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Open Access Research

A quantitative association study of SLC25A12 and restricted repetitive behavior traits in autism spectrum disorders

Soo-Jeong Kim1*, Raquel M Silva1, Cindi G Flores1, Suma Jacob2, Stephen Guter2, Gregory Valcante1, Annette M Zaytoun1, Edwin H Cook2 and Judith A Badner3

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

2 Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

3 Department of Psychiatry, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

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Molecular Autism 2011, 2:8  doi:10.1186/2040-2392-2-8

Published: 24 May 2011

Abstract

Background

SLC25A12 was previously identified by a linkage-directed association analysis in autism. In this study, we investigated the relationship between three SLC25A12 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs2056202, rs908670 and rs2292813) and restricted repetitive behavior (RRB) traits in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), based on a positive correlation between the G allele of rs2056202 and an RRB subdomain score on the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R).

Methods

We used the Repetitive Behavior Scale-Revised (RBS-R) as a quantitative RRB measure, and conducted linear regression analyses for individual SNPs and a previously identified haplotype (rs2056202-rs2292813). We examined associations in our University of Illinois at Chicago-University of Florida (UIC-UF) sample (179 unrelated individuals with an ASD), and then attempted to replicate our findings in the Simons Simplex Collection (SSC) sample (720 ASD families).

Results

In the UIC-UF sample, three RBS-R scores (ritualistic, sameness, sum) had positive associations with the A allele of rs2292813 (p = 0.006-0.012) and with the rs2056202-rs2292813 haplotype (omnibus test, p = 0.025-0.040). The SSC sample had positive associations between the A allele of rs2056202 and four RBS-R scores (stereotyped, sameness, restricted, sum) (p = 0.006-0.010), between the A allele of rs908670 and three RBS-R scores (stereotyped, self-injurious, sum) (p = 0.003-0.015), and between the rs2056202-rs2292813 haplotype and six RBS-R scores (stereotyped, self-injurious, compulsive, sameness, restricted, sum)(omnibus test, p = 0.002-0.028). Taken together, the A alleles of rs2056202 and rs2292813 were consistently and positively associated with RRB traits in both the UIC-UF and SSC samples, but the most significant SNP with phenotype association varied in each dataset.

Conclusions

This study confirmed an association between SLC25A12 and RRB traits in ASDs, but the direction of the association was different from that in the initial study. This could be due to the examined SLC25A12 SNPs being in linkage disequilibrium with another risk allele, and/or genetic/phenotypic heterogeneity of the ASD samples across studies.