Targeted sequencing and integrative analysis of 3,195 Chinese patients with neurodevelopmental disorders prioritized 26 novel candidate genes

J Genet Genomics. 2021 Apr 20;48(4):312-323. doi: 10.1016/j.jgg.2021.03.002. Epub 2021 Apr 1.


Neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) are a set of complex disorders characterized by diverse and co-occurring clinical symptoms. The genetic contribution in patients with NDDs remains largely unknown. Here, we sequence 519 NDD-related genes in 3,195 Chinese probands with neurodevelopmental phenotypes and identify 2,522 putative functional mutations consisting of 137 de novo mutations (DNMs) in 86 genes and 2,385 rare inherited mutations (RIMs) with 22 X-linked hemizygotes in 13 genes, 2 homozygous mutations in 2 genes and 23 compound heterozygous mutations in 10 genes. Furthermore, the DNMs of 16,807 probands with NDDs are retrieved from public datasets and combine in an integrated analysis with the mutation data of our Chinese NDD probands by taking 3,582 in-house controls of Chinese origin as background. We prioritize 26 novel candidate genes. Notably, six of these genes - ITSN1, UBR3, CADM1, RYR3, FLNA, and PLXNA3 - preferably contribute to autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), as demonstrated by high co-expression and/or interaction with ASD genes confirmed via rescue experiments in a mouse model. Importantly, these genes are differentially expressed in the ASD cortex in a significant manner and involved in ASD-associated networks. Together, our study expands the genetic spectrum of Chinese NDDs, further facilitating both basic and translational research.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorders; Candidate genes; De novo mutations; Homozygous mutations; Neurodevelopmental disorders; Rare inherited variants; X-linked variants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't