Almaguer-Mederosa LE, Falcón NS, Almira YR, Zaldivar YG, Almarales DC, Góngora EM, Herrera MP, Batallán KE, Armiñán RR, Manresa MV, Cruz GS, Laffita-Mesa J, Cyuz TM, Chang V, Auburger G, Gispert S, Pérez LV. Estimation of the age at onset in spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 Cuban patients by survival analysis.
Previous studies have investigated the close association that exists between CAG repeat number and the age at onset in SCA2 = spinocerebellar ataxia type 2. These studies have focused on affected individuals. To further characterize this association and estimate the risk of a carrier developing SCA2 at a particular age as a function of a specific CAG repeat size, we have analyzed a large group of 924 individuals, including 394 presymptomatic and 530 affected individuals with a CAG repeat length of 32–79 units. Using a Kaplan–Meier survival analysis, we obtained cumulative probability curves for disease manifestation at a particular age for each CAG repeat length in the 34–45 range. These curves were significantly different (p < 0.001) and showed small overlap. All these information may be very valuable in predictive-testing programs, in the planning of studies for the identification of other genetic and environmental factors as modifiers of age at onset, and in the design of clinical trials for people at enlarged risk for SCA2.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parkinson's disease is a degenerative central nervous system disorder that often impairs motor skills, speech and other functions. We discovered a large Chinese family showing primarily parkinsonism symptoms with autosomal dominant inheritance. Six affected individuals in the family showed typical parkinsonism symptoms, including pill-rolling tremor. Two other affected individuals showed cerebellar ataxia symptoms. A whole-genome scan using the 50K single nucleotide polymorphism array with three different linkage methods detected two positive regions on chromosome 12q24.1 and 5q13.3. The ATXN2 gene, responsible for spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) was located precisely in the center of the positive region on chromosome 12. Further analysis of SCA2 revealed heterozygous pathological CAG expansions in the family. The affected individuals' symptoms were typical of parkinsonism, but complex. Inverse correlation between CAG repeat size and age of onset is not obvious in this pedigree. This parkinsonism-predominant SCA2 family shared the same disease gene locus with other 'standard' SCA2 families, but it is possible that variations in one or more modifier genes might account for the parkinsonism-predominant SCA2 predisposition observed in this pedigree.
Journal of Human Genetics 02/2011; 56(4):330-4. DOI:10.1038/jhg.2011.14 · 2.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) is an autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia characterized by a progressive cerebellar syndrome associated to saccadic slowing, peripheral neuropathy, cognitive disorders, and other multisystem features. SCA2 is caused by the abnormal expansion of cytosine-adenine-guanine triplet repeats in the encoding region of the ATXN2 gene and therefore the expression of toxic polyglutamine expansions in the ataxin 2 protein, which cause progressive neuronal death of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum and several pontine, mesencephalic, and thalamic neurons among other cells. Worldwide, SCA2 is the second most frequent type of spinocerebellar ataxia, only surpassed by SCA3. Nevertheless, in Holguin, Cuba, the disease reaches the highest prevalence, resulting from a putative foundational effect. This review discusses the most important advances in the genotypical and phenotypical studies of SCA2, highlighting the comprehensive characterization reached in Cuba through clinical, neuroepidemiological, neurochemical, and neurophysiological evaluation of SCA2 patients and pre-symptomatic subjects, which has allowed the identification of new disease biomarkers and therapeutical opportunities. These findings provide guidelines, from a Cuban viewpoint, for the clinical management of the disease, its diagnosis, genetic counseling, and therapeutical options through rehabilitative therapy and/or pharmacological options.
The Cerebellum 03/2011; 10(2):184-98. DOI:10.1007/s12311-011-0265-2 · 2.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pathogenic CAG (cytosine-adenine-guanine) expansions beyond certain thresholds in the ataxin-2 (ATXN2) gene cause spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) and were shown to contribute to Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Regulation of ATXN2 gene expression and the function of the protein product are not known. SCA2 exhibits an inverse correlation between the size of the CAG repeat and the age at disease onset. However, a wide range of age at onset are typically observed, with CAG repeat number alone explaining only partly this variability. In this study, we explored the hypothesis that ATXN2 levels could be controlled by DNA methylation and that the derangement of this control may lead to escalation of disease severity and influencing the age at onset. We found that CpG methylation in human ATXN2 gene promoter is associated with pathogenic CAG expansions in SCA2 patients. Different levels of methylation in a SCA2 pedigree without an intergenerational CAG repeat instability caused the disease anticipation in a SCA2 family. DNA methylation also influenced the disease onset in SCA2 homozygotes and SCA3 patients. In conclusion, our study points to a novel regulatory mechanism of ATXN2 expression involving an epigenetic event resulting in differential disease course in SCA2 patients.
Human Genetics 10/2011; 131(4):625-38. DOI:10.1007/s00439-011-1101-y · 4.82 Impact Factor
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