Clinical heterogeneity of α-synuclein gene duplication in Parkinson's disease
ABSTRACT Recently, genomic multiplications of alpha-synuclein gene (SNCA) have been reported to cause hereditary early-onset parkinsonism. The objective of this study was to assess the frequency of SNCA multiplications among autosomal dominant hereditary Parkinson's disease (ADPD).
We screened 113 ADPD probands and 200 sporadic PD cases by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and confirmed SNCA multiplications by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) and comparative genomic hybridization array.
Two families (two patients from Family A and one from Family B) with SNCA duplication were identified among ADPD patients. Even though they had the same SNCA duplication, one patient had dementia. Because there was exactly the same difference between the regions originated from each patient, the finding suggests that the phenotype of SNCA multiplication may be also influenced by the range of duplication region. We also detected asymptomatic carriers in the families of both patients. Interestingly, the penetrance ratio was 33.3% (2/6) in one kindred, indicating that the ratio was very much lower than expected.
These two newly identified Japanese patients with SNCA duplication and the five previously identified American and European families with SNCA triplication or duplication mutations indicate that the incidence of SNCA multiplication may be more frequent than previously estimated.
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ABSTRACT: Several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the Rep-1 microsatellite marker of the α-synuclein ( SNCA) gene have consistently been shown to be associated with Parkinson’s disease, but the functional relevance is unclear. Based on these findings we hypothesized that conserved cis-regulatory elements in the SNCA genomic region regulate expression of SNCA, and that SNPs in these regions could be functionally modulating the expression of SNCA, thus contributing to neuronal demise and predisposing to Parkinson’s disease. In a pair-wise comparison of a 206kb genomic region encompassing the SNCA gene, we revealed 34 evolutionary conserved DNA sequences between human and mouse. All elements were cloned into reporter vectors and assessed for expression modulation in dual luciferase reporter assays. We found that 12 out of 34 elements exhibited either an enhancement or reduction of the expression of the reporter gene. Three elements upstream of the SNCA gene displayed an approximately 1.5 fold (p<0.009) increase in expression. Of the intronic regions, three showed a 1.5 fold increase and two others indicated a 2 and 2.5 fold increase in expression (p<0.002). Three elements downstream of the SNCA gene showed 1.5 fold and 2.5 fold increase (p<0.0009). One element downstream of SNCA had a reduced expression of the reporter gene of 0.35 fold (p<0.0009) of normal activity. Our results demonstrate that the SNCA gene contains cis-regulatory regions that might regulate the transcription and expression of SNCA. Further studies in disease-relevant tissue types will be important to understand the functional impact of regulatory regions and specific Parkinson’s disease-associated SNPs and its function in the disease process.12/2014; 3(259). DOI:10.12688/f1000research.3281.2
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ABSTRACT: Background: Dopaminergic degeneration is a major finding in brains of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), together with Lewy bodies, intraneuronal inclusions mainly composed of the fibrillogenic protein α-synuclein (α-syn). The familial-PD-related protein DJ-1 was reported to reduce dopaminergic degeneration triggered by α-syn or by the dopaminergic-selective neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA). Objective: The aim was to further investigate the role of DJ-1 in dopaminergic degeneration and to see whether a cell-permeable recombinant form of DJ-1 (TAT-DJ-1) could restore dopamine depletion in vivo, thus representing an innovative therapeutic approach. Methods: We developed in vitro (PC12/TetOn cells and mouse primary mesencephalic neurons) and in vivo models [including DJ-1 knockout (-/-) mice] to investigate DJ-1 in dopaminergic degeneration. Results: We found that in PC12/TetOn cells overexpressing α-syn with the familial-PD linked mutation A30P, DJ-1 silencing increased α-syn (A30P) toxicity. Primary mesencephalic neurons from DJ-1 (-/-) mice were more vulnerable to a cell-permeable form of α-syn (TAT-α-syn) and to 6-OHDA. Intrastriatally administered TAT-DJ-1 reduced 6-OHDA toxicity in vivo in C57BL/6 mice. Finally, when we injected TAT-α-syn (A30P) in the striatum of DJ-1 (-/-) animals, dopamine was depleted more than in the control strain. Conclusion: DJ-1 appears to have a protective role against dopaminergic degeneration triggered by α-syn or 6-OHDA, reinforcing the possible therapeutic importance of this protein in PD. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.Neurodegenerative Diseases 12/2014; 15(1). DOI:10.1159/000367993 · 3.45 Impact Factor