A possible role for G-quadruplexes formation and DNA methylation at IMOOD gene promoter in Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Annalaura Sabatucci, Antonio Girella, Martina Di Bartolomeo, Mariangela Pucci, Matteo Vismara, Beatrice Benatti, Isobel Alice Blacksell, Dianne Cooper, Enrico Dainese, Fulvio D'Acquisto, Bernardo Dell'Osso, Claudio D'Addario

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is a mental health condition still classified and diagnosed with subjective interview-based assessments and which molecular clues have not completely been elucidated. We have recently identified a new regulator of anxiety and OCD-like behavior called Immuno-moodulin (IMOOD) and, here, we report that IMOOD gene promoter is differentially methylated in OCD subjects when compared to genomic material collected from healthy controls and this alteration is significantly correlated with the increased expression of the gene in OCD. We also demonstrated that IMOOD promoter can form G-quadruplexes and we suggest that, in homeostatic conditions, these structures could evoke DNA-methylation silencing the gene, whereas in pathological conditions, like OCD, could induce gene expression making the promoter more accessible to transcriptional factors. We here thus further suggest IMOOD as a new biomarker for OCD and also hypothesize new mechanisms of gene regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100976
JournalAdvances in biological regulation
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2023


  • Humans
  • DNA Methylation
  • G-Quadruplexes
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder/genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Homeostasis

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