In this study we analysed the DJ-1 gene in 40 sporadic patients with early onset Parkinson's disease and 100 appropriate controls, originated from southern Italy. We identified a single patient with age at onset of 38 years carrying two previously undescribed heterozygous mutations, both located in non-coding regions. The first mutation was a nucleotide change in the promoter region of the gene (g.159C>G) and the second one was an insertion in the intron 4 splice site (IVS4+3insA). In the same patient, genomic rearrangements were excluded. No DJ-1 mutations were found in the remaining parkinsonian patients. Our results support the growing importance of mutations in non-coding portion of human genome, and confirm that alterations in DJ-1 are a cause, even if rare, of early-onset Parkinson's disease.
"Since the identification of the DJ1 gene, molecular analyses in PD patients identified homozygous and compound heterozygous nucleotide substitutions, including missense, truncating, splicesite mutations, and large deletions [1,6,11–13,20,21]. Few studies searched DJ1 mutations in Italian population including a relatively low number of early onset PD patients  . In this context, the aim of our study was to determine the frequency of DJ1 mutations in a large consecutive series of EOPD patients enrolled in a single Italian clinical referral centre. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We analysed the DJ1 gene in a large consecutive series (N=163) of Italian unrelated Early Onset Parkinson Disease (EOPD: onset ≤40 years of age) patients and 100 healthy controls (mean age 64±7ys). No homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations with an obvious pathogenic effect were found. Several variants were identified, some of which were novels. All variants had similar frequency in patients and in controls. Our data suggest that DJ1 mutations are very rare in Italian EOPD. Other genes and risk factors for PD are still to be identified.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: De Marco EV, Annesi G, Tarantino P, Nicoletti G, Civitelli D, Messina D, Annesi F, Arabia G, Salsone M, Condino F, Novellino F, Provenzano G, Rocca FE, Colica C, Morelli M, Scornaienchi V, Greco V, Giofrè L, Quattrone A. DJ-1 is a Parkinson's disease susceptibility gene in southern Italy.
Mutations in the gene DJ-1 have been shown to be a rare cause of early-onset Parkinson's disease (EOPD). Since DJ-1 mutations have been found in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) from southern Italy, we aimed to investigate whether polymorphisms within the DJ-1 gene could represent a risk factor for sporadic PD. First, we genotyped 294 patients with PD and 298 controls coming from southern Italy to assess the distribution of the insertion/deletion (Ins/Del) polymorphism. In a second phase, we identified five single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) useful to delimit a region potentially involved and genotyped all patients and controls for these markers. All the markers analyzed were significantly associated with PD at both allelic and genotypic level. The most significant association with the disease was found at the Ins/Del polymorphism (p = 0.0001; adjusted odds ratio (OR ) = 2.05; confidence interval (CI ) = 1.36–3.08). When we considered a three-marker sliding window, we found a highly significant association between the disease and the haplotypes including markers rs17523802, Ins/Del, and rs3766606 (p = 0.0007) and markers Ins/Del, rs3766606 and rs7517357 (p = 0.0054). Our results indicate that polymorphisms located in a region spanning 3535 bp from the promoter to the intron 2 of the DJ-1 gene confer risk to sporadic PD in southern Italy.
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