Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Genomics
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Utah Researchers Confirm Chromosome may Harbor Autism Gene

Published: Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Bookmark and Share
Researchers have ruled out one gene that appeared to be a good candidate for being linked to autism.

Using technology that allows DNA from thousands of genes to be collected and surveyed on a 3 x 1½-inch chip, University of Utah medical researchers have confirmed that a region on a single chromosome probably harbors a gene that causes autism.

The researchers at the U School of Medicine made the finding by tracing variations in the DNA of an extended Utah family that has a high occurrence of the disorder and whose members are descended from one couple.

As part of the study, the researchers also ruled out one gene that appeared to be a good candidate for being linked to autism. They're now looking at other genes for a connection to the disorder.

Published in Human Heredity online, the study is part of the Utah Autism Research Project. The researchers are interested in finding more families with a history of autism to join the study.

The just-published research confirms Finnish studies of families that linked autism to the same region on chromosome 3, according to principal author Hilary Coon, Ph.D., research associate professor of psychiatry.

In fact, the results of the U of U research were surprisingly similar to the Finnish studies, Coon said.

"It was remarkable to confirm the Finnish studies," she said. "Our results were so close to their evidence, we thought it was important."

The study involved 31 members of a family of Northern European ancestry, seven of whom have autism or an autism-related disorder. The family members are part of the Utah Population Database.

The researchers used a gene chip similar to a microarray to search for genetic markers of autism.

They used a coated glass chip from Affymetrix, Inc. This chip has 10,000 short segments of DNA with known gene sequence variations, called single nucleotide polymorphisms, attached to 3/8 by 3/8-inch area.

The DNA strands of the family members were broken up and then bonded to the DNA on the chip, allowing researchers to compare the variations in the SNPs of the different DNA on an extremely fine scale.

The chance of the same variants of SNPs in a particular region on a chromosome being passed through several generations from a founding couple to multiple affected family members is slight.

When such identical blocks of SNPs are found, the chromosomal region often is a good candidate for being linked to a disease.

Other studies, including the Finnish ones, have found a high degree of evidence linking chromosome 3 to autism, so Coon and the other U researchers began their search on that chromosome.

The first region of the chromosome they looked at contained 106 SNPs, 70 of which strongly indicated a gene in that region being linked to autism.

One gene, FXR1, appeared to be a likely candidate for a link to autism. FXR1 is similar to the X-chromosome Fragile X gene, FMR1.

Mutations in FMR1 cause Fragile X Syndrome, an inherited condition that can cause mental impairments ranging from learning disabilities to severe cognitive problems.

Fragile X syndrome has been shown to overlap with autism, and because FXR1 is similar to the gene that causes the syndrome, U researchers suspected FXR1 might be linked to autism. But after analyzing the entire coding sequence of FXR1, the researchers found no alterations in the gene likely to contribute to autism.

Based on statistical evidence, they're now looking at other genes. But evidence that a gene on a particular region of chromosome 3 is linked to the disorder doesn't preclude other genes from being a cause of autism, according to Coon.

"We're just looking for the needle in the haystack," Coon said.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,200+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 4,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Liquid Biopsies: DNA Size Matters
Study finds circulating tumour DNA can be distinguished from healthy DNA through fragment size identification.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
New Tool Could Change How Infectious Diseases Are Diagnosed
Scientists at the University of Utah School of Medicine, ARUP Laboratories, and IDbyDNA, Inc., have developed ultra-fast, meta-genomics analysis software called Taxonomer that dramatically improves the accuracy and speed of pathogen detection.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
A Gene for New Species is Identified
A University of Utah-led study identified a long-sought “hybrid inviability gene” responsible for dead or infertile offspring when two species of fruit flies mate with each other.
Monday, December 21, 2015
New Way to Find DNA Damage
University of Utah chemists devised a new way to detect chemical damage to DNA that sometimes leads to genetic mutations responsible for many diseases, including various cancers and neurological disorders.
Monday, November 09, 2015
Genetic Tug of War
Researchers have reported on a version of genetic parental control in mice that is more targeted, and subtle than canonical imprinting.
Monday, August 03, 2015
First Evidence of Virus in Cancerous Prostate Cells
A type of virus that causes leukemia and sarcomas in animals has been found for the first time in malignant human prostate cancer cells.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Sperm’s Genes Packaged with Instructions for Development
New research shows that a father’s sperm passes along a previously unrecognized set of instructions that helps guide the early development of his children.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Newly Found Enzymes may Play Early Role in Cancer
The manipulation of these newly found genes might lead to targeted therapies aimed at slowing or preventing the onset of tumors.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Scientific News
Liquid Biopsies: Miracle Diagnostic or Next New Fad?
Thanks to the development of highly specific gene-amplification and sequencing technologies liquid biopsies access more biomarkers relevant to more cancers than ever before.
Discovered Through ‘Big Data’ Analysis
Researchers at the SBP have identified over 100 new genetic regions that affect the immune response to cancer.
New Therapeutic Targets For Small Cell Lung Cancer Identified
Researchers at UTSW Medical Center have identified a protein termed ASCL1 that is essential to the development of small cell lung cancer and that, when deleted in the lungs of mice, prevents the cancer from forming.
Deciphering Inactive X Chromosomes
Untangling the Barr body of inactive X chromosomes valuable for understanding chromosome structure and gene expression.
Micro Disease-Detecting Senor Created
Researchers at McMaster University have created a microscopic disease-detecting sensor that can turn on to detect trace amounts of substances.
Liquid Biopsies Treating Ovarian Cancer
Researchers have discovered a promising monitor and treat recurrence of ovarian cancer. Detecting cancer long before tumours reappear.
Uncovering a New Principle in Chemotherapy Resistance in Breast Cancer
The NIH study has revealed an entirely unexpected process for acquiring drug resistance that bypasses the need to re-establish DNA damage repair in breast cancers that have mutant BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Understanding Treatment Resistant Melanoma
Researchers have determined how advanced melanoma becomes resistant; a development toward developing treatments.
Investigating ‘Black Box’ of Human Genetics
Investigations into inactive X chromosomes have shown unusual DNA repeat elements are essential for maintaining 3D structure.
Liquid Biopsies: DNA Size Matters
Study finds circulating tumour DNA can be distinguished from healthy DNA through fragment size identification.
Skyscraper Banner

SELECTBIO Market Reports
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,200+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,800+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!