Autism spectrum disorder is a complex-genetic disease and its etiology is unknown for the
majority of cases. So far, more than one hundred different susceptibility genes were detected. Voltagegated
calcium channels are among the candidates linked to autism spectrum disorder by results of genetic
studies. Mutations of nearly all pore-forming and some auxiliary subunits of voltage gated calcium
channels have been revealed from investigations of autism spectrum disorder patients and populations.
Though there are only few electrophysiological characterizations of voltage-gated calcium channel
mutations found in autistic patients these studies suggest their functional relevance. In summary,
both genetic and functional data suggest a potential role of voltage-gated calcium channels in autism
spectrum disorder. Future studies require refinement of the clinical and systems biological concepts of autism spectrum
disorder and an appropriate holistic approach at the molecular level, e.g. regarding all facets of calcium channel functions.
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, candidate gene analyses, voltage-dependent calcium channel.
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