Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Functional links between autism and genes explained

Date:
June 21, 2012
Source:
Cell Press
Summary:
A pioneering report of genome-wide gene expression in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) finds genetic changes that help explain why one person has an ASD and another does not. The study, pinpoints ASD risk factors by comparing changes in gene expression with DNA mutation data in the same individuals. This innovative approach is likely to pave the way for future personalized medicine, not just for ASD but also for any disease with a genetic component.

A pioneering report of genome-wide gene expression in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) finds genetic changes that help explain why one person has an ASD and another does not. The study, published by Cell Press on June 21 in The American Journal of Human Genetics, pinpoints ASD risk factors by comparing changes in gene expression with DNA mutation data in the same individuals. This innovative approach is likely to pave the way for future personalized medicine, not just for ASD but also for any disease with a genetic component.

Related Articles


ASDs are a heterogeneous group of developmental conditions characterized by social deficits, difficulty communicating, and repetitive behaviors. ASDs are thought to be highly heritable, meaning that they run in families. However, the genetics of autism are complex.

Researchers have found rare changes in the number of copies of defined genetic regions that associate with ASD. Although there are some hot-spot regions containing these alterations, very few genetic changes are exactly alike. Similarly, no two autistic people share the exact same symptoms. To discover how these genetic changes might affect gene transcription and, thus, the presentation of the disorder, Rui Luo, a graduate student in the Geschwind lab at UCLA, studied 244 families in which one child (the proband) was affected with an ASD and one was not.

In addition to identifying several potential new regions where copy-number variants (CNVs) are associated with ASDs, Geschwind's team found genes within these regions to be significantly misregulated in ASD children compared with their unaffected siblings. "Strikingly, we observed a higher incidence of haploinsufficient genes in the rare CNVs in probands than in those of siblings, strongly indicating a functional impact of these CNVs on expression," says Geschwind. Haploinsuffiency occurs when only one copy of a gene is functional; the result is that the body cannot produce a normal amount of protein. The researchers also found a significant enrichment of misexpressed genes in neural-related pathways in ASD children. Previous research has found that these pathways include other genetic variants associated with autism, which Geschwind explains further legitimizes the present findings.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cell Press. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Rui Luo, Stephan J. Sanders, Yuan Tian, Irina Voineagu, Ni Huang, Su H. Chu, Lambertus Klei, Chaochao Cai, Jing Ou, Jennifer K. Lowe, Matthew E. Hurles, Bernie Devlin, Matthew W. State, and Daniel H. Geschwind. Genome-wide Transcriptome Profiling Reveals the Functional Impact of Rare De Novo and Recurrent CNVs in Autism Spectrum Disorders. American Journal of Human Genetics, 2012 [link]

Cite This Page:

Cell Press. "Functional links between autism and genes explained." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120621130633.htm>.
Cell Press. (2012, June 21). Functional links between autism and genes explained. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120621130633.htm
Cell Press. "Functional links between autism and genes explained." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120621130633.htm (accessed November 26, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Are Female Bosses More Likely To Be Depressed?

Newsy (Nov. 24, 2014) A new study links greater authority with increased depressive symptoms among women in the workplace. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Winter Can Cause Depression — Here's How To Combat It

Newsy (Nov. 23, 2014) Millions of American suffer from seasonal depression every year. It can lead to adverse health effects, but there are ways to ease symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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