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Genet Test Mol Biomarkers. 2009 Oct;13(5):611-5. doi: 10.1089/gtmb.2009.0005.

A substitution involving the NLGN4 gene associated with autistic behavior in the Greek population.

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1
Department of Medical Genetics, Medical School, University of Athens, Aghia Sophia Children's Hospital, Athens, Greece.

Abstract

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by clinical, etiologic, and genetic heterogeneity. During the last decade, predisposing genes and genetic loci were under investigation. Recently, mutations in two X-linked neuroligin genes, neuroligin 3 (NLGN3) and neuroligin 4 (NLGN4), have been implicated in the pathogenesis of autism. In our ongoing survey, we screened 169 patients with autism for mutations linked with autism. In the preliminary study of specific exons of NLGN3 and NLGN4 genes, we identified the p.K378R substitution (c.1597 A > G) in exon 5 of the NLGN4 gene in a patient who was found to have mild autism and normal IQ at 3 years of age. The same mutation has previously been found in a patient with autism. It is important that, for the first time, a specific mutation in neuroligins is confirmed in a molecular screen in another homogeneous ethnic population. This finding further contributes to consideration of neuroligins as probable candidate genes for future molecular genetic studies, suggesting that a defect of synaptogenesis may predispose to autism.

PMID:
19645625
DOI:
10.1089/gtmb.2009.0005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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