Exome Sequencing of Two Siblings with Sporadic Autism Spectrum Disorder and Severe Speech Sound Disorder Suggests Pleiotropic and Complex Effects
Recent studies of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and childhood apraxia of speech (CAS) have resulted in conflicting conclusions regarding the comorbidity of these disorders on phenotypic grounds. In a nuclear family with two dually affected and one unaffected offspring, whole-exome sequences were evaluated for single nucleotide and indel variants and CNVs. The affected siblings but not the unaffected sibling share a rare deleterious compound heterozygous mutation in WWOX, implicated both in ASD and motor control. In addition, one of the affected children carries a rare deleterious de novo mutation in the ASD candidate gene RIMS1. The two affected children but not their unaffected sibling inherited deleterious variants with relevance for ASD and/or CAS. WWOX, RIMS1, and several of the genes harboring the inherited variants are expressed in the brain during prenatal and early postnatal development. Results suggest compound heterozygosity as a cause of ASD and CAS, pleiotropic gene effects, and potentially additional, complex genetic effects.
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