Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers report new autism genes discovered

10.06.2010
University of Illinois at Chicago researchers are part of an international consortium working with Autism Speaks, the world's largest autism science and advocacy organization, which today reports new autism genetic discoveries.

The results, from the second phase of the collaborative Autism Genome Project, are published in the June 10 issue of the journal Nature.

Autism is a complex neurobiological disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one in 110 children in the U.S., affecting four times as many boys as girls.

The new report shows that individuals with autism tend to carry more sub-microscopic insertions and deletions called copy-number variants (CNV) in their genome than nonautistic people do. Some of these CNV appeared to be inherited, while others are considered new because they are found only in affected offspring and not in the parents. Taken together, more of the CNVs disrupt genes previously reported to be implicated in intellectual disability without autism or in autism than expected by chance.

The findings are based on analysis of high-density genotyping data collected from 1,000 individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 1,300 without ASD.

The new study also identified new autism susceptibility genes including SHANK2, SYNGAP1, DLGAP2 and the X-linked DDX53–PTCHD1 locus. Some of these genes belong to synapse-related pathways, while others are involved in cellular proliferation, projection and motility, and intracellular signaling, functional targets that may lead to the development of new treatment approaches.

These findings further support an emerging consensus within the scientific community that autism is caused in part by many "rare variants" or genetic changes found in less than 1 percent of the population. While each of these variants may only account for a small fraction of the cases, collectively they are starting to account for a greater percentage of individuals in the autism community, as well as providing insights into possible common pathogenic mechanisms.

The overlap between autism susceptibility genes and genes previously implicated in intellectual disabilities further supports the hypothesis that at least some genetic risk factors are shared by different psychiatric developmental disabilities. The identification of these biological pathways points to new avenues of scientific investigation, as well as potential targets for the development of novel treatments, according to the authors.

"These results are another step on the long path to sufficiently understanding autism to further develop treatments for the core symptoms of autism," says Dr. Edwin Cook, UIC professor of psychiatry.

"At the Autism Center of Excellence at UIC, we continue to work to understand the genetics, neurobiology, and treatment of autism," he said.

The Autism Center of Excellence continues to recruit subjects into its study of compulsive behavior in autism. More information is available at www.psych.uic.edu/ldn/autism.htm or by calling (312) 413-4624. The UIC Autism Center of Excellence is supported in part by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development of the National Institutes of Health.

The Autism Genome Project is an international autism genetics research consortium co-funded by Autism Speaks, the Medical Research Council, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Health Research Board (Ireland), Genome Canada and the Hilibrand Foundation. The project consists of 120 scientists from more than 60 institutions in 11 countries who formed a first-of-its-kind autism genetics consortium.

The project plans to further investigate rare variants, requiring larger sample sets to identify more CNV. Additional support for Phase 2 of the AGP was provided by the National Institutes of Health. The first phase of the project, the assembly of the largest-ever autism DNA collection and whole-genome linkage scan, was funded by Autism Speaks and the National Institutes of Health and completed in 2007.

Sherri McGinnis González | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University

nachricht Asian dust providing key nutrients for California's giant sequoias
28.03.2017 | University of California - Riverside

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions

29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Igniting a solar flare in the corona with lower-atmosphere kindling

29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

As sea level rises, much of Honolulu and Waikiki vulnerable to groundwater inundation

29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>