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Research by Topic: Epigenetics
Social deficits in Shank3-deficient mouse models of autism are rescued by histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitionPublished June 26, 2019
Haploinsufficiency of the SHANK3 gene is causally linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and ASD-associated genes are also enriched for chromatin remodelers. Here we found that brief treatment with romidepsin, a highly potent class I histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, alleviated social deficits in Shank3-deficient mice, which persisted for ~3 weeks. HDAC2 transcription was upregulated in […]
Cross-tissue integration of genetic and epigenetic data offers insight into autism spectrum disorderPublished June 24, 2019 in Nature Communications
Integration of emerging epigenetic information with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) genetic results may elucidate functional insights not possible via either type of information in isolation. Here we use the genotype and DNA methylation (DNAm) data from cord blood and peripheral blood to identify SNPs associated with DNA methylation (meQTL lists). Additionally, we use publicly available […]
The Interactive Autism Network published an article explaining the latest epigenetics research in autism. It highlights how environmental factors, both internal and external, affect genes and influence an individual’s development. Including findings made from Autism BrainNet tissue resources, research is demonstrating how epigenetics may play a role in the development and severity of autism. Read […]
In a new blog post, ASF CSO Alycia Halladay explains the newest research in understanding the brains of people with autism.
Hear the latest Environmental Epigenetics of Autism Webinar: Dr. Mark Zylka presents recent data from his lab using animal models with genetic modifications to understand how common environmental factors we might be exposed to affect genetic expression. Dr. Valerie Hu from George Washington University comments and provides perspective from her work on a gene involved […]
In the 3rd Environmental Epigenetics webinar co-organized by ASF, AS and the Escher Fund for Autism, Dr. Christopher Gregg from University of Utah describes genomic imprinting. This is an epigenetic process where in certain genes, one copy inherited from either the mother or the father is silenced, so only the other is expressed. Imprinting is […]
On Thursday, ASF, the Escher Fund for Autism and Autism Speaks co-organized the second in a series of webinars on environmental epigenetics. These webinars are open to the public and provide discussions on the role of gene/environment interactions in autism led by leading researchers in the field. This month, the presentations were given by Dr. […]
Researchers have been making tremendous progress in their efforts to understand the causes of autism, as well as which interventions may be most effective to help children with the disorder thrive.This work is especially critical as the number of children in the U.S. with autism grows. Approximately 1 in 68 children in the U.S. currently has autism, an increase of nearly 30 percent in recent years — at least partly due to greater awareness and improved diagnostics.
Much like mapping the human genome laid the foundations for understanding the genetic basis of human health, new maps of the human epigenome may further unravel the complex links between DNA and disease. The epigenome is part of the machinery that helps direct how genes are turned off and on in different types of cells. Epigenetic markers are just beginning to be understood in Alzheimers and cancer, with more work needed in autism spectrum disorders. Now that the epigenome has been mapped in over 100 cell types, this data can be used to better understand ASD.
Majority of Individuals with SHANK3 Gene Problems Have Both Autism and Severe Intellectual DisabilityPublished June 11, 2013 in Molecular Autism
Prospective study of 22q13 deletion syndrome and SHANK3 deficiency shows that the majority of individuals with a SHANK3 deficiency show both signs of autism and severe intellectual disability.
Methylomic Analysis of Monozygotic Twins Discordant for Autism Spectrum Disorder and Related Behavioural TraitsPublished April 23, 2013 in Molecular Psychiatry
This study suggests environmentally driven changes to the epigenome may contribute to the development of ASD and ASD-related behaviors. The study, which involved identical twins who were discordant for ASD and related traits, is the first large-scale examination of the role of genome-wide DNA methylation in ASD.