Little is known about the molecular pathogenesis of Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental disorder. Here we identified two mutations in the G-protein-coupled receptor 37 gene (GPR37) localized on chromosome 7q31-33, called the AUTS1 region, of ASD patients; 1585-1587 ttc del (Del312F) in one Japanese patient and G2324A (R558Q) in one Caucasian patient. The Del312F was located in the conserved transmembrane domain, and the R558Q was located in a conserved region just distal to the last transmembrane domain. In addition, a potential ASD-related GPR37 variant, T589M, was found in 7 affected Caucasian men from five different families. Our results suggested that some alleles in GPR37 were related to the deleterious effect of ASD. GPR37 is associated with the dopamine transporter to modulate dopamine uptake, and regulates behavioral responses to dopaminergic drugs. Thus, dopaminergic neurons may be involved in the ASD. However, we also detected the Del321F mutation in the patient's unaffected father and R558Q in not only an affected brother but also an unaffected mother. The identification of unaffected parents that carried the mutated alleles suggested that the manifestation of ASD was also influenced by factors other than these mutations, including endoplasmic reticulum stress of the mutated proteins or gender. Our study will provide the new insight into the molecular pathogenesis of ASD. © 2012 Fujita-Jimbo et al.
Fujita-Jimbo, E., Yu, Z. L., Li, H., Yamagata, T., Mori, M., Momoi, T., & Momoi, M. Y. (2012). Mutation in Parkinson Disease-Associated, G-Protein-Coupled Receptor 37 (GPR37/PaelR) Is Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder. PLoS ONE, 7(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0051155