Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Recurrent Genetic Deletion Linked To Autism, Study Shows

Date:
January 10, 2008
Source:
University of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
Loss of a small portion of chromosome 16, known as 16p11.2, is significantly associated with autism researchers report in the journal Human Molecular Genetics. Although this genetic microdeletion occurred in only 4 out of 712 subjects with autism (0.6 percent), it is the second most common recurrent genomic disorder associated with autism, which affects about 1 out of 160 children in the United States.

Loss of a small portion of chromosome 16, known as 16p11.2, is significantly associated with autism report researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in a new article.

Although this genetic "microdeletion" occurred in only four out of 712 subjects with autism (0.6%), it is the second most common recurrent genomic disorder associated with autism, which affects about one out of 160 children in the United States.

"We suspect that 16p11.2 microdeletions are a risk factor for autism spectrum disorders generally and may cause mild autism in some families," said study author Susan Christian, PhD, associate professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago. "By disturbing the network of affected genes, this loss of selected genes may underlie the development of autism."

The deletion results in the loss of about 25 known genes. "Twelve of those genes appear to be part of a single genetic network that includes genes involved in cell-to-cell signaling and interaction," said first author Ravinesh A. Kumar, PhD. postdoctoral scientist in human genetics at the University of Chicago, "At least three of the deleted genes are primarily expressed in the brain and are thought to influence behavior," he added, "which makes them very promising candidates for autism."

The authors suspect the lost or damaged genes may also be involved in other cognitive, language and social impairments.

To find genes linked to autism, the researchers scanned the entire genomes of 180 subjects with autism searching for submicroscopic pieces of DNA that were either lost or mistakenly duplicated in patients diagnosed with autism. They first found that two out of those 180 (1.1%) had a deletion in region 16p11.2, on the short arm of chromosome 16. None of the 372 control subjects had the same deletion.

To confirm that result, the researchers screened DNA from an additional 532 subjects with autism. They found two additional subjects with the same deletion (0.4%), which was seen in none of the 465 controls. Combining the two samples produced a total prevalence of 16p11.2 deletions of 0.6 percent.

The 16p11.2 region is flanked on both sides by bands of segmental duplications, short strings of nearly identical DNA that predispose to the loss, shuffling or amplification of this region during genetic recombination. "Many human diseases are caused by these types of chromosomal rearrangements, however, this is the first recurrent microdeletion in autism too small to be seen under a microscope," said Christian.

The most common known genetic cause of autism, linked to about one to three percent of cases, is a much larger duplication of part of chromosome 15, involving about a dozen genes. The chromosome 15 abnormality is associated with autism as well as intellectual disability. The chromosome 16 deletion, by contrast, is not consistently associated with intellectual disability.

"Although this only explains about one-half of one percent of autism," said co-author William Dobyns, professor of human genetics and pediatrics at the University of Chicago, "it provides the best clues yet for finding the specific genetic changes that lead to the disease. This is a small region with a limited number of genes, including several strong candidates, each of which merits a closer look. The next step is to find the specific gene or genes involved. There may be one gene within that deletion that is at the core of the problem."

The full research article was published Dec. 21, 2007, online by the journal Human Molecular Genetics. The other authors of the paper are: Ravinesh A. Kumar, Samer KaraMohamed, Jyotsna Sudi, Donald F. Conrad, Judith A. Badner, and T. Conrad Gilliam, of the University of Chicago Medical Center; Camille Brune and Edwin Cook of the University of Illinois at Chicago; and Norma Nowak of Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

The National Institutes of Health funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Medical Center. "Recurrent Genetic Deletion Linked To Autism, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080108091119.htm>.
University of Chicago Medical Center. (2008, January 10). Recurrent Genetic Deletion Linked To Autism, Study Shows. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080108091119.htm
University of Chicago Medical Center. "Recurrent Genetic Deletion Linked To Autism, Study Shows." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080108091119.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins