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Transcriptome Profiling of Dysregulated GPCRs Reveals Overlapping Patterns across Psychiatric Disorders and Age-Disease Interactions.


G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) play an integral role in the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders. Almost all neurotransmitters involved in psychiatric disorders act through GPCRs, and GPCRs are the most common targets of therapeutic drugs currently used in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. However, the roles of GPCRs in the etiology and pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders are not fully understood. Using publically available datasets, we performed a comprehensive analysis of the transcriptomic signatures of G-protein-linked signaling across the major psychiatric disorders: autism spectrum disorder (ASD), schizophrenia (SCZ), bipolar disorder (BP), and major depressive disorder (MDD). We also used the BrainSpan transcriptomic dataset of the developing human brain to examine whether GPCRs that exhibit chronological age-associated expressions have a higher tendency to be dysregulated in psychiatric disorders than age-independent GPCRs. We found that most GPCR genes were differentially expressed in the four disorders and that the GPCR superfamily as a gene cluster was overrepresented in the four disorders. We also identified a greater amplitude of gene expression changes in GPCRs than other gene families in the four psychiatric disorders. Further, dysregulated GPCRs overlapped across the four psychiatric disorders, with SCZ exhibiting the highest overlap with the three other disorders. Finally, the results revealed a greater tendency of age-associated GPCRs to be dysregulated in ASD than random GPCRs. Our results substantiate the central role of GPCR signaling pathways in the etiology and pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders. Furthermore, our study suggests that common GPCRs' signaling may mediate distinct phenotypic presentations across psychiatric disorders. Consequently, targeting these GPCRs could serve as a common therapeutic strategy to treat specific clinical symptoms across psychiatric disorders.

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