From the black widow spider to human behavior: Latrophilins, a relatively unknown class of G protein-coupled receptors, are implicated in psychiatric disorders

Authors

  • Ariel F. Martinez,

    1. Medical Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bathesda, Maryland
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  • Maximilian Muenke,

    1. Medical Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bathesda, Maryland
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  • Mauricio Arcos-Burgos

    Corresponding author
    1. Medical Genetics Branch, National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bathesda, Maryland
    • National Human Genome Research Institute, National Institutes of Health, 35 Convent Drive, MSC 3717, Building 35, Room 1B209, Bethesda, MD 20892.
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  • How to Cite this Article: Martinez AF, Muenke M, Arcos-Burgos M. 2011. From the black widow spider to human behavior: Latrophilins, a relatively unknown class of G protein-coupled receptors, are implicated in psychiatric disorders. Am J Med Genet Part B 156:1–10.

Abstract

The findings of a recent study associate LPHN3, a member of the latrophilin family, with an increased risk of developing attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the most common psychiatric disorder in childhood and adolescence. Latrophilins comprise a new family of G protein-coupled receptors of unknown native physiological function that mediate the neurotoxic effects of α-latrotoxin, a potent toxin found in black widow spider venom. This receptor–toxin interaction has helped to elucidate the mechanistic aspects of neurotransmitter and hormone release in vertebrates. Such unprecedented discovery points to a new direction in the assessment of ADHD and suggest that further study of this receptor family may provide novel insights into the etiology and treatment of ADHD and other related psychiatric conditions. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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