Gender Differences in Cognitive Ability Associated with Genetic Variants of NLGN4

Key Laboratory of Resource Biology and Biotechnology in Western China, Ministry of Education, Northwest University, Xi'an, China.
Neuropsychobiology (Impact Factor: 2.26). 10/2010; 62(4):221-8. DOI: 10.1159/000319948
Source: PubMed


Neuroligin-4 (NL4), encoded by the NLGN4 gene on the X chromosome, is a neuronal-specific brain membrane protein which plays an important role in the formation of functional presynaptic elements and axon specialization. The genetic variants of NLGN4 affect the biological function of NL4, resulting in the manifestation of different psychiatric disorders. The present study investigates the influence of these genetic variants on cognitive performance. The cognitive abilities of 351 subjects were evaluated using the Chinese Wechsler Intelligence Scale Children. The haplotypes were assigned with the PHASE program. The ANOVA method was applied to investigate the relationship between single SNP, the identified target haplotypes and cognitive performance in a random sample. We observed that the X(C) allele of rs5916271 and X(A) allele of the re6638575 carriers had significantly higher cognitive ability performances than the noncarrier boys (p < 0.05). The target haplotype composed of 2 allele (X(CA+)) carriers also displayed a higher cognitive performance than that of the noncarriers boys. The genetic polymorphism of NLGN4 also had a significant effect on the boys' cognitive ability and other intelligence factors. Future research will involve determining the relationship between NLGN4 and personal cognitive ability.

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