Targeted sequencing and integrative analysis to prioritize candidate genes in neurodevelopmental disorders

Mol Neurobiol. 2021 Aug;58(8):3863-3873. doi: 10.1007/s12035-021-02377-y. Epub 2021 Apr 15.


Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are a group of diseases characterized by high heterogeneity and frequently co-occurring symptoms. The mutational spectrum in patients with NDDs is largely incomplete. Here, we sequenced 547 genes from 1102 patients with NDDs and validated 1271 potential functional variants, including 108 de novo variants (DNVs) in 78 autosomal genes and seven inherited hemizygous variants in six X chromosomal genes. Notably, 36 of these 78 genes are the first to be reported in Chinese patients with NDDs. By integrating our genetic data with public data, we prioritized 212 NDD candidate genes with FDR < 0.1, including 17 novel genes. The novel candidate genes interacted or were co-expressed with known candidate genes, forming a functional network involved in known pathways. We highlighted MSL2, which carried two de novo protein-truncating variants (p.L192Vfs*3 and p.S486Ifs*11) and was frequently connected with known candidate genes. This study provides the mutational spectrum of NDDs in China and prioritizes 212 NDD candidate genes for further functional validation and genetic counseling.

Keywords: Candidate genes; De novo variants; Neurodevelopmental disorders; Targeted sequencing.