Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly prevalent neurodevelopmental condition with no current treatment available. Although advances in genetics and genomics have identified hundreds of genes associated with ASD, very little is known about the pathophysiology of ASD and the functional contribution of specific genes to ASD phenotypes. Improved understanding of the biological function of ASD-associated genes and how this heterogeneous group of genetic variants leads to the disease is needed in order to develop therapeutic strategies. Here, we review the current state of ASD research related to gene discovery and examples of emerging molecular mechanisms (protein translation and alternative splicing). In addition, we discuss how patient-derived three-dimensional brain organoids might provide an opportunity to model specific genetic variants in order to define molecular and cellular defects that could be amenable for developing and screening personalized therapies related to ASD.
- single-cell RNA-sequencing
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)