Background: Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) is recommended as a first-tier genetic test for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, interpretation of results can often be challenging partly due to the fact that copy number variants (CNVs) in non-European ASD patients are not well studied. To address this literature gap, we report the CNV findings in a cohort of Chinese children with ASD.
Methods: DNA samples were obtained from 258 Chinese ASD patients recruited from a child assessment center between January 2011 and August 2014. aCGH was performed using NimbleGen-CGX-135k or Agilent-CGX 60k oligonucleotide array. Results were classified based on existing guidelines and literature.
Results: Ten pathogenic CNVs and one likely pathogenic CNV were found in nine patients, with an overall diagnostic yield of 3.5%. A 138 kb duplication involving 3' exons of DPP10 (arr[GRCh37] 2q14.1(116534689_116672358)x3), reported to be associated with ASD, was identified in one patient (0.39%). The same CNV was reported as variant of uncertain significance (VUS) in DECIPHER database. Multiple individuals of typical development carrying a similar duplication were identified among our ancestry-matched control with a frequency of 6/653 (0.92%) as well as from literature and genomic databases.
Conclusions: The DPP10 duplication is likely a benign CNV polymorphism enriched in Southern Chinese with a population frequency of ~1%. This highlights the importance of using ancestry-matched controls in interpretation of aCGH findings.
Keywords: Array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH); Autism spectrum disorder (ASD); Chinese; Copy number variations (CNVs); DPP10.