[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dyslexia, or specific reading disability, is the most common learning disorder with a complex, partially genetic basis, but its biochemical mechanisms remain poorly understood. A locus on Chromosome 3, DYX5, has been linked to dyslexia in one large family and speech-sound disorder in a subset of small families. We found that the axon guidance receptor gene ROBO1, orthologous to the Drosophila roundabout gene, is disrupted by a chromosome translocation in a dyslexic individual. In a large pedigree with 21 dyslexic individuals genetically linked to a specific haplotype of ROBO1 (not found in any other chromosomes in our samples), the expression of ROBO1 from this haplotype was absent or attenuated in affected individuals. Sequencing of ROBO1 in apes revealed multiple coding differences, and the selection pressure was significantly different between the human, chimpanzee, and gorilla branch as compared to orangutan. We also identified novel exons and splice variants of ROBO1 that may explain the apparent phenotypic differences between human and mouse in heterozygous loss of ROBO1. We conclude that dyslexia may be caused by partial haplo-insufficiency for ROBO1 in rare families. Thus, our data suggest that a slight disturbance in neuronal axon crossing across the midline between brain hemispheres, dendrite guidance, or another function of ROBO1 may manifest as a specific reading disability in humans.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SLC26A8 is an anion transporter that is solely expressed in the testes. It interacts with MgcRacGAP that shows strong structural similarity with the Drosophila protein RotundRacGAP, which is established to have an essential role for male fertility in the fruit fly. To explore whether the SLC26A8 gene has a role in human male infertility, we performed mutational analysis in the coding region of the SLC26A8 gene in 83 male infertility patients and two groups of controls using single-strand conformational polymorphism and direct sequencing methods. We found six novel coding sequence variations, of which five lead to amino acid substitutions. All variants were found with similar frequencies in both patients and controls, thus suggesting that none of them may be causally associated with infertility. We conclude that the SLC26A8 mutations are not a common cause of male infertility.
Molecular Human Reproduction 03/2005; 11(2):129-32. · 4.54 Impact Factor