Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Proteome analysis of schizophrenia patients Wernicke's area reveals an energy metabolism dysregulation

Daniel Martins-de-Souza123*, Wagner F Gattaz1, Andrea Schmitt4, José C Novello2, Sérgio Marangoni2, Christoph W Turck3 and Emmanuel Dias-Neto15

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratório de Neurociências, Instituto de Psiquiatria, Faculdade de Medicina da USP, Rua Dr. Ovídio Pires de Campos, no 785, São Paulo, SP, CEP 05403-010, Brazil

2 Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Kraepelinstrasse 2, D-80804, Munich, Germany

3 Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Biologia, UNICAMP, CEP 13083-970, Campinas, SP, Brazil

4 Department of Psychiatry, Von Siebold Str. 5, University of Goettingen, 37075 Goettingen, Germany

5 University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, 77030, Houston, Texas, USA

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BMC Psychiatry 2009, 9:17  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-9-17

Published: 30 April 2009



Schizophrenia is likely to be a consequence of DNA alterations that, together with environmental factors, will lead to protein expression differences and the ultimate establishment of the illness. The superior temporal gyrus is implicated in schizophrenia and executes functions such as the processing of speech, language skills and sound processing.


We performed an individual comparative proteome analysis using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of 9 schizophrenia and 6 healthy control patients' left posterior superior temporal gyrus (Wernicke's area – BA22p) identifying by mass spectrometry several protein expression alterations that could be related to the disease.


Our analysis revealed 11 downregulated and 14 upregulated proteins, most of them related to energy metabolism. Whereas many of the identified proteins have been previously implicated in schizophrenia, such as fructose-bisphosphate aldolase C, creatine kinase and neuron-specific enolase, new putative disease markers were also identified such as dihydrolipoyl dehydrogenase, tropomyosin 3, breast cancer metastasis-suppressor 1, heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins C1/C2 and phosphate carrier protein, mitochondrial precursor. Besides, the differential expression of peroxiredoxin 6 (PRDX6) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were confirmed by western blot in schizophrenia prefrontal cortex.


Our data supports a dysregulation of energy metabolism in schizophrenia as well as suggests new markers that may contribute to a better understanding of this complex disease.