Engrailed 2 (EN2) is a gene associated with autism.
EN2 (Engrailed 2) is a homeobox gene that is critical to the development of the midbrain and cerebellum. Like other homeobox genes, it regulates morphogenesis – the combined processes of cell division, differentiation, and organ development.
EN2 is a human homolog of the engrailed gene, which is found in Drosophila. En2 mouse mutants have anatomic phenotypes in the cerebellum that resemble cerebellar abnormalities reported in autistic individuals. Four candidate gene studies have explored the relationship between EN2 and autism – three found a positive association.