ISSN 2586-0151 (Print)
ISSN 2586-0046 (Online)
Volume 15, Number 2 (2/2019)
Original Article <page. 122-6 >

Associations of Ubiquitin-Specific Protease Genes with Resilience and Social Anxiety in Healthy Youths

Jun Ho Seo, MD;Chun Il Park, MD;Se Joo Kim, MD, PhD; and Jee In Kang, MD, PhD

Institute of Behavioral Science in Medicine & Department of Psychiatry, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Objective : Dynamic proteolysis, through the ubiquitin-proteasome system, is an important molecular mechanism for the constant regulation of synaptic plasticity and stress responses in humans. In this study, we examined whether genetic variants in the ubiquitin-specific peptidase (USP) genes were associated with psychological traits of resilience and susceptibility to neuropsychiatric disorders for each gender.

Methods : A total of 344 Korean healthy youths (190 males, 154 females) were included in the study. A genotyping of rs2241646 of USP2 and rs346006 of USP46 was performed. The Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale and Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale were administered for measuring trait resilience and social anxiety, respectively. The genetic associations of the USP variants were tested using multiple analyses of covariance with psychological traits as dependent variables after controlling for age in each gender.

Results : For USP2 rs2241646, women with the TT genotype showed significantly higher resilience and lower social anxiety, as compared to those carrying the C allele. There were no associations between USP46 rs346005 and the psychological traits in both genders.

Conclusions : The present study showed a possible genetic association between the USP2 rs2241646 and stress resilience and trait anxiety in women. The findings suggest that ubiquitin-proteasome system may be related to the resilience and susceptibility to stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety disorders, possibly through the regulation of dynamic proteolysis responses to stress.


Key words : Resilience;Social anxiety;Ubiquitin-proteasome system;Ubiquitin-specific peptidase (USP);Genetic association study.

Anxiety and Mood

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