Integrated analysis of whole-exome sequencing and transcriptome profiling in males with autism spectrum disorders

Marta Codina-Solà, Benjamín Rodríguez-Santiago, Aïda Homs, Javier Santoyo, Maria Rigau, Gemma Aznar-Laín, Miguel Del Campo, Blanca Gener, Elisabeth Gabau, María Pilar Botella, Armand Gutiérrez-Arumí, Guillermo Antiñolo, Luis Alberto Pérez-Jurado, Ivon Cuscó

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76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders with high heritability. Recent findings support a highly heterogeneous and complex genetic etiology including rare de novo and inherited mutations or chromosomal rearrangements as well as double or multiple hits. Methods: We performed whole-exome sequencing (WES) and blood cell transcriptome by RNAseq in a subset of male patients with idiopathic ASD (n∈=∈36) in order to identify causative genes, transcriptomic alterations, and susceptibility variants. Results: We detected likely monogenic causes in seven cases: five de novo (SCN2A, MED13L, KCNV1, CUL3, and PTEN) and two inherited X-linked variants (MAOA and CDKL5). Transcriptomic analyses allowed the identification of intronic causative mutations missed by the usual filtering of WES and revealed functional consequences of some rare mutations. These included aberrant transcripts (PTEN, POLR3C), deregulated expression in 1.7% of mutated genes (that is, SEMA6B, MECP2, ANK3, CREBBP), allele-specific expression (FUS, MTOR, TAF1C), and non-sense-mediated decay (RIT1, ALG9). The analysis of rare inherited variants showed enrichment in relevant pathways such as the PI3K-Akt signaling and the axon guidance. Conclusions: Integrative analysis of WES and blood RNAseq data has proven to be an efficient strategy to identify likely monogenic forms of ASD (19% in our cohort), as well as additional rare inherited mutations that can contribute to ASD risk in a multifactorial manner. Blood transcriptomic data, besides validating 88% of expressed variants, allowed the identification of missed intronic mutations and revealed functional correlations of genetic variants, including changes in splicing, expression levels, and allelic expression.

Original languageEnglish
Article number21
JournalMolecular Autism
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 15 Apr 2015

Keywords

  • ASD
  • CNV
  • SNV
  • Whole-exome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Developmental Biology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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