Duplications of 17(p11.2p11.2) have been associated with various behavioral manifestations including attention deficits, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, autistic traits, and language delay. We are conducting a genetic study of autism and are screening all cases for submicroscopic chromosomal abnormalities, in addition to standard karyotyping, and fragile X testing. Using array-based comparative genomic hybridization analysis of data from the Affymetrix GeneChip(R) Human Mapping Array set, we detected a duplication of approximately 3.3 Mb on chromosome 17p11.2 in a male child with autism and severe expressive language delay. The duplication was confirmed by measuring the copy number of genomic DNA using quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Gene expression analyses revealed increased expression of three candidate genes for the Smith-Magenis neurobehavioral phenotype, RAI1, DRG2, and RASD1, in transformed lymphocytes from Case 81A, suggesting gene dosage effects. Our results add to a growing body of evidence suggesting that duplications of 17(p11.2p11.2) result in language delay as well as autism and related phenotypes. As Smith-Magenis syndrome is also associated with language delay, a gene involved in acquisition of language may lie within this interval. Whether a parent of origin effect, gender of the case, the presence of allelic variation, or changes in expression of genes outside the breakpoints influence the resultant phenotype remains to be determined.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.