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High-resolution chromosomal microarray analysis for copy-number variations in high-functioning autism reveals large aberration typical for intellectual disability


Werling, Anna Maria; Grünblatt, Edna; Oneda, Beatrice; Bobrowski, Elise; Gundelfinger, Ronnie; Taurines, Regina; Romanos, Marcel; Rauch, Anita; Walitza, Susanne (2020). High-resolution chromosomal microarray analysis for copy-number variations in high-functioning autism reveals large aberration typical for intellectual disability. Journal of Neural Transmission, 127(1):81-94.

Abstract

Copy-number variants (CNVs), in particular rare, small and large ones (< 1% frequency) and those encompassing brain-related genes, have been shown to be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders like autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and intellectual disability (ID). However, the vast majority of CNV findings lack specificity with respect to autistic or developmental-delay phenotypes. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate the size and frequency of CNVs in high-functioning ASD (HFA) without ID compared with a random population sample and with published findings in ASD and ID. To investigate the role of CNVs for the "core symptoms" of high-functioning autism, we included in the present exploratory study only patients with HFA without ID. The aim was to test whether HFA have similar large rare (> 1 Mb) CNVs as reported in ASD and ID. We performed high-resolution chromosomal microarray analysis in 108 children and adolescents with HFA without ID. There was no significant difference in the overall number of rare CNVs compared to 124 random population samples. However, patients with HFA carried significantly more frequently CNVs containing brain-related genes. Surprisingly, six HFA patients carried very large CNVs known to be typically present in ID. Our findings provide new evidence that not only small, but also large CNVs affecting several key genes contribute to the genetic etiology/risk of HFA without affecting their intellectual ability.

Abstract

Copy-number variants (CNVs), in particular rare, small and large ones (< 1% frequency) and those encompassing brain-related genes, have been shown to be associated with neurodevelopmental disorders like autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and intellectual disability (ID). However, the vast majority of CNV findings lack specificity with respect to autistic or developmental-delay phenotypes. Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate the size and frequency of CNVs in high-functioning ASD (HFA) without ID compared with a random population sample and with published findings in ASD and ID. To investigate the role of CNVs for the "core symptoms" of high-functioning autism, we included in the present exploratory study only patients with HFA without ID. The aim was to test whether HFA have similar large rare (> 1 Mb) CNVs as reported in ASD and ID. We performed high-resolution chromosomal microarray analysis in 108 children and adolescents with HFA without ID. There was no significant difference in the overall number of rare CNVs compared to 124 random population samples. However, patients with HFA carried significantly more frequently CNVs containing brain-related genes. Surprisingly, six HFA patients carried very large CNVs known to be typically present in ID. Our findings provide new evidence that not only small, but also large CNVs affecting several key genes contribute to the genetic etiology/risk of HFA without affecting their intellectual ability.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Genetics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Neurology
Health Sciences > Neurology (clinical)
Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Life Sciences > Biological Psychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords:Autism spectrum disorder, High-functioning autism, Copy-number variation, Intellectual disability
Language:English
Date:1 January 2020
Deposited On:13 Jan 2020 10:51
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 12:24
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0300-9564
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00702-019-02114-9
PubMed ID:31838600

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