Functional Properties of Rare Missense Variants of Human <i>CDH13</i> Found in Adult Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Patients


<div><p>The <i>CDH13</i> gene codes for T-cadherin, a GPI-anchored protein with cell adhesion properties that is highly expressed in the brain and cardiovascular system. Previous studies have suggested that <i>CDH13</i> may be a promising candidate gene for Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The aims of this study were to identify, functionally characterize, and estimate the frequency of coding <i>CDH13</i> variants in adult ADHD patients and controls. We performed sequencing of the <i>CDH13</i> gene in 169 Norwegian adult ADHD patients and 63 controls and genotyping of the identified variants in 641 patients and 668 controls. Native and green fluorescent protein tagged wild type and variant CDH13 proteins were expressed and studied in CHO and HEK293 cells, respectively. Sequencing identified seven rare missense <i>CDH13</i> variants, one of which was novel. By genotyping, we found a cumulative frequency of these rare variants of 2.9% in controls and 3.2% in ADHD patients, implying that much larger samples are needed to obtain adequate power to study the genetic association between ADHD and rare CDH13 variants. Protein expression and localization studies in CHO cells and HEK293 cells showed that the wild type and mutant proteins were processed according to the canonical processing of GPI-anchored proteins. Although some of the mutations were predicted to severely affect protein secondary structure and stability, no significant differences were observed between the expression levels and distribution of the wild type and mutant proteins in either HEK293 or CHO cells. This is the first study where the frequency of coding <i>CDH13</i> variants in patients and controls is reported and also where the functional properties of these variants are examined. Further investigations are needed to conclude whether <i>CDH13</i> is involved in the pathogenesis of ADHD or other conditions.</p></div

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