Scientists from the United States, Sweden, and France have discovered a protein that appears to play an important role in depression, a finding they hope will shed light on why depression develops and help lead to new treatments (Svenningsson P et al. Science. 2006;311:77-80).
Although abnormalities in the serotonin system have long been linked with depression, the factors that cause a breakdown in serotonin signaling are unknown. In the new work, researchers found that the previously unknown protein, p11, appears to play a role in recruitment of one subtype of serotonin receptor (5-HT1Β) to the cell surface, where it can bind to serotonin.
Stephenson J. Decoding Depression. JAMA. 2006;295(7):748. doi:10.1001/jama.295.7.748-a