Examining paternal transmissions only, we found marginal evidence for LD with a protective allele at marker D15S11 in the ASD families (Chi-sq 7 df, P = 0.05) and marginal evidence for risk alleles at markers D15S1506 (Chi-sq 13.7, 6 df, P = 0.06), GABRB3 (Chi-sq 15.9, 8 df, P = 0.11) and D15S1002 (Chi-sq 17.7, 9 df, P = 0.08) in the autism only families.
The two deletions upstream of the NRXN1 gene were found to segregate with psychiatric disorders in the family and further similar deletions have been observed in patients diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Since this represents one of the core symptom domains affected in autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia in humans, our findings suggest that deletions within NRXN1 found in patients may be responsible for the impairments seen in social behaviours, and that the Nrxn1α KO mice are a useful model of human neurodevelopmental disorder.
Examples of such intergenic CNV regions include 16q21 and 2p16.3 near known ASD risk genes CDH8 and NRXN1 respectively, as well as novel loci contiguous with ZHX2, MOCS1, LRRC4C, SEMA3C, and other genes.
Copy number variants (CNVs) and intragenic rearrangements of the NRXN1 (neurexin 1) gene are associated with a wide spectrum of developmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, including intellectual disability, speech delay, autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), hypotonia and schizophrenia.
Assessment of the clinical details in 25 previously undescribed individuals with NRXN1 exonic deletions demonstrated recurrent phenotypic features consisting of moderate to severe intellectual disability (91%), severe language delay (81%), autism spectrum disorder (65%), seizures (43%), and hypotonia (38%).
We review the evidence for the role of neurexin-1α in schizophrenia and ASD, and consider how genetic disruption of neurexin-1α may underpin the neuropathology contributing to these distinct neurodevelopmental disorders.
A number of genes that undergo radical changes in expression during this transition include candidates for schizophrenia (SZ), bipolar disorder (BD) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that function as transcription factors and chromatin modifiers, such as POU3F2 and ZNF804A, and genes coding for cell adhesion proteins implicated in these conditions including NRXN1 and NLGN1.
Heterozygous copy-number and missense variants in CNTNAP2 and NRXN1 have repeatedly been associated with a wide spectrum of neuropsychiatric disorders such as developmental language and autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy and schizophrenia.
We estimate there are 130-234 ASD-related CNV regions in the human genome and present compelling evidence, based on cumulative data, for association of rare de novo events at 7q11.23, 15q11.2-13.1, 16p11.2, and Neurexin 1.