, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 132-143
Date: 05 Mar 2011

Glutathione pathway gene variation and risk of autism spectrum disorders

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Abstract

Despite evidence that autism is highly heritable with estimates of 15 or more genes involved, few studies have directly examined associations of multiple gene interactions. Since inability to effectively combat oxidative stress has been suggested as a mechanism of autism, we examined genetic variation 42 genes (308 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)) related to glutathione, the most important antioxidant in the brain, for both marginal association and multi-gene interaction among 318 case–parent trios from The Autism Genetic Resource Exchange. Models of multi-SNP interactions were estimated using the trio Logic Regression method. A three-SNP joint effect was observed for genotype combinations of SNPs in glutaredoxin, glutaredoxin 3 (GLRX3), and cystathione gamma lyase (CTH); OR = 3.78, 95% CI: 2.36, 6.04. Marginal associations were observed for four genes including two involved in the three-way interaction: CTH, alcohol dehydrogenase 5, gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase, catalytic subunit and GLRX3. These results suggest that variation in genes involved in counterbalancing oxidative stress may contribute to autism, though replication is necessary.