Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine
Centre for Genomic & Experimental Medicine

Loss of SORCS2 is Associated with Neuronal DNA Double-Strand Breaks

A recent publication from Dr Kathy Evans’ research group in the journal Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology finds an association between the protein SORCS2 and double-strand breaks in neuronal DNA.

Microscopy images

SORCS2 is a member of a family of five proteins that play important roles in the development, survival, and function of neurons.  Genetic analyses have suggested a role for variants in the SORCS2 gene in a range of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders and there is clear evidence that the protein is involved in learning and memory and in protecting cells from multiple stressors.

The publication (first author, Dr Katerina Gospodinova) describes how loss of the SORCS2 protein is associated with an increase in a type of DNA damage, DNA double-strand breaks, and with a decrease in cellular viability.  Such DNA double-strand breaks have been implicated in learning, aging and neurodegeneration (nerve cell death).  The link between SORCS2 loss and DNA damage fits with the involvement of other members of this gene family in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.



The discovery of a novel role for SORCS2 in the protection of neurons from DNA damage is exciting, as it suggests that this protein may in the future be a target for the development of treatments aimed at preventing age-related neuronal loss. 

Dr Kathy Evans



Publication in journal Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology https://doi.org/10.1007/s10571-021-01163-7

Kathy Evans’ research group web page