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Review Article

Exp Neurobiol 2020; 29(1): 1-10

Published online February 29, 2020

© The Korean Society for Brain and Neural Sciences

From Bound Cells Comes a Sound Mind: The Role of Neuronal Growth Regulator 1 in Psychiatric Disorders

Kyungchul Noh1, Jung-Cheol Park2, Jung-Soo Han2 and Sung Joong Lee1*

1Department of Physiology and Neuroscience, Dental Research Institute, Seoul National University School of Dentistry, Seoul 08826, 2Department of Biological Science, Konkuk University, Seoul 05029, Korea

Correspondence to: *To whom correspondence should be addressed.
TEL: 82-2-880-2309, FAX: 82-2-880-2309

Received: February 3, 2020; Revised: February 23, 2020; Accepted: February 25, 2020

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License
( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cell-to-cell adhesion is important for maintenance of brain structure and function. Abnormal neuronal cell adhesion and loss of its connectivity are considered a main cause of psychiatric disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD). Various cell adhesion molecules (CAMs) are involved in neuronal cell adhesions and thereby affect brain functions such as learning and memory, cognitive functions, and psychiatric functions. Compared with other CAMs, neuronal growth regulator 1 (Negr1) has a distinct functioning mechanism in terms of its cross-talk with cytokine receptor signaling. Negr1 is a member of the immunoglobulin LON (IgLON) family of proteins and is involved in neuronal outgrowth, dendritic arborization, and synapse formation. In humans, Negr1 is a risk gene for obesity based on a genome-wide association study. More recently, accumulating evidence supports that it also plays a critical role in psychiatric disorders. In this review, we discuss the recent findings on the role of Negr1 in MDD, focusing on its regulatory mechanism. We also provide evidence of putative involvement of Negr1 in other psychiatric disorders based on the novel behavioral phenotypes of Negr1 knockout mice.

Graphical Abstract

Keywords: Cell adhesion molecule (CAM), Neuronal growth regulator 1 (Negr1), Immunoglobulin LON family (IgLON), Psychiatric disorders, Major depressive disorder (MDD)