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Analysis of a 1‐megabase deletion in 15q22‐q23 in an autistic patient: Identification of candidate genes for autism and of homologous DNA segments in 15q22‐q23 and 15q11‐q13


We have identified a one megabase deletion in the 15q22-15q23 region in a patient with autism, developmental delay, and mild dysmorphism. Genes that map within the deletion region and genes that are interrupted or rearranged at the deletion breakpoints are candidate genes for autism. Fluroescence in situ hybridization studies in this patient revealed that part or all of the PML gene is absent from one chromosome 15 and a BAC clone containing the D15S124 gene locus hybridizes to only one chromosome 15. BAC clones containing the PTPN9, and SLP-1[hUNC24] genes showed markedly reduced hybridization in the 15q22-q23 region on one chromosome 15 in the patient. These BACs also hybridize to the 15q11-q13 region in close proximity to SNRPN and HERC2, and in this region there is equal intensity of signal on the normal and on the deleted chromosome. There are previous reports of deletions and duplications of the 15q11-q13 region in patients with autism. Our patient represents the first report of a 15q22-q23 deletion. Hybridization of the PTPN9 and Slp-1 Bac clones to the 15q11-q13 and the 15q22-q23 regions of chromosome 15 may be due to the presence of PTPN9 or SLP-1 gene sequences or to the presence of other gene sequences or to non-coding homologous DNA sequences. The PTPN9 gene encodes a non-receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase. The Slp-1 [hUNC24] gene is expressed mainly in the brain. Am. J. Med. Genet. (Neuropsychiatr. Genet.) 96:765-770, 2000.

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