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The critical role of ASD-related gene CNTNAP3 in regulating synaptic development and social behavior in mice.

Neurobiol Dis; 130: 104486, 2019 May 29.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31150793
Accumulated genetic evidences indicate that the contactin associated protein-like (CNTNAP) family is implicated in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this study, we identified genetic mutations in the CNTNAP3 gene from Chinese Han ASD cohorts and Simons Simplex Collections. We found that CNTNAP3 interacted with synaptic adhesion proteins Neuroligin1 and Neuroligin2, as well as scaffolding proteins PSD95 and Gephyrin. Significantly, we found that CNTNAP3 played an opposite role in controlling the development of excitatory and inhibitory synapses in vitro and in vivo, in which ASD mutants exhibited loss-of-function effects. In this study, we showed that the male Cntnap3-null mice exhibited deficits in social interaction, spatial learning and prominent repetitive behaviors. These evidences elucidate the pivotal role of CNTNAP3 in synapse development and social behaviors, providing mechanistic insights into ASD.