Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) catalyzes the conversion of glutamic acid to gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA); which is a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the higher brain regions and a putative paracrine hormone in pancreatic islets. There are two forms of GAD; GAD65 and GAD67 (65 kDa and 67kDa respectively, with 64% aa identity between forms). GAD67 is a rate limiting enzyme and is responsible for >90% of GABA production in the central nervous system. GAD67 is cytoplasmic and encoded on chromosome 2. GAD67 expression is plastic and can change in response to experimental manipulation or disease progression. GAD67 levels are altered in multiple neuropsychiatric disorders including schizophrenia.
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