Genetic pathways involved in human speech disorders
SourceCurrent Opinion in Genetics & Development, 65, (2020), pp. 103-111
Article / Letter to editor
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Current Opinion in Genetics & Development
Rare genetic variants that disrupt speech development provide entry points for deciphering the neurobiological foundations of key human capacities. The value of this approach is illustrated by FOXP2, a transcription factor gene that was implicated in speech apraxia, and subsequently investigated using human cell-based systems and animal models. Advances in next-generation sequencing, coupled to de novo paradigms, facilitated discovery of etiological variants in additional genes in speech disorder cohorts. As for other neurodevelopmental syndromes, gene-driven studies show blurring of boundaries between diagnostic categories, with some risk genes shared across speech disorders, intellectual disability and autism. Convergent evidence hints at involvement of regulatory genes co-expressed in early human brain development, suggesting that etiological pathways could be amenable for investigation in emerging neural models such as cerebral organoids.
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