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Chromosome 9 ALS and FTD locus is probably derived from a single founder

Reta Lila Weston Research Laboratories, Department of Molecular Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London, UK.
Neurobiology of aging (Impact Factor: 4.85). 09/2011; 33(1):209.e3-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2011.08.005
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We and others have recently reported an association between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and single nucleotide polymorphisms on chromosome 9p21 in several populations. Here we show that the associated haplotype is the same in all populations and that several families previously shown to have genetic linkage to this region also share this haplotype. The most parsimonious explanation of these data are that there is a single founder for this form of disease.

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Available from: Ammar Al-Chalabi, Jan 20, 2014
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    • "However, among families where both ALS and FTD cases are clustered together, strong linkage to chromosomal locus 9p21 was identified and defined as causative for the FTD/ALS spectrum [17] [18]. The associated risk haplotype has since been shown to be the same in all ALS and FTD populations studied, and is also present in affected members of several FTD/ALS families, suggesting a single founder mutation effect [19] "
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    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive and lethal disease of motor neuron degeneration, leading to paralysis of voluntary muscles and death by respiratory failure within five years of onset. Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is characterised by degeneration of frontal and temporal lobes, leading to changes in personality, behaviour, and language, culminating in death within 5-10 years. Both of these diseases form a clinical, pathological, and genetic continuum of diseases, and this link has become clearer recently with the discovery of a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9orf72 gene that causes the FTD/ALS spectrum, that is, c9FTD/ALS. Two basic mechanisms have been proposed as being potentially responsible for c9FTD/ALS: loss-of-function of the protein encoded by this gene (associated with aberrant DNA methylation) and gain of function through the formation of RNA foci or protein aggregates. These diseases currently lack any cure or effective treatment. Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) are modified nucleic acids that are able to silence targeted mRNAs or perform splice modulation, and the fact that they have proved efficient in repeat expansion diseases including myotonic dystrophy type 1 makes them ideal candidates for c9FTD/ALS therapy. Here, we discuss potential mechanisms and challenges for developing oligonucleotide-based therapy for c9FTD/ALS.
    Journal of nucleic acids 11/2013; 2013:208245. DOI:10.1155/2013/208245
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    • "The highest prevalence of ALS is found in Finland and in a study of Finnish cases, over 40% of familial ALS was attributed to a locus on chromosome 9p21 (Laaksovirta et al., 2010). Cases is a single founder for this form of the disease (Mok et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the genetic basis of familial frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) we performed a clinical and genetic analysis of an affected family. A 51-year-old man with behavioral variant FTLD with ALS had a family history of the disease suggestive of autosomal dominant inheritance with incomplete penetrance. Genetic studies in this patient demonstrated the presence of an amplified hexanucleotide repeat (>30) polymorphism in the chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72) gene which was previously identified as a cause of FTLD. Five others unaffected from the family were negative (all had less than 11 repeats). Because of the clinical and pathological overlap between FTLD and AD we performed a larger genome-wide association study and did not find association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the C9ORF72 gene with Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk. Bioinformatic analysis of C9ORF72 using the Gene Expression Omnibus database showed expression differences in patients with muscular dystrophy, neural tube defects, and schizophrenia. We also report analysis of gene expression in brain regions using the Allen Human Brain Atlas. Defects in this recently reported gene are now believed to be the most common cause of inherited ALS and an important cause of inherited FTLD. Our work suggests that the gene may also be important in other neurological and psychiatric conditions.
    Frontiers in Neurology 10/2012; 3:136. DOI:10.3389/fneur.2012.00136
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    • ") . Furthermore , other data suggest that a common founder from Scandinavia might underlie the disease ( Mok et al . , 2012 ) . More work is needed to determine if the mutation stems from a common founder , represents a ' weak point ' in the genome which allows an increased frequency of expansions to randomly occur , or a combination of these and other factors . As shown in Table 2 , the frequency of the C9ORF72 mutation is highest in the FTD / ALS phenotype"
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    ABSTRACT: Numerous kindreds with familial frontotemporal dementia and/or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have been linked to chromosome 9, and an expansion of the GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat in the non-coding region of chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 has recently been identified as the pathogenic mechanism. We describe the key characteristics in the probands and their affected relatives who have been evaluated at Mayo Clinic Rochester or Mayo Clinic Florida in whom the hexanucleotide repeat expansion were found. Forty-three probands and 10 of their affected relatives with DNA available (total 53 subjects) were shown to carry the hexanucleotide repeat expansion. Thirty-six (84%) of the 43 probands had a familial disorder, whereas seven (16%) appeared to be sporadic. Among examined subjects from the 43 families (n = 63), the age of onset ranged from 33 to 72 years (median 52 years) and survival ranged from 1 to 17 years, with the age of onset <40 years in six (10%) and >60 in 19 (30%). Clinical diagnoses among examined subjects included behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia with or without parkinsonism (n = 30), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (n = 18), frontotemporal dementia/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with or without parkinsonism (n = 12), and other various syndromes (n = 3). Parkinsonism was present in 35% of examined subjects, all of whom had behavioural variant frontotemporal dementia or frontotemporal dementia/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis as the dominant clinical phenotype. No subject with a diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia was identified with this mutation. Incomplete penetrance was suggested in two kindreds, and the youngest generation had significantly earlier age of onset (>10 years) compared with the next oldest generation in 11 kindreds. Neuropsychological testing showed a profile of slowed processing speed, complex attention/executive dysfunction, and impairment in rapid word retrieval. Neuroimaging studies showed bilateral frontal abnormalities most consistently, with more variable degrees of parietal with or without temporal changes; no case had strikingly focal or asymmetric findings. Neuropathological examination of 14 patients revealed a range of transactive response DNA binding protein molecular weight 43 pathology (10 type A and four type B), as well as ubiquitin-positive cerebellar granular neuron inclusions in all but one case. Motor neuron degeneration was detected in nine patients, including five patients without ante-mortem signs of motor neuron disease. While variability exists, most cases with this mutation have a characteristic spectrum of demographic, clinical, neuropsychological, neuroimaging and especially neuropathological findings.
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