Identifying Epostatic Interactions in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Project Award Date: 08-01-2010
To date, several candidate genes have been examined to evaluate their possible associations with autism. These genes have been selected based on supportive linkage evidence or the presence of certain findings at the clinical level in people with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Given that individuals with ASD are clinically heterogeneous, it is not surprising that most of the observed DNA sequence changes in possible Autism genes have not been reproduced in other studies. It is very likely that epigenetic factors (not identified by traditional genetic screening methods) play a role in the etiology of these disorders.
ITTC researchers will develop novel bioinformatics methods for the identification of genes and gene pathways implicated in autism through a comprehensive analysis of microRNA, mRNA, and splicing expression profiling. This is the first comprehensive research study (beyond the genomic sequence) to evaluate posttranscriptional modifications of mRNAs influenced by noncoding RNAs in association with autism. The study of gene expression and splicing pattern in autism by evaluating microRNAs will provide a link between autism and epigenetic factors.
Primary Sponsor(s): Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute