Saturday, January 3, 2015

US researchers identify gene network linked to autism

U.S. scientists have identified a molecular network of genes known to contribute to autism spectrum disorders, and they say their finding may help uncover new genes linked to these conditions.

According to the news release, researchers used gene expression data and genome sequencing to study the whole set of interactions within a cell, and they identified a module comprised of 119 proteins linked to autism genes.
Researchers also found that the corpus callosum and oligodendrocyte cells in the brain can contribute to autism.  Oligodendrocytes are myelin-forming cells of the central nervous system, and the corpus callosum is a huge band of myelinated fibers. Myelin, which is comprised of proteins and phospholipids, forms a sheath around nerve fibers and increases the speed at which impulses are conducted.
"In the future, we need to study how the interplay between different types of brain cells or different regions of the brain contribute to this disease,” study author Jingjing Li, postdoctoral fellow at the Stanford Center for Genomics and Personalized Medicine, said in the news release.
http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/12/30/us-researchers-identify-gene-network-linked-to-autism/