Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: neurexin

July 2011

Genetics: Neurexin 1 variant affects volume of healthy brains

by  /  29 July 2011

A variant of neurexin 1, a gene linked to both autism and schizophrenia, is associated with less brain matter than normal in healthy individuals, according to a study published 8 June in PLoS ONE.


Molecular mechanisms: Neurexin 1 forms flexible shape

by  /  12 July 2011

Neurexin 1, an autism-associated protein that functions at the junctions between neurons, has a flexible hinge that can toggle the protein between a more compact or a more accessible shape, a crystal structure published 8 June in Structure reveals.

June 2011

Studies find high rate of rare new mutations in autism

by  /  8 June 2011

Three new studies analyzing genetic data from families in which just one child has autism have found the strongest evidence yet that rare new mutations contribute to the disorder.


Solving the complex causes of a multi-hit disorder

by ,  /  7 June 2011

What’s known about the genetics of autism supports the ‘snowflake’ hypothesis — that the molecular underpinnings of disease are essentially unique from individual to individual — says human geneticist Brett Abrahams.


Schizophrenia gene directs two autism genes at synapse

by  /  2 June 2011

A new study provides the first functional link between the schizophrenia risk gene DISC1 and two candidate genes for autism. DISC1 significantly alters expression of NRXN1 and NRXN2 at key phases of development, according to a brief report in the June issue of Molecular Psychiatry.

March 2011

Molecular mechanisms: Neuroligin-4 induces synapses in a dish

by  /  23 March 2011

Neuroligin-4, a protein associated with autism, is located at synapses — the junctions between neurons — that inhibit signals in the brain, according to a study published in February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The protein can also single-handedly induce neurons derived from human stem cells to form synapses, according to another study in the same issue.


Postmortem brains hold sequencing potential

by  /  16 March 2011

Researchers have extracted and sequenced DNA from 52 postmortem brains from the Autism Tissue Program, providing a resource to study mutations and gene expression differences in the brains of people with the disorder.

January 2011

Intense world

by  /  31 January 2011

The ‘intense world theory’ says autism stems from hyper-sensitive reactions to the world, allowing the individual to zoom in on tiny details, but ignore the bigger picture.

November 2010

Molecular mechanisms: Researchers light up interactions between neurons

by  /  30 November 2010

Researchers have developed a technique to detect interactions in live neurons between neuroligins and neurexins — two proteins known to bind at the junction between neurons, according to a study published 29 October in Cell.


Video: Live from the brain, it’s neuron development

by  /  19 November 2010

Brain cells communicate across complex junctions called synapses, filled with proteins working to bind neurons together. Kurt Haas of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver has developed a method to watch neuron development in the growing tadpole brain.