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In Frontiers in genetics ; h5-index 62.0

Bulk transcriptomic analyses of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have revealed dysregulated pathways, while the brain cell type-specific molecular pathology of ASD still needs to be studied. Machine learning-based studies can be conducted for ASD, prioritizing high-confidence gene candidates and promoting the design of effective interventions. Using human brain nucleus gene expression of ASD and controls, we construct cell type-specific predictive models for ASD based on individual genes and gene sets, respectively, to screen cell type-specific ASD-associated genes and gene sets. These two kinds of predictive models can predict the diagnosis of a nucleus with known cell type. Then, we construct a multi-label predictive model for predicting the cell type and diagnosis of a nucleus at the same time. Our findings suggest that layer 2/3 and layer 4 excitatory neurons, layer 5/6 cortico-cortical projection neurons, parvalbumin interneurons, and protoplasmic astrocytes are preferentially affected in ASD. The functions of genes with predictive power for ASD are different and the top important genes are distinct across different cells, highlighting the cell-type heterogeneity of ASD. The constructed predictive models can promote the diagnosis of ASD, and the prioritized cell type-specific ASD-associated genes and gene sets may be used as potential biomarkers of ASD.

Guan Jinting, Wang Yang, Lin Yiping, Yin Qingyang, Zhuang Yibo, Ji Guoli


autism spectrum disorder, biomarker, cell type-specific, gene set, predictive model