One of the first CNVs of this kind observed, a recurrent, sometimes familial 1 to 2 Mb deletion/duplication on chromosome 16p13, was detected in a cohort of 300 patients with autism spectrum disorder and/or MR.22 Follow-up studies23 have shown that this CNV, and another on chromosome 15q11.2, are among the most common and important risk factors for MR and autism known to date, both raising the risk for these diseases about 5-fold. Moreover, according to a recent report, the dup16p13.1 Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical is also a significant risk
factor for schizophrenia.13 This CNV encompasses the NDE1 gene, which interacts with DISCI , a known schizophrenia susceptibility gene, and has also been implicated in Asperger syndrome, as discussed elsewhere.2 Thus, there is no sharp demarcation line separating functionally neutral polymorphisms and clinically 20s Proteasome activity relevant CNVs, and distinguishing them is not a trivial Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical task (see below). Linkage mapping X-linked disorders are easily recognizable because of their characteristic pattern of inheritance. This is why they are over-represented in OMIM, and why the underlying molecular defect has been elucidated in many instances, as already discussed for X-linked MR. Autosomal dominant disorders Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical also run in families, if they are not lethal in early life, or are so severe that affected
individuals do not reproduce. For this reason, they are also easily identifiable, which explains why so many of them are known. In contrast, autosomal recessive disorders are likely to be under-represented, because in Western populations, Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical most patients are isolated cases; the monogenic nature of these disorders is thus not recognized, as discussed above. Homozygosity mapping in large, consanguineous families is the strategy of choice for mapping recessive disorders (Figure 1c). Such families are common in predominantly Islamic countries of
the “consanguinity belt”24 that extends from Morocco into India. Significantly elevated miscarriage rates and a two-tothreefold higher prevalence of MR and congenital Inhibitors,research,lifescience,medical malformations in these countries are generally ascribed to malnutrition and poor standards of hygiene. However, there is evidence that these disorders are also more common in Muslim families living abroad, such as Turkish families in Germany and families from Pakistan in Adenosine the UK, which suggests that recessive gene defects are another important cause. Specific forms of autosomal recessive MR (ARMR) that are due to primary microcephaly have been investigated by homozygosity mapping in consanguineous families from Pakistan and India, which led to the identification of 7 loci and 5 microcephaly genes.25-27 Similarly, large-scale homozygosity mapping in consanguineous Iranian families has revealed numerous novel loci and several new genes for nonsyndromic ARMR, which is thought to be more common than syndromic forms.