THIS ARTICLE IS MORE THAN FIVE YEARS OLD
This article is more than five years old. Autism research - and science in general - is constantly evolving, so older articles may contain information or theories that have been reevaluated since their original publication date.
Last week, geneticists Michael Ehlers and Meera Modi laid out compelling evidence for the SHANK3 gene’s role in autism risk, in a Viewpoint for SFARI.org. Along with its family members (SHANK1 and SHANK2), SHANK3 is considered one of the most promising candidate genes for autism risk.
The authors argue that, as a major player in brain function and home to several risk variants, SHANK3 may be key to understanding the origins of the disorder at the levels of the synapse, or neuronal junction, the brain circuits and brain development in general.
We asked other geneticists to give us their perspectives and identify next steps, as part of our new discussion series, Cross Talk.
What do you think? Share your reactions and follow-up questions in the comments section below.
Cross Talk is a periodic discussion series that invites a diversity of reactions from the research community to new findings and hot topics in the field. Suggest future discussion topics here.