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Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
Autism Research Database
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC)
 
Project Element Element Description

Project Title

Project Title

Studies of postmortem brain searching for epigenetic defects causing autism

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Beaudet, Arthur

Description

Description

In the nucleus, DNA wraps around proteins to form a structure known as chromatin, and epigenetic modifications to either the proteins or the DNA can determine whether the chromatin hides or exposes a gene for RNA production. Chromatin modifications can have a wide-ranging impact on which genes are expressed, even without a mutation in the DNA sequence. Beaudet and his colleagues are looking for unusual patterns of chromatin modifications associated with autism, using techniques that uncover these marks on the proteins and DNA recovered from the nuclei of neurons. From the postmortem brain tissue from people with autism, the team plans to isolate chromatin and use antibodies to detect particular histone modifications known to affect gene expression. The researchers will also sequence the isolated DNA, looking for both mutations and methylation marks. This combined strategy allows screening of the chromatin in the neuron nuclei across the entire genome. The researchers will also analyze autism-associated genomic regions with even higher resolution to detect any epigenetic changes that would not be detected by traditional sequencing. In a complementary set of experiments, the investigators are carefully assaying the neurons' RNA profiles to determine which genes are up- or down-regulated in autism, which may point to new genes or pathways.

Funder

Funder

Simons Foundation

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

400000

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

na

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

Question 3: What Caused This To Happen And Can This Be Prevented?

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 3LB. Identify genetic risk factors in at least 50% of people with ASD by 2014. IACC Recommended Budget: $33,900,000 over 6 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Studies of postmortem brain searching for epigenetic defects causing autism (External web link)

Institution

Institution

Baylor College of Medicine

State/Country

State/Country

Texas

Project Number

Project Number

95252

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Studies of postmortem brain searching for epigenetic defects causing autism | 400000 | 2010 | 95252
Studies of postmortem brain searching for epigenetic defects causing autism | 400000 | 2008 | Project number unavailable
Studies of postmortem brain searching for epigenetic defects causing autism | 200000 | 2011 | 95252

 
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