Decoding the contribution of dopaminergic genes and pathways to autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Michael Nguyen, Andrew Roth, Evan J. Kyzar, Manoj K. Poudel, Keith Wong, Adam Michael Stewart, Allan V. Kalueff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a debilitating brain illness causing social deficits, delayed development and repetitive behaviors. ASD is a heritable neurodevelopmental disorder with poorly understood and complex etiology. The central dopaminergic system is strongly implicated in ASD pathogenesis. Genes encoding various elements of this system (including dopamine receptors, the dopamine transporter or enzymes of synthesis and catabolism) have been linked to ASD. Here, we comprehensively evaluate known molecular interactors of dopaminergic genes, and identify their potential molecular partners within up/down-steam signaling pathways associated with dopamine. These in silico analyses allowed us to construct a map of molecular pathways, regulated by dopamine and involved in ASD. Clustering these pathways reveals groups of genes associated with dopamine metabolism, encoding proteins that control dopamine neurotransmission, cytoskeletal processes, synaptic release, Ca2+ signaling, as well as the adenosine, glutamatergic and gamma-aminobutyric systems. Overall, our analyses emphasize the important role of the dopaminergic system in ASD, and implicate several cellular signaling processes in its pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalNeurochemistry International
Volume66
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Dopaminergic system
  • Genetics
  • Molecular pathways
  • Translational research

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Decoding the contribution of dopaminergic genes and pathways to autism spectrum disorder (ASD)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this