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Decrypting a collagen’s role in schizophrenia

A small peptide generated from a collagen protein may protect the brain from schizophrenia by promoting the formation of neuronal synapses, according to a paper published in The Journal of Cell Biology. The study, “Collagen-Derived Matricryptins Promote Inhibitory Nerve Terminal Formation in the Developing Neocortex” by Jianmin Su and colleagues, may lead to new approaches to treating the mental disorder.

A Collagen XIX Peptide Restores Inhibitory Synapse Formation
Cortical neurons (red) form few inhibitory synapses (green) in the absence of collagen XIX (left), but synapse formation is restored by a signaling peptide derived from the protein’s C-terminal region (right).
Credit: Su et al., 2016