Delineating the common biological pathways perturbed by ASD’s genetic etiology: Lessons from network-based studies

Oded Oron, Evan Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In recent decades it has become clear that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) possesses a diverse and heterogeneous genetic etiology. Aberrations in hundreds of genes have been associated with ASD so far, which include both rare and common variations. While one may expect that these genes converge on specific common molecular pathways, which drive the development of the core ASD characteristics, the task of elucidating these common molecular pathways has been proven to be challenging. Several studies have combined genetic analysis with bioinformatical techniques to uncover molecular mechanisms that are specifically targeted by autism-associated genetic aberrations. Recently, several analysis have suggested that particular signaling mechanisms, including the Wnt and Ca2+/Calmodulin-signaling pathways are often targeted by autism-associated mutations. In this review, we discuss several studies that determine specific molecular pathways affected by autism-associated mutations, and then discuss more in-depth into the biological roles of a few of these pathways, and how they may be involved in the development of ASD. Considering that these pathways may be targeted by specific pharmacological intervention, they may prove to be important therapeutic targets for the treatment of ASD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number828
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 14 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • ASD
  • Autism
  • Calcium
  • Calmodulin
  • Fragile-X syndrome
  • Genetics
  • MTOR
  • NGF
  • Networks
  • Wnt


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