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Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have implicated a range of genes from discrete biological pathways in the aetiology of autism. However, despite the strong influence of genetic factors, association studies have yet to identify statistically robust, replicated major effect genes or SNPs. We apply the principle of the SNP ratio test methodology described by O'Dushlaine et al to over 2100 families from the Autism Genome Project (AGP). Using a two-stage design we examine association enrichment in 5955 unique gene-ontology classifications across four groupings based on two phenotypic and two ancestral classifications. Based on estimates from simulation we identify excess of association enrichment across all analyses. We observe enrichment in association for sets of genes involved in diverse biological processes, including pyruvate metabolism, transcription factor activation, cell-signalling and cell-cycle regulation. Both genes and processes that show enrichment have previously been examined in autistic disorders and offer biologically plausibility to these findings.

Original publication

DOI

10.1038/ejhg.2011.75

Type

Journal article

Journal

Eur J Hum Genet

Publication Date

10/2011

Volume

19

Pages

1082 - 1089

Keywords

Autistic Disorder, Child, Child Development Disorders, Pervasive, Family, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genome-Wide Association Study, Humans, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Proteins, Research Design