Exon expression and alternatively spliced genes in tourette syndrome

Yingfang Tian, Isaac H. Liao, Xinhua Zhan, Joan R. Gunther, Bradley P. Ander, Dazhi Liu, Lisa Lit, Glen Clifford Jickling, Blythe A. Corbett, Netty G P Bos-Veneman, Pieter J. Hoekstra, Frank R. Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Tourette Syndrome (TS) is diagnosed based upon clinical criteria including motor and vocal tics. We hypothesized that differences in exon expression and splicing might be useful for pathophysiology and diagnosis. To demonstrate exon expression and alternatively spliced gene differences in blood of individuals with TS compared to healthy controls (HC), RNA was isolated from the blood of 26 un-medicated TS subjects and 23 HC. Each sample was run on Affymetrix Human Exon 1.0 ST (HuExon) arrays and on 3′ biased U133 Plus 2.0 (HuU133) arrays. To investigate the differentially expressed exons and transcripts, analyses of covariance (ANCOVA) were performed, controlling for age, gender, and batch. Differential alternative splicing patterns between TS and HC were identified using analyses of variance (ANOVA) models in Partek. Three hundred and seventy-six exon probe sets were differentially expressed between TS and HC (raw P<0.005, fold change >|1.2|) that separated TS and HC subjects using hierarchical clustering and Principal Components Analysis. The probe sets predicted TS compared to HC with a >90% sensitivity and specificity using a 10-fold cross-validation. Ninety genes (transcripts) had differential expression of a single exon (raw P<0.005) and were predicted to be alternatively spliced (raw P<0.05) in TS compared to HC. These preliminary findings might provide insight into the pathophysiology of TS and potentially provide prognostic and diagnostic biomarkers. However, the findings are tempered by the small sample size and multiple comparisons and require confirmation using PCR or deep RNA sequencing and a much larger patient population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Alternative splicing
  • Blood biomarker
  • Exon expression profiles
  • Gene expression profiling
  • Tourette Syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Medicine(all)


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