Identification of common pathogenetic processes between schizophrenia and diabetes mellitus by systems biology analysis

Md Rezanur Rahman, Tania Islam, Ferdinando Nicoletti, Maria Cristina Petralia, Rosella Ciurleo, Francesco Fisicaro, Manuela Pennisi, Alessia Bramanti, Talip Yasir Demirtas, Esra Gov, Md Rafiqul Islam, Bashair M. Mussa, Mohammad Ali Moni, Paolo Fagone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by both positive symptoms (i.e., psychosis) and negative symptoms (such as apathy, anhedonia, and poverty of speech). Epidemi-ological data show a high likelihood of early onset of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in SCZ patients. However, the molecular processes that could explain the epidemiological association between SCZ and T2DM have not yet been characterized. Therefore, in the present study, we aimed to identify underlying common molecular pathogenetic processes and pathways between SCZ and T2DM. To this aim, we analyzed peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) transcriptomic data from SCZ and T2DM patients, and we detected 28 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) commonly modulated between SCZ and T2DM. Inflammatory-associated processes and membrane trafficking pathways as common biological processes were found to be in common between SCZ and T2DM. Analysis of the putative transcription factors involved in the regulation of the DEGs revealed that STAT1 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1), RELA (v-rel reticuloendotheliosis viral oncogene homolog A (avian)), NFKB1 (Nuclear Factor Kappa B Subunit 1), and ERG (ETS-related gene) are involved in the expression of common DEGs in SCZ and T2DM. In conclusion, we provide core molecular signatures and pathways that are shared between SCZ and T2DM, which may contribute to the epidemiological association between them.

Original languageEnglish
Article number237
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


  • Differentially expressed genes
  • Pathways
  • Schizophrenia
  • Transcription factors
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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