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  • 1
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; POPULATION ; RISK ; GENE ; POLYMORPHISMS ; SCHIZOPHRENIA ; COPY NUMBER ; SNP ; NEURONS ; MENTAL-RETARDATION ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; GLUTAMATE-RECEPTOR-6 GENE ; LINKAGE ANALYSES ; RUNS
    Abstract: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly heritable disorder of complex and heterogeneous aetiology. It is primarily characterized by altered cognitive ability including impaired language and communication skills and fundamental deficits in social reciprocity. Despite some notable successes in neuropsychiatric genetics, overall, the high heritability of ASD (round 90%) remains poorly explained by common genetic risk variants. However, recent studies suggest that rare genomic variation, in particular copy number variation, may account for a significant proportion of the genetic basis of ASD. We present a large scale analysis to identify candidate genes which may contain low-frequency recessive variation contributing to ASD while taking into account the potential contribution of population differences to the genetic heterogeneity of ASD. Our strategy, homozygous haplotype (HH) mapping, aims to detect homozygous segments of identical haplotype structure that are shared at a higher frequency amongst ASD patients compared to parental controls. The analysis was performed on 1,402 Autism Genome Project trios genotyped for 1 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We identified 25 known and 1,218 novel ASD candidate genes in the discovery analysis including CADM2, ABHD14A, CHRFAM7A, GRIK2, GRM3, EPHA3, FGF10, KCND2, PDZK1, IMMP2L and FOXP2. Furthermore, 10 of the previously reported ASD genes and 300 of the novel candidates identified in the discovery analysis were replicated in an independent sample of 1,182 trios. Our results demonstrate that regions of HH are significantly enriched for previously reported ASD candidate genes and the observed association is independent of gene size (odds ratio 2.10). Our findings highlight the applicability of HH mapping in complex disorders such as ASD and offer an alternative approach to the analysis of genome-wide association data.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 21996756
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  • 2
    Keywords: RISK ; LINKAGE ; VARIANTS ; MUTATIONS ; INDIVIDUALS ; REVEALS ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; C20ORF133 ; KABUKI-SYNDROME ; PATERNAL-AGE
    Abstract: The Autism Genome Project (AGP) Consortium recently reported genome-wide significant association between autism and an intronic single nucleotide polymorphism marker, rs4141463, within the MACROD2 gene. In the present study we attempted to replicate this finding using an independent case-control design of 1,170 cases with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (874 of which fulfilled narrow criteria for Autism (A)) from five centers within Europe (UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, and Iceland), and 35,307 controls. The combined sample size gave us a non-centrality parameter (NCP) of 11.9, with 93% power to detect allelic association of rs4141463 at an alpha of 0.05 with odds ratio of 0.84 (the best odds ratio estimate of the AGP Consortium data), and for the narrow diagnosis of autism, an NCP of 8.9 and power of 85%. Our case-control data were analyzed for association, stratified by each center, and the summary statistics were combined using the meta-analysis program, GWAMA. This resulted in an odds ratio (OR) of 1.03 (95% CI 0.944-1.133), with a P-value of 0.5 for ASD and OR of 0.99 (95% CI 0.88-1.11) with P-value = 0.85 for the Autism (A) sub-group. Therefore, this study does not provide support for the reported association between rs4141463 and autism.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 21656903
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  • 3
    Keywords: RISK ; GENOME ; validation ; IDENTIFICATION ; INDIVIDUALS ; SCALE ; SPECTRUM DISORDERS ; Copy number variation ; DE-NOVO MUTATIONS ; COMMUNICATION CHECKLIST
    Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is an urgent need for expanding and enhancing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) samples, in order to better understand causes of ASD. METHODS: In a unique public-private partnership, 13 sites with extensive experience in both the assessment and diagnosis of ASD embarked on an ambitious, 2-year program to collect samples for genetic and phenotypic research and begin analyses on these samples. The program was called The Autism Simplex Collection (TASC). TASC sample collection began in 2008 and was completed in 2010, and included nine sites from North America and four sites from Western Europe, as well as a centralized Data Coordinating Center. RESULTS: Over 1,700 trios are part of this collection, with DNA from transformed cells now available through the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R) and Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule-Generic (ADOS-G) measures are available for all probands, as are standardized IQ measures, Vineland Adaptive Behavioral Scales (VABS), the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), and physical measures (height, weight, and head circumference). At almost every site, additional phenotypic measures were collected, including the Broad Autism Phenotype Questionnaire (BAPQ) and Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised (RBS-R), as well as the non-word repetition scale, Communication Checklist (Children's or Adult), and Aberrant Behavior Checklist (ABC). Moreover, for nearly 1,000 trios, the Autism Genome Project Consortium (AGP) has carried out Illumina 1 M SNP genotyping and called copy number variation (CNV) in the samples, with data being made available through the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Whole exome sequencing (WES) has been carried out in over 500 probands, together with ancestry matched controls, and this data is also available through the NIH. Additional WES is being carried out by the Autism Sequencing Consortium (ASC), where the focus is on sequencing complete trios. ASC sequencing for the first 1,000 samples (all from whole-blood DNA) is complete and data will be released in 2014. Data is being made available through NIH databases (database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP) and National Database for Autism Research (NDAR)) with DNA released in Dist 11.0. Primary funding for the collection, genotyping, sequencing and distribution of TASC samples was provided by Autism Speaks and the NIH, including the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the National Human Genetics Research Institute (NHGRI). CONCLUSIONS: TASC represents an important sample set that leverages expert sites. Similar approaches, leveraging expert sites and ongoing studies, represent an important path towards further enhancing available ASD samples.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25392729
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  • 4
    Keywords: brain ; EXPRESSION ; DELETION ; IDENTIFICATION ; PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS ; LANGUAGE ; SUSCEPTIBILITY GENE ; FAMILIES ; MENTAL-RETARDATION ; PRIMARY AMENORRHEA
    Abstract: Contactin-associated protein-like 2 gene (CNTNAP2), a member of the Neurexin gene superfamily, is one of the best-replicated risk genes for autism spectrum disorders (ASD). ASD are predominately genetically determined neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by impairments of language development, social interaction and communication, as well as stereotyped behavior and interests. Although CNTNAP2 expression levels were proposed to alter ASD risk, no study to date has focused on its 5' promoter. Here, we directly sequenced the CNTNAP2 5' promoter region of 236 German families with one child with ASD and detected four novel variants. Furthermore, we genotyped the three most frequent variants (rs150447075, rs34712024, rs71781329) in an additional sample of 356 families and found nominal association of rs34712024G with ASD and rs71781329GCG[7] with language development. The four novel and the three known minor alleles of the identified variants were predicted to alter transcription factor binding sites (TFBS). At the functional level, the respective sequences spanning these seven variants were bound by nuclear factors. In a luciferase promoter assay, the respective minor alleles showed cell line-specific and differentiation stage-dependent effects at the level of promoter activation. The novel potential rare risk-variant M2, a G〉A mutation -215 base pairs 5' of the transcriptional start site, significantly reduced promoter efficiency in HEK293T and in undifferentiated and differentiated neuroblastoid SH-SY5Y cells. This variant was transmitted to a patient with autistic disorder. The under-transmitted, protective minor G allele of the common variant rs34712024, in contrast, increased transcriptional activity. These results lead to the conclusion that the pathomechanism of CNTNAP2 promoter variants on ASD risk is mediated by their effect on TFBSs, and thus confirm the hypothesis that a reduced CNTNAP2 level during neuronal development increases liability for ASD.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 16 September 2014; doi:10.1038/mp.2014.103.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25224256
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  • 5
    Keywords: GENE ; DELETIONS ; MENTAL-RETARDATION ; LOCI ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; CNTNAP2 ; Copy number variation ; DE-NOVO MUTATIONS ; LINKAGE ANALYSES ; DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS
    Abstract: While it is apparent that rare variation can play an important role in the genetic architecture of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), the contribution of common variation to the risk of developing ASD is less clear. To produce a more comprehensive picture, we report Stage 2 of the Autism Genome Project genome-wide association study, adding 1301 ASD families and bringing the total to 2705 families analysed (Stages 1 and 2). In addition to evaluating the association of individual single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we also sought evidence that common variants, en masse, might affect the risk. Despite genotyping over a million SNPs covering the genome, no single SNP shows significant association with ASD or selected phenotypes at a genome-wide level. The SNP that achieves the smallest P-value from secondary analyses is rs1718101. It falls in CNTNAP2, a gene previously implicated in susceptibility for ASD. This SNP also shows modest association with age of word/phrase acquisition in ASD subjects, of interest because features of language development are also associated with other variation in CNTNAP2. In contrast, allele scores derived from the transmission of common alleles to Stage 1 cases significantly predict case status in the independent Stage 2 sample. Despite being significant, the variance explained by these allele scores was small (Vm〈 1%). Based on results from individual SNPs and their en masse effect on risk, as inferred from the allele score results, it is reasonable to conclude that common variants affect the risk for ASD but their individual effects are modest.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 22843504
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  • 6
    Keywords: SACCHAROMYCES-CEREVISIAE ; MUTATION ; DAMAGE ; COPY-NUMBER VARIATION ; MITOCHONDRIAL DYSFUNCTION ; SPECTRUM DISORDERS ; BIOLOGICAL NETWORKS ; GENE-FUNCTION ; EXPRESSION ANALYSES ; CYTOSCAPE PLUGIN
    Abstract: Background: Known genetic variants can account for 10% to 20% of all cases with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Overlapping cellular pathomechanisms common to neurons of the central nervous system (CNS) and in tissues of peripheral organs, such as immune dysregulation, oxidative stress and dysfunctions in mitochondrial and protein synthesis metabolism, were suggested to support the wide spectrum of ASD on unifying disease phenotype. Here, we studied in patient-derived lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) how an ASD-specific mutation in ribosomal protein RPL10 (RPL10[H213Q]) generates a distinct protein signature. We compared the RPL10[ H213Q] expression pattern to expression patterns derived from unrelated ASD patients without RPL10[ H213Q] mutation. In addition, a yeast rpl10 deficiency model served in a proof-of-principle study to test for alterations in protein patterns in response to oxidative stress. Methods: Protein extracts of LCLs from patients, relatives and controls, as well as diploid yeast cells hemizygous for rpl10, were subjected to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and differentially regulated spots were identified by mass spectrometry. Subsequently, Gene Ontology database (GO)-term enrichment and network analysis was performed to map the identified proteins into cellular pathways. Results: The protein signature generated by RPL10[H213Q] is a functionally related subset of the ASD-specific protein signature, sharing redox-sensitive elements in energy-, protein- and redox- metabolism. In yeast, rpl10 deficiency generates a specific protein signature, harboring components of pathways identified in both the RPL10 [ H213Q] subjects' and the ASD patients' set. Importantly, the rpl10 deficiency signature is a subset of the signature resulting from response of wild-type yeast to oxidative stress. Conclusions: Redox-sensitive protein signatures mapping into cellular pathways with pathophysiology in ASD have been identified in both LCLs carrying the ASD-specific mutation RPL10[H213Q] and LCLs from ASD patients without this mutation. At pathway levels, this redox- sensitive protein signature has also been identified in a yeast rpl10 deficiency and an oxidative stress model. These observations point to a common molecular pathomechanism in ASD, characterized in our study by dysregulation of redox balance. Importantly, this can be triggered by the known ASD-RPL10[H213Q] mutation or by yet unknown mutations of the ASD cohort that act upstream of RPL10 in differential expression of redox-sensitive proteins.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24512814
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  • 7
    Keywords: RISK ; DELETIONS ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; DUPLICATIONS ; STRUCTURAL VARIATION ; COPY NUMBER VARIANTS ; FRAGILE-X-SYNDROME ; DE-NOVO MUTATIONS ; INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY ; PHENOTYPE ONTOLOGY
    Abstract: Rare copy-number variation (CNV) is an important source of risk for autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). We analyzed 2,446 ASD-affected families and confirmed an excess of genic deletions and duplications in affected versus control groups (1.41-fold, p = 1.0 x 10(-5)) and an increase in affected subjects carrying exonic pathogenic CNVs overlapping known loci associated with dominant or X-linked ASD and intellectual disability (odds ratio = 12.62, p = 2.7 x 10(-15), approximately 3% of ASD subjects). Pathogenic CNVs, often showing variable expressivity, included rare de novo and inherited events at 36 loci, implicating ASD-associated genes (CHD2, HDAC4, and GDI1) previously linked to other neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as other genes such as SETD5, MIR137, and HDAC9. Consistent with hypothesized gender-specific modulators, females with ASD were more likely to have highly penetrant CNVs (p = 0.017) and were also overrepresented among subjects with fragile X syndrome protein targets (p = 0.02). Genes affected by de novo CNVs and/or loss-of-function single-nucleotide variants converged on networks related to neuronal signaling and development, synapse function, and chromatin regulation.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24768552
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  • 8
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; MESSENGER-RNA ; TRANSLATION ; MENTAL-RETARDATION PROTEIN ; METABOTROPIC GLUTAMATE RECEPTORS ; GENOME-WIDE ASSOCIATION ; FRAGILE-X-SYNDROME ; DIAGNOSTIC INTERVIEW ; PROTEIN-KINASE-IV ; GERMAN FORM
    Abstract: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are heterogeneous disorders with a high heritability and complex genetic architecture. Due to the central role of the fragile X mental retardation gene 1 protein (FMRP) pathway in ASD we investigated common functional variants of ASD risk genes regulating FMRP. We genotyped ten SNPs in two German patient sets (N = 192 and N = 254 families, respectively) and report association for rs7170637 (CYFIP1; set 1 and combined sets), rs6923492 (GRM1; combined sets), and rs25925 (CAMK4; combined sets). An additional risk score based on variants with an odds ratio (OR) 〉1.25 in set 1 and weighted by their respective log transmitted/untransmitted ratio revealed a significant effect (OR 1.30, 95 % CI 1.11-1.53; P = 0.0013) in the combined German sample. A subsequent meta-analysis including the two German samples, the "Strict/European" ASD subsample of the Autism Genome Project (1,466 families) and a French case/control (541/366) cohort showed again association of rs7170637-A (OR 0.85, 95 % CI 0.75-0.96; P = 0.007) and rs25925-G (OR 1.31, 95 % CI 1.04-1.64; P = 0.021) with ASD. Functional analyses revealed that these minor alleles predicted to alter splicing factor binding sites significantly increase levels of an alternative mRNA isoform of the respective gene while keeping the overall expression of the gene constant. These findings underpin the role of ASD candidate genes in postsynaptic FMRP regulation suggesting that an imbalance of specific isoforms of CYFIP1, an FMRP interaction partner, and CAMK4, a transcriptional regulator of the FMRP gene, modulates ASD risk. Both gene products are related to neuronal regulation of synaptic plasticity, a pathomechanism underlying ASD and may thus present future targets for pharmacological therapies in ASD.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 24442360
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  • 9
    Keywords: EXPRESSION ; NETWORK ; RISK ; DISCOVERY ; SCHIZOPHRENIA ; FRAMEWORK ; COPY-NUMBER VARIATION ; SPECTRUM DISORDERS ; DE-NOVO MUTATIONS ; NEURODEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS
    Abstract: The genetic architecture of autism spectrum disorder involves the interplay of common and rare variants and their impact on hundreds of genes. Using exome sequencing, here we show that analysis of rare coding variation in 3,871 autism cases and 9,937 ancestry-matched or parental controls implicates 22 autosomal genes at a false discovery rate (FDR) 〈 0.05, plus a set of 107 autosomal genes strongly enriched for those likely to affect risk (FDR 〈 0.30). These 107 genes, which show unusual evolutionary constraint against mutations, incur de novo loss-of-function mutations in over 5% of autistic subjects. Many of the genes implicated encode proteins for synaptic formation, transcriptional regulation and chromatin-remodelling pathways. These include voltage-gated ion channels regulating the propagation of action potentials, pacemaking and excitability-transcription coupling, as well as histone-modifying enzymes and chromatin remodellers-most prominently those that mediate post-translational lysine methylation/demethylation modifications of histones.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25363760
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  • 10
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