Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Simons-Funded Study Finds Connection Between Genes That Contribute to Autism
Recent studies have identified several dozen genes potentially associated with autism. In the past three years, the gene CHD8 has emerged as one of the strongest candidates. Individuals with a loss-of-function mutation in this gene, which inactivates the corresponding protein, are very likely to have an autism diagnosis.
CHD8 is thought to regulate gene expression by modifying the way DNA interacts with histones, proteins present in the nucleus of every cell that wind long strands of DNA like a spool. Until now, however, it has been unclear which genes CHD8 targets in the brain and whether these genes also play a role in autism....