Copy number variants in autism spectrum disorders

Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2019 Jun 8;92:421-427. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2019.02.012. Epub 2019 Feb 20.


In recent years, there has been an explosive increase in genetic studies related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This implicated the accumulation of a large amount of molecular data that may be used to verify various hypotheses and models developed to explore the complex genetic component of ASD. Several lines of evidence support the view that structural genomic variation contributes to the pathogenesis of ASD. The introduction of more sophisticated techniques for whole-genome screening, including array comparative genome hybridization and high-resolution single nucleotide polymorphism analysis, has allowed to identify an increasing number of ASD susceptibility loci. Copy number variants (CNVs) are the most common type of structural variation in the human genome and are considered important contributors to the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders, including ASD. In this review, we describe the accumulated evidence concerning the genetic events associated with ASD, and summarize current knowledge about the clinical relevance of CNVs in these disorders.

Keywords: Autism; CNVs; Chromosomal abnormalities; Genetic variants; aCGH.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / genetics*
  • DNA Copy Number Variations / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Humans