Differential genetic associations and expression of PAPST1/SLC35B2 in bipolar disorder and schizophrenia

Akihito Uezato, Daisuke Jitoku, Dai Shimazu, Naoki Yamamoto, Akeo Kurumaji, Yoshimi Iwayama, Tomoko Toyota, Takeo Yoshikawa, Vahram Haroutunian, Eduard Bentea, Jarek Meller, Courtney R. Sullivan, James H. Meador-Woodruff, Robert E. McCullumsmith, Toru Nishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lithium’s inhibitory effect on enzymes involved in sulfation process, such as inhibition of 3’(2’)-phosphoadenosine 5’-phosphate (PAP) phosphatase, is a possible mechanism of its therapeutic effect for bipolar disorder (BD). 3’-Phosphoadenosine 5’-phosphosulfate (PAPS) is translocated from cytosol to Golgi lumen by PAPS transporter 1 (PAPST1/SLC35B2), where it acts as a sulfa donor. Since SLC35B2 was previously recognized as a molecule that facilitates the release of D-serine, a co-agonist of N-methyl-D-aspartate type glutamate receptor, altered function of SLC35B2 might be associated with the pathophysiology of BD and schizophrenia (SCZ). We performed genetic association analyses of the SLC35B2 gene using Japanese cohorts with 366 BD cases and 370 controls and 2012 SCZ cases and 2170 controls. We then investigated expression of SLC35B2 mRNA in postmortem brains by QPCR using a Caucasian cohort with 33 BD and 34 SCZ cases and 34 controls and by in situ hybridization using a Caucasian cohort with 37 SCZ and 29 controls. We found significant associations between three SNPs (rs575034, rs1875324, and rs3832441) and BD, and significantly reduced SLC35B2 mRNA expression in postmortem dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) of BD. Moreover, we observed normalized SLC35B2 mRNA expression in BD subgroups who were medicated with lithium. While there was a significant association of SLC35B2 with SCZ (SNP rs2233437), its expression was not changed in SCZ. These findings indicate that SLC35B2 might be differentially involved in the pathophysiology of BD and SCZ by influencing the sulfation process and/or glutamate system in the central nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)913-924
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neural Transmission
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • Bipolar disorder
  • Brain mRNA expression
  • Genetic association
  • Lithium
  • PAPST1/SLC35B2
  • Schizophrenia


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