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J Hum Genet. 2016 Mar;61(3):199-206. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2015.141. Epub 2015 Nov 19.

Whole-exome sequencing and neurite outgrowth analysis in autism spectrum disorder.

Author information

1
Molecular Research Center for Children's Mental Development, United Graduate School of Child Development, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.
2
Department of Psychiatry, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.
3
iPS Cell-Based Research Project on Brain Neuropharmacology and Toxicology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.
4
Department of Human Genetics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan.
5
Laboratory of Molecular Neuropharmacology, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.
6
Genomic Science Laboratories, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan.
7
Department of Molecular Neuropsychiatry, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka, Japan.
8
Division of Cerebral Integration, National Institute of Physiological Sciences, Aichi, Japan.
9
Graduate School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, Osaka, Japan.

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex group of clinically heterogeneous neurodevelopmental disorders with unclear etiology and pathogenesis. Genetic studies have identified numerous candidate genetic variants, including de novo mutated ASD-associated genes; however, the function of these de novo mutated genes remains unclear despite extensive bioinformatics resources. Accordingly, it is not easy to assign priorities to numerous candidate ASD-associated genes for further biological analysis. Here we developed a convenient system for identifying an experimental evidence-based annotation of candidate ASD-associated genes. We performed trio-based whole-exome sequencing in 30 sporadic cases of ASD and identified 37 genes with de novo single-nucleotide variations (SNVs). Among them, 5 of those 37 genes, POGZ, PLEKHA4, PCNX, PRKD2 and HERC1, have been previously reported as genes with de novo SNVs in ASD; and consultation with in silico databases showed that only HERC1 might be involved in neural function. To examine whether the identified gene products are involved in neural functions, we performed small hairpin RNA-based assays using neuroblastoma cell lines to assess neurite development. Knockdown of 8 out of the 14 examined genes significantly decreased neurite development (P<0.05, one-way analysis of variance), which was significantly higher than the number expected from gene ontology databases (P=0.010, Fisher's exact test). Our screening system may be valuable for identifying the neural functions of candidate ASD-associated genes for further analysis and a substantial portion of these genes with de novo SNVs might have roles in neuronal systems, although further detailed analysis might eliminate false positive genes from identified candidate ASD genes.

PMID:
26582266
PMCID:
PMC4819764
DOI:
10.1038/jhg.2015.141
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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