Rodent self-grooming is an important complex behavior, and its deficits are translationally relevant to a wide range of neuropsychiatric disorders. Here, we analyzed a comprehensive dataset of 227 genes whose mutations are known to evoke aberrant self-grooming in mice. Using these genes, we constructed the network of their established protein-protein interactions (PPI), yielding several distinct molecular clusters related to postsynaptic density, the Wnt signaling, transcription factors, neuronal cell cycle, NOS neurotransmission, microtubule regulation, neuronal differentiation/trafficking, neurodevelopment and mitochondrial function. Utilizing further bioinformatics analyses, we also identified novel central (‘hub’) proteins within these clusters, whose genes may also be implicated in aberrant self-grooming and other repetitive behaviors in general. Untangling complex molecular pathways of this important behavior using in silico approaches contributes to our understanding of related neurological disorders, and may suggest novel potential targets for their pharmacological or gene therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110840
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Genes
  • Genetic bases
  • Grooming
  • In silico modeling
  • Molecular network
  • Self-grooming


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