Chamberlain Lab

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The gene encoding the S-acyltransferase zDHHC8 is one of several genes that are disrupted in 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. A range of conditions are associated with the presence of microdeletions at the 22q11.2 locus, including psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia. As a result, there is significant interest in how zDHHC8 dysfunction might contribute to psychiatric illness. Interestingly, zDHHC8 knockout mice and a mouse model of 22q11.2 deletion share a number of phenotypic similarities, including a deficit in pre-pulse inhibition (as observed in schizophrenia).

In addition to this work on mouse models, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in zDHHC8 have also been associated with schizophrenia, albeit this is not a consistent finding in all patient populations examined.

Research in our lab aims to improve understanding of the cellular abnormalities that link zDHHC8 dysfunction and schizophrenia.

Past/Present Sponsors

MRC 

 Wellcome Trust

Diabetes UK

BBSRC

SULSA  

Palmitoylation

Palmitoylation is the most prominent type of S-acylation and involves the covalent and reversible attachment of a 16 carbon saturated fatty acid (palmitic acid) to cysteines of target proteins.