Proteomic and SNP analysis of the Cadherin 10 type-II (CDH10) gene, in the South African autistic population
Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a very diverse neurological disorder that manifests specifically in children and infants between the ages of two to three years of age. An individual suffering is deemed as autistic and individuals suffering would be classed under the banner of ASD. It is observed that sufferers have impairment in their social and interactive skills. It has both genetic and environmental factors that contribute to its diversity and although the primary cause of autism is still unclear, scientist are investigating both factors. In this study we aimed to investigate the molecular genetics of autism in the South African (SA) population. This was done in two parts, a genetic association study and afunctional genomics (proteomic study). An association study of the 2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the Cadherin 10 type II gene (CDH10) (rs4307059 and rs4327572) was investigated in the SA healthy and autistic population. The proteomic approach was used to determine the differential expression of genes of the healthy population and compared to the autistic population of African descent. In both parts of the project, objectives were achieved. The SNPs were successfully genotyped however no association was determined for autism in the SA population. The urine protein profiles with 1 dimensional (1D) and 2dimensional (2D) Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate-Poly Acrylamide Gel Electrophoresis (SDSPAGE)generated in this study has revealed the following proteins, Uromodulin, Vitelline membrane outer layer protein homologue, kinninogen-1, Alpha-1-Antitrypsin, Ig Kappa chain region C, and CD59 glycoprotein that require further investigation. The results indicated that six of the identified proteins were expressed in both groups but were found to be either quantitatively or statistically significant. However, a statistically significant difference was observed in the expression of one protein (Uromodulin) which was observed to be expressed in the healthy group but absent in the experimental group. However further investigation is required validation of these findings.