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Previous genetic and cytogenetic studies provide evidence that points to one or more autism susceptibility genes residing on chromosome 7q (AUTS1, 115-149 cM on the Marshfield map). However, further localization using linkage analysis has proven difficult. To overcome this problem, we examined the Collaborative Linkage Study of Autism (CLSA) data-set to identify only the families potentially linked to chromosome 7. Out of 94, 47 families were identified and 17 markers were used to generate chromosomal haplotypes. We performed recombination breakpoint analysis to determine if any portion of the chromosome was predominately shared across families. The most commonly shared region spanned a 6 cM interval between D7S501 and D7S2847. Additional markers at 1 cM intervals within this region were genotyped and association and recombination breakpoint analysis was again performed. Although no significant allelic association was found, the recombination breakpoint data points to a shared region between D7S496-D7S2418 (120-123 cM) encompassing about 4.5 Mb of genomic DNA containing over 50 genes.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.