Reciprocal control of translation and transcription in autism spectrum disorder

Francesco Longo, Eric Klann

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits in social communication and the presence of restricted patterns of interest and repetitive behaviors. ASD is genetically heterogeneous and is believed to be caused by both inheritable and de novo gene variations. Studies have revealed an extremely complex genetic landscape of ASD, favoring the idea that mutations in different clusters of genes interfere with interconnected downstream signaling pathways and circuitry, resulting in aberrant behavior. In this review, we describe a select group of candidate genes that represent both syndromic and non-syndromic forms of ASD and encode proteins that are important in transcriptional and translational regulation. We focus on the interplay between dysregulated translation and transcription in ASD with the hypothesis that dysregulation of each synthetic process triggers a feedback loop to act on the other, which ultimately exacerbates ASD pathophysiology. Finally, we summarize findings from interdisciplinary studies that pave the way for the investigation of the cooperative impact of different genes and pathways underlying the development of ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere52110
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 4 2021


  • ASD
  • mRNA
  • transcription
  • translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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