An analysis of the genes of a group of people with autism and autism spectrum disorders suggests that they all encode a protein called catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT), which is a major regulator of brain development and cognition.
The findings, published today in Science, provide a genetic basis for the ability to regulate the function of COMT and its downstream genes, and are among the first to directly link COMT-related genes with the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
The results also suggest that these genes are key to autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Autism, a neurodevelopmentally disruptive disorder, affects up to one in 100 people worldwide, and the condition is often misdiagnosed as a variety of other developmental disorders.
The new study by Dr. Mark A. Mancini, director of the Autism Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and his colleagues at the Institute for the Study of Autism (ISAI) at the University of Illinois, found that individuals with autism have a highly enriched COMT gene family, and that their COMT genes play a role in the function and regulation of several genes involved in the development and function of the brain.
Mapping the brain to the gene In the new study, the researchers focused on the COMT family.
The gene is expressed in the developing brain and plays a critical role in regulating neurotransmitters and other neurotransmitter systems.
The researchers examined more than 30 genes involved with neurotransmitter regulation and found that the COMCT family is enriched in autism.
COMT is a family of genes, or genes, that encodes proteins that are involved in brain development.
The COMT proteins are responsible for regulating neurotransmitter release, and their expression in the brain is regulated by the enzyme cytochrome c.
The proteins are also involved in energy metabolism and metabolism of neurotransmitter-containing molecules such as dopamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin.
The study found that, compared with controls, individuals with an autism spectrum condition had a significantly higher COMT protein family and a higher number of COMCT genes.
The team then identified genes that encode the COMTC and CPTB proteins.
These proteins are involved with the regulation of energy metabolism, metabolism of dopamine, and metabolism and synthesis of acetylCHOs.
The CPTBs and COMTC are key proteins that regulate neurotransmitter uptake, transport, and release.
The research team next identified a large number of genes encoding enzymes that regulate the expression of other neurotransmitments and proteins involved in synaptic transmission.
For example, they found that COMT was encoded by more than 100 genes in the brains of individuals with ASD and those without autism.
They found that these proteins were involved in synaptogenesis, synaptophysiology, and synaptotoxicity.
COMTC is also a member of the COMTA family of proteins, and is involved in regulating synaptic transmission and memory formation.
COMTA proteins are encoded by two different families of proteins: the COMTB family, which encodes several proteins that encode receptors for neurotransmitces and neurotransmitter, and COMTBP, which is also encoded by the COMTS family.
COMTB proteins are key enzymes that are important for synaptosis, synapses, and memory.
COMTS proteins are important in the regulation and maintenance of synapses.
The protein family that encases the COMTT proteins is called the COMTP family, but it also includes a family that is related to the COMTR family.
Both COMTP and COMTT are involved, and both are involved primarily in synapse formation.
This family also includes the COMTD family, a member that encase the COMTF family.
A third family of COMTP proteins encodes the COMPT family of protein-coding genes, the COMFT family.
In addition, there are four families of COMTT genes that are not involved in neural cell signaling.
The members of these families encode proteins that directly regulate neuronal membrane function and function in response to specific inputs or stimuli.
The three proteins encoding the COMTN family, COMPT-3, COMTAT, and CTAB, are important because they are involved both in synaptic signaling and in the expression and function at synapses and synapse-associated neurons.
COMTD and COMTR families The researchers also identified genes encoding the other COMT families, including the COMDT, COMTD-1, and comtd family.
These are involved mostly in synapses in the cerebellum, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex, but also at synapse terminals in the thalamus and amygdala.
The first COMTD gene encodes a protein known as COMTD, which, like COMT, is involved with synaptic signaling.
Like COMT itself, COMDT proteins encode proteins involved with synapse function and neurotransmission.
COMDT-1 is also involved with both synapse signaling and synaptic function.
The next COMTD protein encodes COMTD2, which binds to a different protein called COMTD