Supplementary Material for: A Candidate Gene Association Study Further Corroborates Involvement of Contactin Genes in Autism

2014-05-17T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Poot M.
Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) shows a high degree of heritability, only a few mutated genes and mostly de novo copy number variations (CNVs) with a high phenotypic impact have as yet been identified. In families with multiple ASD patients, transmitted CNVs often do not appear to cosegregate with disease. Therefore, also transmitted single nucleotide variants which escape detection if genetic analyses were limited to CNVs may contribute to disease risk. In several studies of ASD patients, CNVs covering at least one gene of the contactin gene family were found. To determine whether there is evidence for a contribution of transmitted variants in contactin genes, a cohort of 67 ASD patients and a population-based reference of 117 healthy individuals, who were not related to the ASD families, were compared. In total, 1,648 SNPs, spanning 12.1 Mb of genomic DNA, were examined. After Bonferroni correction for multiple testing, the strongest signal was found for a SNP located within the <i>CNTN5</i> gene (rs6590473 [G], p = 4.09 × 10<sup>-7</sup>; OR = 3.117; 95% CI = 1.603-6.151). In the ASD cohort, a combination of risk alleles of SNPs in <i>CNTN6 </i>(rs9878022 [A]; OR = 3.749) and in <i>CNTNAP2 </i>(rs7804520 [G]; OR = 2.437) was found more frequently than would be expected under random segregation, albeit this association was not statistically significant. The latter finding is consistent with a polygenic disease model in which multiple mutagenic mechanisms, operating<b> </b>concomitantly, elicit the ASD phenotype. Altogether, this study corroborates the possible involvement of contactins in ASD, which has been indicated by earlier studies of CNVs.