Gene Variants Linked to Autism Spectrum DisordersLast Updated: May 07, 2009. Variants of neuronal cell-adhesion molecules are associated with autism spectrum disorders, according to two studies published online April 28 in Nature.
THURSDAY, May 7 (HealthDay News) -- Variants of neuronal cell-adhesion molecules are associated with autism spectrum disorders, according to two studies published online April 28 in Nature.
In the first study, Kai Wang, Ph.D., from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues performed a genome-wide association study in two groups, one comprising 780 families with 3,101 children affected with autism spectrum disorders, and another comprising 1,204 affected individuals and 6,491 unaffected individuals. They found that single nucleotide polymorphisms of the CDH10 and CDH9 genes were significantly associated with the disorder and were replicated in two independent groups.
In the second study, Joseph T. Glessner, from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues performed a whole-genome study to identify copy number variations associated with autism spectrum disorders in 859 affected individuals and 1,409 healthy individuals. They identified several genes encoding neuronal cell-adhesion molecules and several genes within or surrounding genes involved in the ubiquitin pathways.
"Although these variants may be individually rare, they target genes involved in neuronal cell-adhesion or ubiquitin degradation, indicating that these two important gene networks expressed within the central nervous system may contribute to the genetic susceptibility of autism spectrum disorders," Glessner and colleagues write.
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