Recent Publications: Protocadherin α (PCDHA) as a novel susceptibility gene for autism.
Protocadherin α (PCDHA) as a novel susceptibility gene for autism.
J Psychiatry Neurosci. 2012 Oct 2;37(6):120058. doi: 10.1503/jpn.120058. [Epub ahead of print].



Background: Synaptic dysfunction has been shown to be involved in the pathogenesis of autism. We hypothesized that the protocadherin α gene cluster (PCDHA), which is involved in synaptic specificity and in serotonergic innervation of the brain, could be a suitable candidate gene for autism. Methods: We examined 14 PCDHA single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for genetic association with autism in DNA samples of 3211 individuals (841 families, including 574 multiplex families) obtained from the AutismGenetic ResourceExchange. Results: Five SNPs (rs251379, rs1119032, rs17119271, rs155806 and rs17119346) showed significant associations with autism. The strongest association (p < 0.001) was observed for rs1119032 (z score of risk allele G = 3.415) in multiplex families; SNP associations withstand multiple testing correction in multiplex families (p = 0.041). Haplotypes involving rs1119032 showed very strong associations with autism, withstanding multiple testing corrections. In quantitative transmission disequilibrium testing of multiplex fam - ilies, the G allele of rs1119032 showed a significant association (p = 0.033) with scores on the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R)_D (early developmental abnormalities). We also found a significant difference in the distribution of ADI-R_A (social interaction) scores between the A/A, A/G and G/G genotypes of rs17119346 (p = 0.002). Limitations: Our results should be replicated in an in - dependent population and/or in samples of different racial backgrounds. Conclusion: Our study provides strong genetic evidence of PCDHA as a potential candidate gene for autism.


Article at PubMed

Date: 10/17/2012