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Screening for genomic rearrangements and methylation abnormalities of the 15q11-q13 region in autism spectrum disorders.

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Maternally derived duplications of the 15q11-q13 region are the most frequently reported chromosomal aberrations in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes, caused by 15q11-q13 deletions or abnormal methylation of imprinted genes, are also associated with ASD. However, the prevalence of these disorders in ASD is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of 15q11-q13 rearrangements in a large sample of patients ascertained for ASD. METHODS: A total of 522 patients belonging to 430 families were screened for deletions, duplications, and methylation abnormalities involving 15q11-q13 with multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA). RESULTS: We identified four patients with 15q11-q13 abnormalities: a supernumerary chromosome 15, a paternal interstitial duplication, and two subjects with Angelman syndrome, one with a maternal deletion and the other with a paternal uniparental disomy. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that abnormalities of the 15q11-q13 region are a significant cause of ASD, accounting for approximately 1% of cases. Maternal interstitial 15q11-q13 duplications, previously reported to be present in 1% of patients with ASD, were not detected in our sample. Although paternal duplications of chromosome 15 remain phenotypically silent in the majority of patients, they can give rise to developmental delay and ASD in some subjects, suggesting that paternally expressed genes in this region can contribute to ASD, albeit with reduced penetrance compared with maternal duplications. These findings indicate that patients with ASD should be routinely screened for 15q genomic imbalances and methylation abnormalities and that MLPA is a reliable, rapid, and cost-effective method to perform this screening.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 7:48:42 PM
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Christel Depienne, Daniel Moreno-De-Luca, Delphine Heron, Delphine Bouteiller, Aurélie Gennetier, et al.. Screening for genomic rearrangements and methylation abnormalities of the 15q11-q13 region in autism spectrum disorders.. Biological Psychiatry, Elsevier, 2009, 66 (4), pp.349-59. ⟨10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.01.025⟩. ⟨inserm-00369261⟩

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