Autism breakthrough: One protein's sweeping influence on development of autism revealed
As many as a third of autism cases could be explained by a scarcity of a single protein in the brain, Toronto scientists have revealed. The findings provide a unique opportunity to develop treatments for a disorder that is rooted in a motley crew of genetic faults.
Researchers induced autistic-like behaviour in mice by lowering the levels of a protein called nSR100 (also known as SRRM4), which is important for normal brain development. The study, published in the December 15 issue of the journal Molecular Cell, builds on the teams' previous work which showed that the nSR100 protein was reduced in the brains of autistic people.
The teams were led by Professors Benjamin Blencowe of the University of Toronto's Donnelly Centre and Sabine Cordes of the Department of Molecular Genetics and Sinai Health System's Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute.
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