Background: A variety of DNA-based methods have been applied to identify genetic markers of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but the connection to RNA-based gene expression has not been fully exploited. Methods: Using well defined cohorts of discordant, monozygotic twins from the Michigan State University Twin Registry, and case-controlled ADHD cases in adolescents, the present studies utilized advanced single molecule RNA sequencing to identify expressed changes in whole blood RNA in ADHD. Multiple analytical strategies were employed to narrow differentially expressed RNA targets to a small set of potential biomarkers of ADHD. Results: RNA markers common to both the discordant twin study and case-controlled subjects further narrowed the putative targets, some of which had been previously associated with ADHD at the DNA level. The potential role of several differentially expressed genes, including ABCB5, RGS2, GAK, GIT1 and 3 members of the galactose metabolism pathway (GALE, GALT, GALK1) are substantiated by prior associations to ADHD and by established mechanistic connections to molecular pathways relevant to ADHD and behavioral control. Conclusions: The convergence of DNA, RNA, and metabolic data suggests these may be promising targets for diagnostics and therapeutics in ADHD.
- Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
- RNA sequencing
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