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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorder with a complex genetic architecture. To identify genetic variants underlying ASD, we performed single-variant and gene-based genome-wide association studies using a dense genotyping array containing over 2.3 million single-nucleotide variants in a discovery sample of 160 families with at least one child affected with non-syndromic ASD using a binary (ASD yes/no) phenotype and a quantitative autistic trait. Replication of the top findings was performed in Psychiatric Genomics Consortium and Erasmus Rucphen Family (ERF) cohort study. Significant association of quantitative autistic trait was observed with the TTC25 gene at 17q21.2 (effect size=10.2, P-value=3.4 × 10-7) in the gene-based analysis. The gene also showed nominally significant association in the cohort-based ERF study (effect=1.75, P-value=0.05). Meta-analysis of discovery and replication improved the association signal (P-valuemeta=1.5 × 10-8). No genome-wide significant signal was observed in the single-variant analysis of either the binary ASD phenotype or the quantitative autistic trait. Our study has identified a novel gene TTC25 to be associated with quantitative autistic trait in patients with ASD. The replication of association in a cohort-based study and the effect estimate suggest that variants in TTC25 may also be relevant for broader ASD phenotype in the general population. TTC25 is overexpressed in frontal cortex and testis and is known to be involved in cilium movement and thus an interesting candidate gene for autistic trait.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/ejhg.2017.82

Type

Journal article

Journal

Eur J Hum Genet

Publication Date

08/2017

Volume

25

Pages

982 - 987

Keywords

Autism Spectrum Disorder, Carrier Proteins, Female, Humans, Male, Pedigree, Phenotype, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide