1Mol. Psychiatry 2010 Jun 15: 637-46
TitleRare structural variants found in attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder are preferentially associated with neurodevelopmental genes.
AbstractAttention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common and highly heritable disorder, but specific genetic factors underlying risk remain elusive. To assess the role of structural variation in ADHD, we identified 222 inherited copy number variations (CNVs) within 335 ADHD patients and their parents that were not detected in 2026 unrelated healthy individuals. Although no excess CNVs, either deletions or duplications, were found in the ADHD cohort relative to controls, the inherited rare CNV-associated gene set was significantly enriched for genes reported as candidates in studies of autism, schizophrenia and Tourette syndrome, including A2BP1, AUTS2, CNTNAP2 and IMMP2L. The ADHD CNV gene set was also significantly enriched for genes known to be important for psychological and neurological functions, including learning, behavior, synaptic transmission and central nervous system development. Four independent deletions were located within the protein tyrosine phosphatase gene, PTPRD, recently implicated as a candidate gene for restless legs syndrome, which frequently presents with ADHD. A deletion within the glutamate receptor gene, GRM5, was found in an affected parent and all three affected offspring whose ADHD phenotypes closely resembled those of the GRM5 null mouse. Together, these results suggest that rare inherited structural variations play an important role in ADHD development and indicate a set of putative candidate genes for further study in the etiology of ADHD.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
2PLoS Genet. 2010 May 6: e1000962
TitleGenome-wide copy number variation in epilepsy: novel susceptibility loci in idiopathic generalized and focal epilepsies.
AbstractEpilepsy is one of the most common neurological disorders in humans with a prevalence of 1% and a lifetime incidence of 3%. Several genes have been identified in rare autosomal dominant and severe sporadic forms of epilepsy, but the genetic cause is unknown in the vast majority of cases. Copy number variants (CNVs) are known to play an important role in the genetic etiology of many neurodevelopmental disorders, including intellectual disability (ID), autism, and schizophrenia. Genome-wide studies of copy number variation in epilepsy have not been performed. We have applied whole-genome oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization to a cohort of 517 individuals with various idiopathic, non-lesional epilepsies. We detected one or more rare genic CNVs in 8.9% of affected individuals that are not present in 2,493 controls; five individuals had two rare CNVs. We identified CNVs in genes previously implicated in other neurodevelopmental disorders, including two deletions in AUTS2 and one deletion in CNTNAP2. Therefore, our findings indicate that rare CNVs are likely to contribute to a broad range of generalized and focal epilepsies. In addition, we find that 2.9% of patients carry deletions at 15q11.2, 15q13.3, or 16p13.11, genomic hotspots previously associated with ID, autism, or schizophrenia. In summary, our findings suggest common etiological factors for seemingly diverse diseases such as ID, autism, schizophrenia, and epilepsy.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
3Cytogenet. Genome Res. 2011 -1 135: 228-40
TitleDisentangling the myriad genomics of complex disorders, specifically focusing on autism, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.
AbstractAnalyses of structural genome variation by array-CGH have dramatically enhanced our ability to detect copy number variations (CNVs). De novo CNVs and those co-segregating with disease in a family are generally interpreted as pathogenic. Yet, often CNVs, such as recurrent microdeletions in region 15q13.3, are not so clearly pathogenic. Here we discuss potential confounding mechanisms that may lead to the phenotypic pleiotropy of CNVs, such as unmasking of recessive alleles by hemizygous deletions, interaction of CNVs with other loci and genes, genetic epistasis, allelic exclusion, and somatic mosaicism. We illustrate some of these mechanisms with a detailed analysis of recent studies of CNVs involving MCPH1, AUTS2, CNTNAP2, and mutations in GRIN2B. Next we discuss the clinical ramifications of these findings and urge workers to avoid 'diagnostic fatalism' (i.e., halting all genetic investigation after the detection of a single CNV) and address some of the future challenges likely to result from implementations of next generation sequencing techniques.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
4Transl Psychiatry 2011 -1 1: e34
TitleIncreased de novo copy number variants in the offspring of older males.
AbstractThe offspring of older fathers have an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism. In light of the evidence implicating copy number variants (CNVs) with schizophrenia and autism, we used a mouse model to explore the hypothesis that the offspring of older males have an increased risk of de novo CNVs. C57BL/6J sires that were 3- and 12-16-months old were mated with 3-month-old dams to create control offspring and offspring of old sires, respectively. Applying genome-wide microarray screening technology, 7 distinct CNVs were identified in a set of 12 offspring and their parents. Competitive quantitative PCR confirmed these CNVs in the original set and also established their frequency in an independent set of 77 offspring and their parents. On the basis of the combined samples, six de novo CNVs were detected in the offspring of older sires, whereas none were detected in the control group. Two of the CNVs were associated with behavioral and/or neuroanatomical phenotypic features. One of the de novo CNVs involved AUTS2 (autism susceptibility candidate 2), and other CNVs included genes linked to schizophrenia, autism and brain development. This is the first experimental demonstration that the offspring of older males have an increased risk of de novo CNVs. Our results support the hypothesis that the offspring of older fathers have an increased risk of neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism by generation of de novo CNVs in the male germline.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
5Cell 2012 Apr 149: 525-37
TitleSequencing chromosomal abnormalities reveals neurodevelopmental loci that confer risk across diagnostic boundaries.
AbstractBalanced chromosomal abnormalities (BCAs) represent a relatively untapped reservoir of single-gene disruptions in neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). We sequenced BCAs in patients with autism or related NDDs, revealing disruption of 33 loci in four general categories: (1) genes previously associated with abnormal neurodevelopment (e.g., AUTS2, FOXP1, and CDKL5), (2) single-gene contributors to microdeletion syndromes (MBD5, SATB2, EHMT1, and SNURF-SNRPN), (3) novel risk loci (e.g., CHD8, KIRREL3, and ZNF507), and (4) genes associated with later-onset psychiatric disorders (e.g., TCF4, ZNF804A, PDE10A, GRIN2B, and ANK3). We also discovered among neurodevelopmental cases a profoundly increased burden of copy-number variants from these 33 loci anda significant enrichment of polygenic risk alleles from genome-wide association studies of autism and schizophrenia. Our findings suggest a polygenic risk model of autism and reveal that some neurodevelopmental genes are sensitive to perturbation by multiple mutational mechanisms, leading to variable phenotypic outcomes that manifest at different life stages.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
6Cell Rep 2014 Dec 9: 2166-79
TitleCytoskeletal regulation by AUTS2 in neuronal migration and neuritogenesis.
AbstractMutations in the Autism susceptibility candidate 2 gene (AUTS2), whose protein is believed to act in neuronal cell nuclei, have been associated with multiple psychiatric illnesses, including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disability, and schizophrenia. Here we show that cytoplasmic AUTS2 is involved in the regulation of the cytoskeleton and neural development. Immunohistochemistry and fractionation studies show that AUTS2 localizes not only in nuclei, but also in the cytoplasm, including in the growth cones in the developing brain. AUTS2 activates Rac1 to induce lamellipodia but downregulates Cdc42 to suppress filopodia. Our loss-of-function and rescue experiments show that a cytoplasmic AUTS2-Rac1 pathway is involved in cortical neuronal migration and neuritogenesis in the developing brain. These findings suggest that cytoplasmic AUTS2 acts as a regulator of Rho family GTPases to contribute to brain development and give insight into the pathology of human psychiatric disorders with AUTS2 mutations.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
7Int J Mol Sci 2014 -1 15: 19406-16
TitleAssociation study identifying a new susceptibility gene (AUTS2) for schizophrenia.
Abstractschizophrenia (SCZ) is a severe and debilitating mental disorder, and the specific genetic factors that underlie the risk for SCZ remain elusive. The autism susceptibility candidate 2 (AUTS2) gene has been reported to be associated with autism, suicide, alcohol consumption, and heroin dependence. We hypothesized that AUTS2 might be associated with SCZ. In the present study, three polymorphisms (rs6943555, rs7459368, and rs9886351) in the AUTS2 gene were genotyped in 410 patients with SCZ and 435 controls using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and forced PCR-RFLP methods. We detected an association between SCZ and the rs6943555 genotype distribution (odds ratio (OR)=1.363, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.848-2.191, p=0.001). The association remained significant after adjusting for gender, and a significant effect (p=0.001) was observed among the females. In the present study, rs6943555 was determined to be associated with female SCZ. Our results confirm previous reports which have suggested that rs6943555 might elucidate the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and play an important role in its etiology.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
8Mol. Psychiatry 2014 Jun 19: 652-8
TitleDe novo mutations in schizophrenia implicate chromatin remodeling and support a genetic overlap with autism and intellectual disability.
Abstractschizophrenia is a serious psychiatric disorder with a broadly undiscovered genetic etiology. Recent studies of de novo mutations (DNMs) in schizophrenia and autism have reinforced the hypothesis that rare genetic variation contributes to risk. We carried out exome sequencing on 57 trios with sporadic or familial schizophrenia. In sporadic trios, we observed a ~3.5-fold increase in the proportion of nonsense DNMs (0.101 vs 0.031, empirical P=0.01, Benjamini-Hochberg-corrected P=0.044). These mutations were significantly more likely to occur in genes with highly ranked probabilities of haploinsufficiency (P=0.0029, corrected P=0.006). DNMs of potential functional consequence were also found to occur in genes predicted to be less tolerant to rare variation (P=2.01 10(-)(5), corrected P=2.1 10(-)(3)). Genes with DNMs overlapped with genes implicated in autism (for example, AUTS2, CHD8 and MECP2) and intellectual disability (for example, HUWE1 and TRAPPC9), supporting a shared genetic etiology between these disorders. Functionally CHD8, MECP2 and HUWE1 converge on epigenetic regulation of transcription suggesting that this may be an important risk mechanism. Our results were consistent in an analysis of additional exome-based sequencing studies of other neurodevelopmental disorders. These findings suggest that perturbations in genes, which function in the epigenetic regulation of brain development and cognition, could have a central role in the susceptibility to, pathogenesis and treatment of mental disorders.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia
9PLoS ONE 2015 -1 10: e0145979
TitleHeterozygous Disruption of Autism susceptibility candidate 2 Causes Impaired Emotional Control and Cognitive Memory.
AbstractMutations in the Autism susceptibility candidate 2 gene (AUTS2) have been associated with a broad range of psychiatric illnesses including autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disability and schizophrenia. We previously demonstrated that the cytoplasmic AUTS2 acts as an upstream factor for the Rho family small GTPase Rac1 and Cdc42 that regulate the cytoskeletal rearrangements in neural cells. Moreover, genetic ablation of the AUTS2 gene in mice has resulted in defects in neuronal migration and neuritogenesis in the developing cerebral cortex caused by inactivation of Rac1-signaling pathway, suggesting that AUTS2 is required for neural development. In this study, we conducted a battery of behavioral analyses on AUTS2 heterozygous mutant mice to examine the involvement of AUTS2 in adult cognitive brain functions. AUTS2-deficient mice displayed a decrease in exploratory behavior as well as lower anxiety-like behaviors in the absence of any motor dysfunction. Furthermore, the capability for novel object recognition and cued associative memory were impaired in AUTS2 mutant mice. Social behavior and sensory motor gating functions were, however, normal in the mutant mice as assessed by the three-chamber test and prepulse inhibition test, respectively. Together, our findings indicate that AUTS2 is critical for the acquisition of neurocognitive function.
SCZ Keywordsschizophrenia