An integrated analysis of rare CNV and exome variation in Autism Spectrum Disorder using the Infinium PsychArray

Sci Rep. 2020 Feb 21;10(1):3198. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-59922-3.


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition with a complex and heterogeneous genetic etiology. While a proportion of ASD risk is attributable to common variants, rare copy-number variants (CNVs) and protein-disrupting single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) have been shown to significantly contribute to ASD etiology. We analyzed a homogeneous cohort of 127 ASD Italian families genotyped with the Illumina PsychArray, to perform an integrated analysis of CNVs and SNVs and to assess their contribution to ASD risk. We observed a higher burden of rare CNVs, especially deletions, in ASD individuals versus unaffected controls. Furthermore, we identified a significant enrichment of rare CNVs intersecting ASD candidate genes reported in the SFARI database. Family-based analysis of rare SNVs genotyped by the PsychArray also indicated an increased transmission of rare SNV variants from heterozygous parents to probands, supporting a multigenic model of ASD risk with significant contributions of both variant types. Moreover, our study reinforced the evidence for a significant role of VPS13B, WWOX, CNTNAP2, RBFOX1, MACROD2, APBA2, PARK2, GPHN, and RNF113A genes in ASD susceptibility. Finally, we showed that the PsychArray, besides providing useful genotyping data in psychiatric disorders, is a valuable and cost-efficient tool for genic CNV detection, down to 10 kb.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder / genetics*
  • DNA Copy Number Variations*
  • Exome*
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Duplication
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Heterozygote
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Linkage Disequilibrium
  • Male
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Parents
  • Pedigree
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Risk