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Nature. 2013 Jan 17;493(7432):411-5. doi: 10.1038/nature11782. Epub 2012 Dec 23.

Exaggerated translation causes synaptic and behavioural aberrations associated with autism.

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1
Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, New York 10003, USA.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are an early onset, heterogeneous group of heritable neuropsychiatric disorders with symptoms that include deficits in social interaction skills, impaired communication abilities, and ritualistic-like repetitive behaviours. One of the hypotheses for a common molecular mechanism underlying ASDs is altered translational control resulting in exaggerated protein synthesis. Genetic variants in chromosome 4q, which contains the EIF4E locus, have been described in patients with autism. Importantly, a rare single nucleotide polymorphism has been identified in autism that is associated with increased promoter activity in the EIF4E gene. Here we show that genetically increasing the levels of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) in mice results in exaggerated cap-dependent translation and aberrant behaviours reminiscent of autism, including repetitive and perseverative behaviours and social interaction deficits. Moreover, these autistic-like behaviours are accompanied by synaptic pathophysiology in the medial prefrontal cortex, striatum and hippocampus. The autistic-like behaviours displayed by the eIF4E-transgenic mice are corrected by intracerebroventricular infusions of the cap-dependent translation inhibitor 4EGI-1. Our findings demonstrate a causal relationship between exaggerated cap-dependent translation, synaptic dysfunction and aberrant behaviours associated with autism.

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PMID:
23263185
PMCID:
PMC3548017
DOI:
10.1038/nature11782
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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