small interfering RNA knockdown of c-Met; there was no change in A549. After overexpression of c-Met, A549 became more sensitive, while H441 became less sensitive to AMG-458. Conclusions: AMG-458 was more effective in cells that expressed higher levels of c-Met/p-Met, suggesting that higher levels of c-Met and p-Met in NSCLC tissue may classify a subset of tumors that are more sensitive to molecular therapies against this receptor.

  11. MET tyrosine kinase receptor expression and amplification as prognostic biomarkers of survival in gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Ang, Agnes; Liao, Wei‐Li; Shen, Jing; O'Day, Emily; Loberg, Robert D.; Cecchi, Fabiola; Hembrough, Todd; Ruzzo, Annamaria; Graziano, Francesco

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND MET gene amplification and Met protein overexpression may be associated with a poor prognosis. The MET/Met status is typically determined with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), respectively. Targeted proteomics uses mass spectrometry–based selected reaction monitoring (SRM) to accurately quantitate Met expression. FISH, IHC, and SRM analyses were compared to characterize the prognostic value of MET/Met in gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma (GEC). METHODS Samples from 447 GEC patients were analyzed for MET gene amplification (FISH) and Met protein expression (IHC and SRM). Cox proportional hazards models and Kaplan‐Meier estimates were applied to explore relations between Met, overall survival (OS), and clinical/pathological characteristics. Spearman's rank coefficient was used to assess the correlation between parameters. RESULTS Patients with MET‐amplified tumors had worse OS when: the MET/centromere enumeration probe for chromosome 7 FISH ratio was ≥ 2 (hazard ratio [HR], 3.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.84‐5.33), the MET gene copy number was ≥5 (HR, 2.51; 95% CI, 1.45‐4.34), or ≥ 10% of the cells had ≥15 copies (HR, 4.28; 95% CI, 2.18‐8.39). Similar observations were made with Met protein overexpression by IHC (≥1 + intensity in ≥ 25% of the tumor cell membrane: HR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.04‐1.86) or SRM (≥400 amol/μg: HR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.06‐2.90). A significant correlation was observed between MET FISH/Met IHC, MET FISH/Met SRM, and Met IHC/Met SRM; only MET FISH and Met SRM were independent negative prognostic biomarkers in multivariate analyses. CONCLUSIONS MET amplification and overexpression, assessed by multiple methods, were associated with a worse prognosis in univariate analyses. However, only MET amplification by FISH and Met expression by SRM were independent prognostic biomarkers. Compared with IHC, SRM may provide an added benefit for informed decisions

  12. Seasonal to decadal climate services at the Met Office

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brookshaw, A.; Arribas, A.; Graham, R.; Vellinga, M.; Fereday, D.

    2012-12-01

    For several years the Met Office, the UK's National Met service, has been providing climate services to a large range of users - from government organisations, both national and international, to commercial customers. This presentation will describe our current activities and future plans for development of user-relevant climate science and new products and services for monthly to decadal timescales, which build on our current role as a Global Producing Centre of long-range forecasts and key contributor to a number of operational multi-model ensembles and Regional Climate Outlook Forums. Already, much of the recent research has been geared towards applications: from making the monthly, seasonal and decadal predictability at regional scales the focus of development for the coupled climate model and the operational forecasting systems, to investigating methodologies for predicting seasonal and decadal tropical storm activity and climate and weather extremes. An example of such a development towards user-relevant applications and services will be presented in detail: the Climate Science Research Partnership (CSRP). This is a partnership between the Met Office Hadley Centre and the UK Department for International Development, aimed at advancing the quality, relevance and uptake of climate services in Africa. It has been running for almost three years, and during this period activities have ranged from fundamental climate research - focused on improving the understanding, modelling and prediction of African climate - to development of user-relevant products and activities to strengthen uptake of such science and services. The presentation will highlight key scientific results, new experimental products driven by user needs identified by consultation, as well as some of the limitations and challenges encountered along the way.

  13. Regulation of MET by FOXP2, genes implicated in higher cognitive dysfunction and autism risk.

    PubMed

    Mukamel, Zohar; Konopka, Genevieve; Wexler, Eric; Osborn, Gregory E; Dong, Hongmei; Bergman, Mica Y; Levitt, Pat; Geschwind, Daniel H

    2011-08-10

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly heritable, behaviorally defined, heterogeneous disorder of unknown pathogenesis. Several genetic risk genes have been identified, including the gene encoding the receptor tyrosine kinase MET, which regulates neuronal differentiation and growth. An ASD-associated polymorphism disrupts MET gene transcription, and there are reduced levels of MET protein expression in the mature temporal cortex of subjects with ASD. To address the possible neurodevelopmental contribution of MET to ASD pathogenesis, we examined the expression and transcriptional regulation of MET by a transcription factor, FOXP2, which is implicated in regulation of cognition and language, two functions altered in ASD. MET mRNA expression in the midgestation human fetal cerebral cortex is strikingly restricted, localized to portions of the temporal and occipital lobes. Within the cortical plate of the temporal lobe, the pattern of MET expression is highly complementary to the expression pattern of FOXP2, suggesting the latter may play a role in repression of gene expression. Consistent with this, MET and FOXP2 also are reciprocally expressed by differentiating normal human neuronal progenitor cells (NHNPs) in vitro, leading us to assess whether FOXP2 transcriptionally regulates MET. Indeed, FOXP2 binds directly to the 5' regulatory region of MET, and overexpression of FOXP2 results in transcriptional repression of MET. The expression of MET in restricted human neocortical regions, and its regulation in part by FOXP2, is consistent with genetic evidence for MET contributing to ASD risk.

  14. Association between XRCC3 Thr241Met polymorphism and risk of osteosarcoma in a Chinese population.

    PubMed

    Guo, J; Lv, H C; Shi, R H; Liu, W L

    2015-12-09

    Osteosarcoma is one of the most common bone malignancies in adolescents, and hereditary factors may influence its susceptibility. We assessed the association between XRCC3 Thr241Met polymorphism and susceptibility to osteosarcoma in a Chinese population. Between May 2012 and May 2014, a total of 136 osteosarcoma patients and 136 healthy control subjects were included in our study. The XRCC3 Thr241Met polymorphism was analyzed using a polymerase chain reaction restriction fragment length polymorphism assay. By multiple logistic regression analysis, individuals carrying the Met/Met genotype of XRCC3 Thr241Met were at significantly increased risk of osteosarcoma when compared with the Thr/Thr (OR = 2.50, 95%CI = 1.13-5.66). The Thr/Met+Met/Met genotype of XRCC3 Thr241Met was furthermore found to be correlated with an elevated increased risk of osteosarcoma when compared with the Thr/Thr genotype (OR = 1.71, 95%CI = 1.03-2.87), and Met/Met genotype of XRCC3 Thr241Met was associated with an increased risk of osteosarcoma compared to the Thr/Thr (OR = 3.50, 95%CI = 1.51-8.79). In conclusion, our study firstly reports that XRCC3 Thr241Met gene polymorphism is associated with an elavated risk of osteosarcoma.

  15. Materials Evaluation Test Series (METS) 04, 05, and 06

    SciTech Connect

    Zalk, D; Ingram, C; Simmons, L; Arganbright, R; Lyle, J; Wong, K

    2006-03-23

    The purpose of this work is to examine the environmental, safety, health and operational aspects of detonating a confined explosive test apparatus that has been designed to maximize the dynamics of impact on beryllium metal components for Contained Firing Facility (CFF) applications. A combination of experimental collection and evaluation methods were designed and implemented to provide an evaluation of immediately postdetonation by-products reflecting a potential worst-case scenario beryllium aerosolization explosive event. The collective Material Evaluation Test Series (METS) 04 - 06 provided explosive devices designed to scale for the dedicated METS firing tank that would provide a post-detonation internal environment comparable to the CFF. The experimental results provided appropriate information to develop operational parameters to be considered for conducting full-scale beryllium-containing experimental tests with similar designs within CFF and B801A. These operational procedures include the inclusion of chelating agents in pre-shot CFF cardboard containers with a minimum of 600 gallons content, an extended time period post-test before purging the CFF chamber, and an adaptation of approaches toward applications of the scrubber and HEPA systems during the post-shot sequence for an integrated environmental, safety, and health approach. In addition, re-entry and film retrieval procedures will be adapted, in line with abatement techniques for cleaning the chamber, that will be required for work inside a CFF that will contain an elevated concentration of spherical and highly aerosolizable beryllium particulate.

  16. Lack of neural compensatory mechanisms of BDNF val66met met carriers and APOE E4 carriers in healthy aging, mild cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Gomar, Jesus J; Conejero-Goldberg, Concepcion; Huey, Edward D; Davies, Peter; Goldberg, Terry E

    2016-03-01

    Compromises in compensatory neurobiologic mechanisms due to aging and/or genetic factors (i.e., APOE gene) may influence brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) val66met polymorphism effects on temporal lobe morphometry and memory performance. We studied 2 cohorts from Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative: 175 healthy subjects and 222 with prodromal and established Alzheimer's disease. Yearly structural magnetic resonance imaging and cognitive performance assessments were carried out over 3 years of follow-up. Both cohorts had similar BDNF Val/Val and Met allele carriers' (including both Val/Met and Met/Met individuals) distribution. In healthy subjects, a significant trend for thinner posterior cingulate and precuneus cortices was detected in Met carriers compared to Val homozygotes in APOE E4 carriers, with large and medium effect sizes, respectively. The mild cognitive impairment/Alzheimer's disease cohort showed a longitudinal decline in entorhinal thickness in BDNF Met carriers compared to Val/Val in APOE E4 carriers, with effect sizes ranging from medium to large. In addition, an effect of BDNF genotype was found in APOE E4 carriers for episodic memory (logical memory and ADAS-Cog) and semantic fluency measures, with Met carriers performing worse in all cases. These findings suggest a lack of compensatory mechanisms in BDNF Met carriers and APOE E4 carriers in healthy and pathological aging.

  17. Alteration status and prognostic value of MET in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Yoon Ah; Kim, Eun Kyung; Heo, Su Jin; Cho, Byoung Chul; Kim, Hye Ryun; Chung, Ji Myung; Yoon, Sun Och

    2016-01-01

    The MET pathway plays a key role in various cancers, and its inhibition represents a potential treatment target. However, appropriate biomarkers are needed to facilitate the selection of patients who would benefit from MET inhibiting therapy. We herein conducted a robust confirmatory evaluation of the MET copy number alteration status and prognostic significance of c-Met expression in a large series of patients (n = 396) who underwent standard surgical resection and adjuvant chemoradiotherapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Surgically resected HNSCC samples were subjected to immunohistochemical and H-score analysis of c-Met expression and silver in situ hybridization analysis of MET amplification and copy number gains. c-Met expression varied, with mean and median H-scores (scale: 0-300 scale) of 61.2 and 60.0, respectively. The lowest and highest expression levels were observed in SCC of the larynx and oral cavity, respectively. MET copy number gains were observed in 16.9% of cases (67/339) and were associated with c-Met protein expression. High c-Met expression, determined according to MET gain status, was associated with an inferior overall survival rate, especially among completely resected cases. In conclusion, our robust analysis revealed that c-Met expression in HNSCCs varied according to anatomical site, correlated with MET copy number gains, and was associated with poor prognosis. This c-Met expression analysis method, which is based on the MET gain status, appears to appropriately predict high-risk HNSCC patients in the context of anti-MET therapeutic decisions. PMID:27994655

  18. Design, synthesis and structure-activity relationships of novel biarylamine-based Met kinase inhibitors

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, David K; Chen, Xiao-Tao; Tarby, Christine; Kaltenbach, Robert; Cai, Zhen-Wei; Tokarski, John S; An, Yongmi; Sack, John S; Wautlet, Barri; Gullo-Brown, Johnni; Henley, Benjamin J; Jeyaseelan, Robert; Kellar, Kristen; Manne, Veeraswamy; Trainor, George L; Lombardo, Louis J; Fargnoli, Joseph; Borzilleri, Robert M

    2010-09-03

    Biarylamine-based inhibitors of Met kinase have been identified. Lead compounds demonstrate nanomolar potency in Met kinase biochemical assays and significant activity in the Met-driven GTL-16 human gastric carcinoma cell line. X-ray crystallography revealed that these compounds adopt a bioactive conformation, in the kinase domain, consistent with that previously seen with 2-pyridone-based Met kinase inhibitors. Compound 9b demonstrated potent in vivo antitumor activity in the GTL-16 human tumor xenograft model.

  19. Microenvironment-derived HGF overcomes genetically determined sensitivity to anti-MET drugs.

    PubMed

    Pennacchietti, Selma; Cazzanti, Manuela; Bertotti, Andrea; Rideout, William M; Han, May; Gyuris, Jeno; Perera, Timothy; Comoglio, Paolo M; Trusolino, Livio; Michieli, Paolo

    2014-11-15

    Cell-based drug screenings indicate that tumors displaying c-MET gene amplification are "addicted" to MET signaling and therefore are very sensitive to MET-targeted agents. However, these screenings were conducted in the absence of the MET ligand, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which is abundant in the tumor microenvironment. Sensitivity of six MET-addicted human tumor cells to three MET kinase inhibitors (JNJ-38877605, PHA-665752, crizotinib) and one antagonistic anti-MET antibody (DN30 Fab) was analyzed in the absence or presence of HGF, in a stroma-tumor coculture system, and by combining anti-MET drugs with an HGF neutralizing antibody (ficlatuzumab) in human HGF knock-in mice bearing c-MET-amplified tumors. In all models examined, HGF promoted resistance to MET-targeted agents, affecting both their potency and efficacy. HGF-induced resistance was due to restoration of physiologic GAB1-mediated PI3K activation that compensated for loss of aberrant HER3-dependent PI3K signaling. Ficlatuzumab restored sensitivity to MET-targeted agents in coculture systems and overcame resistance to JNJ-38877605, crizotinib, and DN30 Fab in human HGF knock-in mice. These data suggest that c-MET-amplified tumor cells-which normally exhibit ligand-independent, constitutive MET activation-become dependent on HGF for survival upon pharmacologic MET inhibition. Because HGF is frequently overexpressed in human cancer, this mechanism may represent a major cause of resistance to anti-MET therapies. The ability of ficlatuzumab to overcome HGF-mediated resistance generates proof of principle that vertical inhibition of both a tyrosine kinase receptor and its ligand can be therapeutically beneficial and opens new perspectives for the treatment of MET-dependent tumors.

  20. MET receptor juxtamembrane exon 14 alternative spliced variant: novel cancer genomic predictive biomarker.

    PubMed

    Ma, Patrick C

    2015-08-01

    Clinical studies on MET-targeting cancer therapeutics have yielded mixed results in recent years, and MET-relevant predictive biomarkers remain elusive. New studies now reveal METex14 alternative splicing aberrations to represent potential predictive cancer genomic biomarker, hence renewing optimism and directions in the quest for optimized MET-targeting personalized cancer therapy.

  1. 75 FR 44289 - MET Laboratories, Inc.; Application for Expansion of Recognition

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-28

    ... Occupational Safety and Health Administration MET Laboratories, Inc.; Application for Expansion of Recognition... announces the application of MET Laboratories, Inc., (MET) for expansion of its recognition, and presents... Expansion Application The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is providing notice that...

  2. 77 FR 25080 - Safety Zones; TriMet Bridge Project, Willamette River, Portland, OR

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-27

    ... SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zones; TriMet Bridge Project, Willamette River... of the TriMet Bridge on the Willamette River, in Portland, OR. This action is necessary to ensure the... established for the TriMet Bridge construction site and are more focused in nature than the previous...

  3. The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MetLife, Inc., 2011

    2011-01-01

    "The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Preparing Students for College and Careers" was conducted by Harris Interactive and is the twenty-seventh in a series sponsored annually by MetLife since 1984 to give voice to those closest to the classroom. This MetLife Survey examines the priority that all students graduate from high school prepared…

  4. The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MetLife, Inc., 2010

    2010-01-01

    "The MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Collaborating for Student Success (2009)" was conducted by Harris Interactive and is twenty-sixth in a series sponsored by MetLife since 1984 to give voice to those closest to the classroom. This "MetLife Survey" examines the views of teachers, principals and students about respective roles and…

  5. Met and its ligand HGF are associated with clinical outcome in breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Veenstra, Cynthia; Pérez-Tenorio, Gizeh; Stelling, Anna; Karlsson, Elin; Mirwani, Sanam Mirwani; Nordensköljd, Bo; Fornander, Tommy; Stål, Olle

    2016-06-14

    Few biomarkers exist to predict radiotherapy response in breast cancer. In vitro studies suggest a role for Met and its ligand HGF. To study this suggested role, MET and HGF gene copy numbers were determined by droplet digital PCR in tumours from 205 pre-menopausal and 184 post-menopausal patients, both cohorts randomised to receive either chemo- or radiotherapy. MET amplification was found in 8% of the patients in both cohorts and HGF amplification in 7% and 6% of the patients in the pre- and post-menopausal cohort, respectively. Met, phosphorylated Met (pMet), and HGF protein expression was determined by immunohistochemistry in the pre-menopausal cohort. Met, pMet, and HGF was expressed in 33%, 53%, and 49% of the tumours, respectively. MET amplification was associated with increased risk of distant recurrence for patients receiving chemotherapy. For the pre-menopausal patients, expression of cytoplasmic pMet and HGF significantly predicted benefit from radiotherapy in terms of loco-regional recurrence. Similar trends were seen for MET and HGF copy gain. In the post-menopausal cohort, no significant association of benefit from radiotherapy with neither genes nor proteins was found. The present results do not support that inhibition of Met prior to radiotherapy would be favourable for pre-menopausal breast cancer, as previously suggested.

  6. The potential roles of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-MET pathway inhibitors in cancer treatment.

    PubMed

    Parikh, Rahul A; Wang, Peng; Beumer, Jan H; Chu, Edward; Appleman, Leonard J

    2014-01-01

    MET is located on chromosome 7q31 and is a proto-oncogene that encodes for hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) receptor, a member of the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) family. HGF, also known as scatter factor (SF), is the only known ligand for MET. MET is a master regulator of cell growth and division (mitogenesis), mobility (motogenesis), and differentiation (morphogenesis); it plays an important role in normal development and tissue regeneration. The HGF-MET axis is frequently dysregulated in cancer by MET gene amplification, translocation, and mutation, or by MET or HGF protein overexpression. MET dysregulation is associated with an increased propensity for metastatic disease and poor overall prognosis across multiple tumor types. Targeting the dysregulated HGF-MET pathway is an area of active research; a number of monoclonal antibodies to HGF and MET, as well as small molecule inhibitors of MET, are under development. This review summarizes the key biological features of the HGF-MET axis, its dysregulation in cancer, and the therapeutic agents targeting the HGF-MET axis, which are in development.

  7. Effects of Wearing Compression Stockings on the Physical Performance of T2DM Men with MetS.

    PubMed

    Brinkmann, C; Hermann, R; Rühl, E; Kerzel, H; Reinhardt, L; Grau, M; Latsch, J; Kohl-Bareis, M; Bloch, W; Brixius, K

    2016-05-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are associated with macro- and microcirculatory complications that reduce physical performance. Wearing compression garments to potentially optimize hemodynamics has been discussed. This study investigates the effects of wearing compression stockings on physical performance-related variables in type 2 diabetic men with metabolic syndrome (n=9, 57±12 years, BMI: 36±4 kg/m(2)). Participants served as their own controls in a randomized 3*3 crossover study wearing below-knee stockings with either compression (24 or 30 mmHg ankle pressure) or no compression. Venous pooling and lower limb oxygenation profiles were determined with near-infrared spectroscopy and arterial oxygen saturation was determined using a pulse oxymeter. Measurements were performed in the supine lying position, during standing, following 10 tiptoe exercises and after submaximal intensity cycling. In addition, lactate and erythrocyte deformability were analyzed in capillary blood pre- and post-exercise. Erythrocyte deformability was analyzed using a laser-assisted optical rotational red cell analyzer. No significant differences in any variables when wearing different compression or regular stockings were evident at any point of measurement. This study did not reveal any beneficial effects of wearing compression stockings at rest and during acute bouts of moderately intense exercise in this particular patient group.

  8. Association study of single nucleotide polymorphism rs165599 of COMT gene, with schizophrenia and bipolar mood disorder in the south-west of Iran

    PubMed Central

    Behbahani, Parisima; Kazemi-Nezhad, Seyed Reza; Foroughmand, Ali Mohammad; Ahmadi, Leila

    2015-01-01

    Linkage studies and epidemiological findings indicate that some possible genes in schizophrenia (SCZ) and bipolar mood disorder (BPD) are common. Numerous evidences for linkage of two diseases on chromosome 22 have been found. These findings suggest that one or more genes in the 22q11.21 region may be involved in the development of both disorders. In the present case-control study, association between the mentioned disorders and a genetic polymorphism (rs165599) of catechol O- methyltransferase (COMT, OMIM: 116790) was studied. Here 100 BPD patients, 100SCZ patients, and 100 healthy controls were included in the study. The samples were matched in terms of gender and ethnicity. Statistical analysis showed that there was a significant association this polymorphism and risk of SCZ. The AG (OR=7.41, 95% CI: 3.21-17.1, P<0.001) and GG genotypes (OR=13.9, 95% CI: 5.61-34.4, P<0.001) increased the risk of SCZ compared with the GG genotypes. The AG (OR=14.3, 95% CI: 4.16-49.4, P<0.001) and AA genotypes (OR=54.2, 95% CI: 15.3-191, P<0.001) significantly associated with the risk of BPD. The risk of SCZ (x2=37.4, P<0.001) and BPD (x2=66.2, P<0.001) significantly increased as a function of numbers of the A allele. The present study revealed that this polymorphism associated with risks of SCZ, and BPD. PMID:27843998

  9. Aerosol impacts in the Met Office global NWP model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mulcahy, Jane P.; Brooks, Malcolm E.; Milton, Sean F.

    2010-05-01

    An accurate representation of the direct and indirect effect of aerosols is of growing concern for global numerical weather prediction (NWP). Increased scattering and absorption of incoming shortwave (SW) and outgoing longwave radiation (OLR) fields due to the presence of aerosol layers in the atmosphere modifies the atmospheric heating profile and can affect large-scale circulation patterns. The current representation of aerosols in the global NWP configuration of the Met Office Unified ModelTM (MetUM) is based on a simple aerosol climatology (Cusack et al., 1998). Profiles of water soluble dust, soot, oceanic and stratospheric sulphate aerosols are described separately for land and ocean surfaces and are distributed over the boundary layer, free troposphere and stratosphere (sulphates only). While this improved the reflected SW radiative bias at the top-of-atmosphere (TOA), there is evidence that the climatology is too absorbing leading to a temperature bias in the lower troposphere of approximately 0.5 K/day. Furthermore, the omission of the scattering and absorption properties of mineral dust and biomass burning aerosol particles in particular, is believed to be the principal cause of significant model biases (in the region of 50-56 W m-2) in both the model OLR at the TOA (Haywood et al., 2005) and the surface SW radiation fields (Milton et al., 2008). One of the objectives of the Global Aerosols (G-AER) component of the MACC (Monitoring Atmospheric Composition and Climate) project is to evaluate the impact of an improved aerosol representation on the performance of global NWP models. In a stepwise approach of increasing the aerosol complexity in the MetUM, the Cusack climatology is being replaced by the CLASSIC (Coupled Large-scale Aerosol Simulator for Studies in Climate) aerosol scheme, developed for the HadGEM (Hadley Centre Global Environmental Model) climate model. CLASSIC includes representations of external mixtures of sulphate, black carbon, organic

  10. Airbag and ASI/MET instrument in 360-degree panorama

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This view from the lander was imaged by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) as part of a 360-degree color panorama, taken over sols 8, 9 and 10. A deflated airbag is at the bottom of the image. At the extreme right, the Atmospheric Structure Instrument and Meteorology package (ASI/MET)mast, with its three windsocks, is visible.are at the bottom right of the image.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.

  11. Metallography at the Met Lab -- The first fifty years

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, R.H.

    1995-12-31

    The Met Lab at the University of Chicago was established to build the world`s first nuclear reactor. The object was to see if a pile (CP-1) could be built to create a sustained chain reaction, i.e., controlled nuclear fission. New materials of the very best quality were needed and people of many skills worked together to achieve the goal as quickly as possible. This is the story of a select group of people who were scientific and engineering pioneers in this new field. Research continued at new sites on more advanced reactors and cooling systems. Many problems were encountered in the fabrication of reactor components, and metallography was a crucial method of analyzing the reactions and quality of consolidation. 1996 will be the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the National Laboratories, so it is appropriate to commemorate and recall some pioneering achievements.

  12. MetNH3: Metrology for ammonia in ambient air

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braban, Christine; Twigg, Marsailidh; Tang, Sim; Leuenberger, Daiana; Ferracci, Valerio; Martin, Nick; Pascale, Celine; Hieta, Tuomas; Pogany, Andrea; Persijn, Stefan; van Wijk, Janneke; Gerwig, Holger; Wirtze, Klaus; Tiebe, Carlo; Balslev-Harder, David; Niederhausen, Bernhardt

    2015-04-01

    Measuring ammonia in ambient air is a sensitive and priority issue due to its harmful effects on human health and ecosystems. The European Directive 2001/81/EC on 'National Emission Ceilings for Certain Atmospheric Pollutants (NEC)' regulates ammonia emissions in the member states. However, there is a lack of regulation to ensure reliable ammonia measurements namely in applicable analytical technology, maximum allowed uncertainty, quality assurance and quality control (QC/QA) procedures as well as in the infrastructure to attain metrological traceability. Validated ammonia measurement data of high quality from air monitoring networks are vitally important for identifying changes due to implementations of environment policies, for understanding where the uncertainties in current emission inventories are derived from and for providing independent verification of atmospheric model predictions. The new EURAMET project MetNH3 aims to develop improved reference gas mixtures by static and dynamic gravimetric generation methods, develop and characterise laser based optical spectrometric standards and establish the transfer from high-accuracy standards to field applicable methods. MetNH3started in June 2014 and in this presentation the first results from the metrological characterisation of a commercially available cavity ring-down spectrometer (CRDS) will be discussed. Also first tests and results from a new design, Controlled Atmosphere Test Facility (CATFAC), which is to be characterised and used to validate the performance of diffusive samplers, denuders and on-line instruments, will be reported. CAFTEC can be used to control test parameters such as ammonia concentration, relative humidity and wind speed. Outline plans for international laboratory and field intercomparisons in 2016 will be presented.

  13. Conformational analysis of [Met5]-enkephalin: Solvation and ionization considerations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlacci, Louis

    1998-03-01

    [Met5]-Enkephalin has the sequence Tyr-Gly-Gly-Phe-Met. Only the extended conformation of the peptide has been observed by X-ray crystallography. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy supports the presence of a turn at Gly 3 and Phe 4 in dimethyl sulfoxide. In this study, the peptide conformational states and thermodynamic properties are understood in terms of ionization state and solvent environment. In the calculation, final conformations obtained from multiple independent Monte Carlo simulated annealing conformational searches are starting points for molecular dynamics simulations. In an aqueous environment given by the use of solvation free energy and the zwitterionic state, dominant structural motifs computed are G-P Type II' bend, G-G Type II' bend, and G-G Type I' bend motifs, in order of increasing free energy. In the calculation of the peptide with neutral N- and C-termini and solvation free energy, the extended conformer dominates (by at least a factor of 2.5), and the conformation of another low free energy conformer superimposes well on the pharmacophoric groups of morphine. Neutralization of charge and solvation induce and stabilize the extended conformation, respectively. A mechanism of inter-conversion between the extended conformer and three bent conformers is supported by φ/ψ-scatter plots, and by the conformer relative free energies. An estimate of the entropy change of receptor unbinding is 8.3 cal K-1 mol-1, which gives rise to a -2.5 kcal/mol entropy contribution to the free energy of unbinding at 25 °C. The conformational analysis methodology described here should be useful in studies on short peptides and flexible protein surface loops that have important biological implications.

  14. MetAMOS: a modular and open source metagenomic assembly and analysis pipeline

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    We describe MetAMOS, an open source and modular metagenomic assembly and analysis pipeline. MetAMOS represents an important step towards fully automated metagenomic analysis, starting with next-generation sequencing reads and producing genomic scaffolds, open-reading frames and taxonomic or functional annotations. MetAMOS can aid in reducing assembly errors, commonly encountered when assembling metagenomic samples, and improves taxonomic assignment accuracy while also reducing computational cost. MetAMOS can be downloaded from: https://github.com/treangen/MetAMOS. PMID:23320958

  15. Initiation factor eIF2γ promotes eIF2-GTP-Met-tRNAi(Met) ternary complex binding to the 40S ribosome.

    PubMed

    Shin, Byung-Sik; Kim, Joo-Ran; Walker, Sarah E; Dong, Jinsheng; Lorsch, Jon R; Dever, Thomas E

    2011-10-16

    In contrast to prokaryotic elongation factor EF-Tu, which delivers aminoacyl-tRNAs to the ribosomal A-site, eukaryotic initiation factor eIF2 binds methionyl initiator transfer RNA (Met-tRNA(i)(Met)) to the P-site of the 40S ribosomal subunit. The results of directed hydroxyl radical probing experiments to map binding of Saccharomyces cerevisiae eIF2 on the ribosome and on Met-tRNA(i)(Met) revealed that eIF2γ primarily contacts the acceptor stem of Met-tRNA(i)(Met) and identified a key binding interface between domain III of eIF2γ and 18S rRNA helix h44 on the 40S subunit. Whereas the analogous domain III of EF-Tu contacts the T stem of tRNAs, biochemical analyses demonstrated that eIF2γ domain III is important for ribosome, not Met-tRNA(i)(Met). Thus, despite their structural similarity, eIF2 and EF-Tu bind tRNAs in substantially different manners, and we propose that the tRNA-binding domain III of EF-Tu has acquired a new ribosome-binding function in eIF2γ.

  16. MetNetAPI: A flexible method to access and manipulate biological network data from MetNet

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Convenient programmatic access to different biological databases allows automated integration of scientific knowledge. Many databases support a function to download files or data snapshots, or a webservice that offers "live" data. However, the functionality that a database offers cannot be represented in a static data download file, and webservices may consume considerable computational resources from the host server. Results MetNetAPI is a versatile Application Programming Interface (API) to the MetNetDB database. It abstracts, captures and retains operations away from a biological network repository and website. A range of database functions, previously only available online, can be immediately (and independently from the website) applied to a dataset of interest. Data is available in four layers: molecular entities, localized entities (linked to a specific organelle), interactions, and pathways. Navigation between these layers is intuitive (e.g. one can request the molecular entities in a pathway, as well as request in what pathways a specific entity participates). Data retrieval can be customized: Network objects allow the construction of new and integration of existing pathways and interactions, which can be uploaded back to our server. In contrast to webservices, the computational demand on the host server is limited to processing data-related queries only. Conclusions An API provides several advantages to a systems biology software platform. MetNetAPI illustrates an interface with a central repository of data that represents the complex interrelationships of a metabolic and regulatory network. As an alternative to data-dumps and webservices, it allows access to a current and "live" database and exposes analytical functions to application developers. Yet it only requires limited resources on the server-side (thin server/fat client setup). The API is available for Java, Microsoft.NET and R programming environments and offers flexible query and broad

  17. Transcriptional upregulation of c-MET is associated with invasion and tumor budding in colorectal cancer

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Conor A.; Dunne, Philip D.; Bingham, Victoria; McQuaid, Stephen; Khawaja, Hajrah; Craig, Stephanie; James, Jackie; Moore, Wendy L.; McArt, Darragh G.; Lawler, Mark; Dasgupta, Sonali; Johnston, Patrick G.; Van Schaeybroeck, Sandra

    2016-01-01

    c-MET and its ligand HGF are frequently overexpressed in colorectal cancer (CRC) and increased c-MET levels are found in CRC liver metastases. This study investigated the role of the HGF/c-MET axis in regulating migration/invasion in CRC, using pre-clinical models and clinical samples. Pre-clinically, we found marked upregulation of c-MET at both protein and mRNA levels in several invasive CRC cells. Down-regulation of c-MET using RNAi suppressed migration/invasion of parental and invasive CRC cells. Stimulation of CRC cells with rh-HGF or co-culture with HGF-expressing colonic myofibroblasts, resulted in significant increases in their migratory/invasive capacity. Importantly, HGF-induced c-MET activation promoted rapid downregulation of c-MET protein levels, while the MET transcript remained unaltered. Using RNA in situ hybridization (RNA ISH), we further showed that MET mRNA, but not protein levels, were significantly upregulated in tumor budding foci at the invasive front of a cohort of stage III CRC tumors (p < 0.001). Taken together, we show for the first time that transcriptional upregulation of MET is a key molecular event associated with CRC invasion and tumor budding. This data also indicates that RNA ISH, but not immunohistochemistry, provides a robust methodology to assess MET levels as a potential driving force of CRC tumor invasion and metastasis. PMID:27793046

  18. Catechol O-methyltransferase and monoamine oxidase A genotypes, and plasma catecholamine metabolites in bipolar and schizophrenic patients.

    PubMed

    Zumárraga, Mercedes; Dávila, Ricardo; Basterreche, Nieves; Arrue, Aurora; Goienetxea, Biotza; Zamalloa, María I; Erkoreka, Leire; Bustamante, Sonia; Inchausti, Lucía; González-Torres, Miguel A; Guimón, José

    2010-01-01

    Metabolites of dopamine and norepinephrine measured in the plasma have long been associated with symptomatic severity and response to treatment in schizophrenic, bipolar and other psychiatric patients. Plasma concentrations of catecholamine metabolites are genetically regulated. The genes encoding enzymes that are involved in the synthesis and degradation of these monoamines are candidate targets for this genetic regulation. We have studied the relationship between the Val158Met polymorphism in catechol O-methyltransferase gene, variable tandem repeat polymorphisms in the monoamine oxidase A gene promoter, and plasma concentrations of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol, 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid and homovanillic acid in healthy control subjects as well as in untreated schizophrenic and bipolar patients. We found that the Val158Met substitution in catechol O-methyltransferase gene influences the plasma concentrations of homovanillic and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acids. Although higher concentrations of plasma homovanillic acid were found in the high-activity ValVal genotype, this mutation did not affect the plasma concentration of 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol. 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid concentrations were higher in the low-activity MetMet genotype. Interestingly, plasma values 3-methoxy-4-hydroxyphenylglycol were greater in schizophrenic patients and in bipolar patients than in healthy controls. Our results are compatible with the previously reported effect of the Val158Met polymorphism on catechol O-methyltransferase enzymatic activity. Thus, our results suggest that this polymorphism, alone or associated with other polymorphisms, could have an important role in the genetic control of monoamine concentration and its metabolites.

  19. MET expression and copy number heterogeneity in nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer (nsNSCLC)

    PubMed Central

    Taus, Álvaro; Pijuan, Lara; Arumí, Miriam; Lorenzo, Marta; Menéndez, Silvia; Cañadas, Israel; Albanell, Joan; Serrano, Sergio; Espinet, Blanca; Salido, Marta; Arriola, Edurne

    2015-01-01

    Objective We aimed to assess MET intratumoral heterogeneity and its potential impact on biomarker-based patient selection as well as potential surrogate biomarkers of MET activation. Methods Our study included 120 patients with non-squamous Non-small-cell Lung Cancer (nsNSCLC), of which 47 were incorporated in tissue microarrays (TMA). Four morphologically distinct tumor areas were selected to assess MET heterogeneity. MET positivity by immunohistochemistry (IHC) was defined as an above-median H-score and by +2/+3 staining intensity in >50% of tumor cells (Metmab criteria). MET FISH positivity was defined by MET/CEP7 ratio ≥ 2.0 and/or MET ≥ 5.0. MET staining pattern (cytoplasmic vs. membranous) and mesenchymal markers were investigated as surrogates of MET activation. Results Median MET H-score was 140 (range 0–400) and 47.8% of patients were MET positive by Metmab criteria. Eight cases (6.8%) were MET FISH positive and showed higher H-scores (p = 0.021). MET positivity by IHC changed in up to 40% of cases among different tumor areas, and MET amplification in 25–50%. Cytoplasmic MET staining and positivity for vimentin predicted poor survival (p = 0.042 and 0.047, respectively). Conclusions MET status is highly heterogeneous among different nsNSCLC tumor areas, hindering adequate patient selection for MET-targeted therapies. MET cytoplasmic staining and vimentin might represent surrogate markers for MET activation. PMID:26041880

  20. c-MET expression in primary and liver metastases in uveal melanoma.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Faithlore P; Serie, Daniel J; Salomao, Diva R; Wu, Kevin J; Markovic, Svetomir N; Pulido, Jose S; Joseph, Richard W

    2014-12-01

    There is a pressing need for effective therapies to treat uveal melanoma. Agents that inhibit the c-MET pathway have shown promise in multiple malignancies that overexpress c-MET. Herein, we assess c-MET expression in both primary uveal melanoma and liver metastases of uveal melanoma and evaluate the association of c-MET expression with clinical and pathologic variables. We have retrospectively identified tumor samples from primary and liver metastases of uveal melanoma from 1 January 1990 to 1 January 2012. We utilized immunohistochemistry to assess c-MET expression, and two pathologists quantified c-MET expression using an H-score (product of the intensity of staining and percentage of positive cells). The Mann-Whitney U-test, Pearson's correlation, and Cox model were used as appropriate. Thirty-nine of 40 (98%) primary tumors and nine of 10 (90%) metastatic liver lesions expressed c-MET (H-score range 0-300). There was a strong association between the percentage of positive cells and the intensity of c-MET expression (P=0.007). We found no association between c-MET H-score and clinicopathologic variables such as age, sex, or stage. c-MET expression was significantly higher in metastatic compared with primary tumors (median H-score 190 vs. 30, P=0.022). c-MET is expressed in the vast majority of primary and liver metastases of uveal melanomas; however, c-MET expression did not associate with pathologic features in our cohort. Metastatic lesions have higher expression of c-MET expression than primary tumors. Clinical trials involving c-MET inhibitors deserve further study in patients with uveal melanoma in both the adjuvant and metastatic setting.

  1. Quantitative imaging for development of companion diagnostics to drugs targeting HGF/MET

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Fangjin; Ma, Zhaoxuan; Pollan, Sara; Yuan, Xiaopu; Swartwood, Steven; Gertych, Arkadiusz; Rodriguez, Maria; Mallick, Jayati; Bhele, Sanica; Guindi, Maha; Dhall, Deepti; Walts, Ann E; Bose, Shikha; de Peralta Venturina, Mariza; Marchevsky, Alberto M; Luthringer, Daniel J; Feller, Stephan M; Berman, Benjamin; Freeman, Michael R; Alvord, W Gregory; Vande Woude, George; Amin, Mahul B

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The limited clinical success of anti‐HGF/MET drugs can be attributed to the lack of predictive biomarkers that adequately select patients for treatment. We demonstrate here that quantitative digital imaging of formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissues stained by immunohistochemistry can be used to measure signals from weakly staining antibodies and provides new opportunities to develop assays for detection of MET receptor activity. To establish a biomarker panel of MET activation, we employed seven antibodies measuring protein expression in the HGF/MET pathway in 20 cases and up to 80 cores from 18 human cancer types. The antibodies bind to epitopes in the extra (EC)‐ and intracellular (IC) domains of MET (MET4EC, SP44_METIC, D1C2_METIC), to MET‐pY1234/pY1235, a marker of MET kinase activation, as well as to HGF, pSFK or pMAPK. Expression of HGF was determined in tumour cells (T_HGF) as well as in stroma surrounding cancer (St_HGF). Remarkably, MET4EC correlated more strongly with pMET (r = 0.47) than SP44_METIC (r = 0.21) or D1C2_METIC (r = 0.08) across 18 cancer types. In addition, correlation coefficients of pMET and T_HGF (r = 0.38) and pMET and pSFK (r = 0.56) were high. Prediction models of MET activation reveal cancer‐type specific differences in performance of MET4EC, SP44_METIC and anti‐HGF antibodies. Thus, we conclude that assays to predict the response to HGF/MET inhibitors require a cancer‐type specific antibody selection and should be develope