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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

Etiology of autism risk involving MET gene and the environment

Principal Investigator

Principal Investigator

Van de Water, Judy

Description

Description

Two independent lines of evidence indicate that the maternal immune system and a functional genetic variant contribute to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk. Here, the Van De Water lab will partner with scientists at Vanderbilt University to examine whether these two seemingly unrelated contributions may converge to define a unique ASD susceptibility. Preliminary evidence collected by the Van De Water lab indicates an association between the Mesenchymal epithelial transition factor (MET) gene ‘C' type, which reduces MET protein expression, and the presence of specific maternal anti-fetal brain autoantibodies. This relationship suggests that this as a pathway for production of the maternal autoantibodies, leading to a gene x environment interaction underlying ASD susceptibility. The next line of experiments will examine the relationship in an even larger sample and assess the functional effect of the MET gene polymorphism on immune cell activity as well as further examine the impact of environmental toxins (including ethyl mercury) on the gene expression-dependent function of maternal immune cells.

Funder

Funder

Autism Speaks

Fiscal Year Funding

Fiscal Year Funding

0

Current Award Period

Current Award Period

2008-2012

Strategic Plan Question

Strategic Plan Question

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

Strategic Plan Objective

Strategic Plan Objective

Yellow dot: Objective has some degree of funding, but less than the recommended amount. 3SE. Support at least two studies to determine if there are subpopulations that are more susceptible to environmental exposures (e.g., immune challenges related to infections, vaccinations, or underlying autoimmune problems) by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $8,000,000 over 2 years.

Project Link

Project Link

Etiology of autism risk involving MET gene and the environment (External web link)

Institution

Institution

University of California, Davis

State/Country

State/Country

California

Project Number

Project Number

4907

Federal or Private?

Federal or Private?

Private

Received ARRA Funding?

Received ARRA Funding?

No

History/Related Projects

History/Related Projects

Etiology of autism risk involving MET gene and the environment | 186745 | 2010 | 4907
Etiology of autism risk involving MET gene and the environment | 219700 | 2009 | 4907
Etiology of autism risk involving MET gene and the environment | 220000 | 2008 | 4907

 
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