Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are common, heritable neurodevelopmental conditions. The genetic architecture of ASDs is complex, requiring large samples to overcome heterogeneity. Here we broaden coverage and sample size relative to other studies of ASDs by using Affymetrix 10K SNP arrays and 1,181 families with at least two affected individuals, performing the largest linkage scan to date while also analyzing copy number variation in these families. Linkage and copy number variation analyses implicate chromosome 11p12–p13 and neurexins, respectively, among other candidate loci. Neurexins team with previously implicated neuroligins for glutamatergic synaptogenesis, highlighting glutamate-related genes as promising candidates for contributing to ASDs.
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The authors are indebted to the participating families for their contribution of time and effort in support of this study. We gratefully acknowledge Autism Speaks, formerly the National Alliance for Autism Research, for financial support for data pooling, SNP genotyping and data analysis.
The Autism Genetics Cooperative thanks Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR grant 11350 to P.S.), Catherine and Maxwell Meighan Foundation, Fondation de France, Fondation France Télécom, Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale, Genome Canada/Ontario Genomics Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, INSERM, McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institute of Mental Health (MH066673 to J.D.B.; MH55135 to S.E.F.; MH52708 to N. Risch (University of California, San Francisco); MH061009 to J.S.S.), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NS042165 to J.H.; NS026630 and NS036738 to M.A.P.-V.; NS049261 to J.S.S.; NS043550 to T.H.W.), Swedish Science Council, Seaver Autism Research Foundation and The Centre for Applied Genomics (Toronto). S.W.S. is an Investigator of the CIHR and an HHMI International Scholar.
The Autism Genetic Resource Exchange Consortium gratefully acknowledges the resources provided by the participating families. The Autism Genetic Resource Exchange is a program of Cure Autism Now and is supported, in part, by the National Institute of Mental Health (MH64547 to D.H.G.).
The Collaborative Programs of Excellence thank the National Center for Research Resources (M01-RR00064), National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (U19HD34565 G.D. and G.S.), NIMH (MH057881), NINDS (5 U19 HD035476 to W.M.McM.) and the Utah Autism Foundation.
The International Molecular Genetic Study of Autism Consortium thanks the UK Medical Research Council, Wellcome Trust, BIOMED 2 (CT-97-2759), EC Fifth Framework (QLG2-CT-1999-0094), Telethon-Italy (GGP030227), Janus Korczak Foundation, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Fondation France Telecom, Conseil Regional Midi-Pyrenees, Danish Medical Research Council, Sofiefonden, Beatrice Surovell Haskells Fond for Child Mental Health Research of Copenhagen, Danish Natural Science Research Council (9802210) and the US National Institutes of Health (U19 HD35482, MO1 RR06022, K05 MH01196, K02 MH01389). A.J.B. is the Cheryl and Reece Scott Professor of Psychiatry. A.P.M. is a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow.
Requests for data or methods should be addressed to B.D. (email@example.com) or S.W.S. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The author declare no competing financial interests.
Binned size distribution of CNVs in batch, plate and filtered analyses. (PDF 93 kb)
Linkage results due to removing families in which affected individuals putatively carry CNV. (PDF 157 kb)
Principal component plot used to infer ancestry. (PDF 188 kb)
Linkage results obtained by analyzing families inferred to be of homogeneous European ancestry. (PDF 696 kb)
List of 624 CNVs in filtered analysis. (PDF 64 kb)
List of 254 CNVs in affected individuals. (PDF 380 kb)
Breakdown of CNVs in affected individuals. (PDF 325 kb)
List of validated CNVs. (PDF 926 kb)
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The Autism Genome Project Consortium., Szatmari, P., Paterson, A. et al. Mapping autism risk loci using genetic linkage and chromosomal rearrangements. Nat Genet 39, 319–328 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1038/ng1985
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