Swiprosin-1/ EFhd2: from Immune Regulator to Personality and Brain Disorders.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Swiprosin-1/ EF-hand domain 2 (EFhd2) is a Ca2+ sensor protein that plays an important role in the immune system. Its abundant expression in the brain, however, suggested also a role in neuronal circuits and behavior. METHODS: Here we review recent discoveries on the structure and molecular function, its role in immunity and its function in the brain regarding behavioral control and pathologies. RESULTS: While EFhd2 did not emerge as a vital protein for brain development, changes in its expression may nevertheless shape the adult behavioral repertoire significantly and contribute to adult personality traits. A defective function of EFhd2 may also render individuals more prone to the development of psychiatric disorders. Most prominently, EFhd2 proved to be a resilience factor protecting from fast establishment of drug addiction. Moreover, EFhd2 is critical for adult neurogenesis and as a modulator of monoaminergic systems. CONCLUSION: Dysregulated activity of EFhd2 is increasingly considered as a contributing factor for the development of numerous neurodegenerative disorders. Whether EFhd2 can be used as biomarker or in therapeutic approaches has to be addressed in future research.