[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) represents 1%–2% of the Alzheimer's disease (AD) cases, and it is generally characterized by a positive family history and a rapidly progressive symptomatology. Rare coding and fully penetrant variants in amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin 1 (PSEN1), and presenilin 2 (PSEN2) are the only causative mutations reported for autosomal dominant AD. Thus, in this study we used exome sequencing data to rapidly screen rare coding variability in APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2, in a British cohort composed of 47 unrelated EOAD cases and 179 elderly controls, neuropathologically proven. We report 2 novel and likely pathogenic variants in PSEN1 (p.L166V and p.S230R). A comprehensive catalog of rare pathogenic variants in the AD Mendelian genes is pivotal for a premortem diagnosis of autosomal dominant EOAD and for the differential diagnosis with other early onset dementias such as frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).
Neurobiology of Aging 10/2014; 35(10):2422.e13–2422.e16. DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.04.026 · 5.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Because APOE locus variants contribute to risk of late-onset Alzheimer disease (LOAD) and to differences in age at onset (AAO), it is important to know whether other established LOAD risk loci also affect AAO in affected participants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GTP cyclohydrolase 1, encoded by the GCH1 gene, is an essential enzyme for dopamine production in nigrostriatal cells. Loss-of-function mutations in GCH1 result in severe reduction of dopamine synthesis in nigrostriatal cells and are the most common cause of DOPA-responsive dystonia, a rare disease that classically presents in childhood with generalized dystonia and a dramatic long-lasting response to levodopa. We describe clinical, genetic and nigrostriatal dopaminergic imaging ([123I]N-omega-fluoropropyl-2beta-carbomethoxy-3beta-(4-iodophenyl) tropane single photon computed tomography) findings of four unrelated pedigrees with DOPA-responsive dystonia in which pathogenic GCH1 variants were identified in family members with adult-onset parkinsonism. Dopamine transporter imaging was abnormal in all parkinsonian patients, indicating Parkinson's disease-like nigrostriatal dopaminergic denervation. We subsequently explored the possibility that pathogenic GCH1 variants could contribute to the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, even in the absence of a family history for DOPA-responsive dystonia. The frequency of GCH1 variants was evaluated in whole-exome sequencing data of 1318 cases with Parkinson's disease and 5935 control subjects. Combining cases and controls, we identified a total of 11 different heterozygous GCH1 variants, all at low frequency. This list includes four pathogenic variants previously associated with DOPA-responsive dystonia (Q110X, V204I, K224R and M230I) and seven of undetermined clinical relevance (Q110E, T112A, A120S, D134G, I154V, R198Q and G217V). The frequency of GCH1 variants was significantly higher (Fisher's exact test P-value 0.0001) in cases (10/1318 = 0.75%) than in controls (6/5935 = 0.1%; odds ratio 7.5; 95% confidence interval 2.4-25.3). Our results show that rare GCH1 variants are associated with an increased risk for Parkinson's disease. These findings expand the clinical and biological relevance of GTP cycloydrolase 1 deficiency, suggesting that it not only leads to biochemical striatal dopamine depletion and DOPA-responsive dystonia, but also predisposes to nigrostriatal cell loss. Further insight into GCH1-associated pathogenetic mechanisms will shed light on the role of dopamine metabolism in nigral degeneration and Parkinson's disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related dementias are a major public health challenge and present a therapeutic imperative for which we need additional insight into molecular pathogenesis. We performed a genome-wide association study and analysis of known genetic risk loci for AD dementia using neuropathologic data from 4,914 brain autopsies. Neuropathologic data were used to define clinico-pathologic AD dementia or controls, assess core neuropathologic features of AD (neuritic plaques, NPs; neurofibrillary tangles, NFTs), and evaluate commonly co-morbid neuropathologic changes: cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), Lewy body disease (LBD), hippocampal sclerosis of the elderly (HS), and vascular brain injury (VBI). Genome-wide significance was observed for clinico-pathologic AD dementia, NPs, NFTs, CAA, and LBD with a number of variants in and around the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE). GalNAc transferase 7 (GALNT7), ATP-Binding Cassette, Sub-Family G (WHITE), Member 1 (ABCG1), and an intergenic region on chromosome 9 were associated with NP score; and Potassium Large Conductance Calcium-Activated Channel, Subfamily M, Beta Member 2 (KCNMB2) was strongly associated with HS. Twelve of the 21 non-APOE genetic risk loci for clinically-defined AD dementia were confirmed in our clinico-pathologic sample: CR1, BIN1, CLU, MS4A6A, PICALM, ABCA7, CD33, PTK2B, SORL1, MEF2C, ZCWPW1, and CASS4 with 9 of these 12 loci showing larger odds ratio in the clinico-pathologic sample. Correlation of effect sizes for risk of AD dementia with effect size for NFTs or NPs showed positive correlation, while those for risk of VBI showed a moderate negative correlation. The other co-morbid neuropathologic features showed only nominal association with the known AD loci. Our results discovered new genetic associations with specific neuropathologic features and aligned known genetic risk for AD dementia with specific neuropathologic changes in the largest brain autopsy study of AD and related dementias.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Germ-line genetic control of gene expression occurs via expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs). We present a large, exon-specific eQTL data set covering ten human brain regions. We found that cis-eQTL signals (within 1 Mb of their target gene) were numerous, and many acted heterogeneously among regions and exons. Co-regulation analysis of shared eQTL signals produced well-defined modules of region-specific co-regulated genes, in contrast to standard coexpression analysis of the same samples. We report cis-eQTL signals for 23.1% of catalogued genome-wide association study hits for adult-onset neurological disorders. The data set is publicly available via public data repositories and via http://www.braineac.org/. Our study increases our understanding of the regulation of gene expression in the human brain and will be of value to others pursuing functional follow-up of disease-associated variants.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and Tourette's syndrome are highly heritable neurodevelopmental disorders that are thought to share genetic risk factors. However, the identification of definitive susceptibility genes for these etiologically complex disorders remains elusive. The authors report a combined genome-wide association study (GWAS) of Tourette's syndrome and OCD.
The authors conducted a GWAS in 2,723 cases (1,310 with OCD, 834 with Tourette's syndrome, 579 with OCD plus Tourette's syndrome/chronic tics), 5,667 ancestry-matched controls, and 290 OCD parent-child trios. GWAS summary statistics were examined for enrichment of functional variants associated with gene expression levels in brain regions. Polygenic score analyses were conducted to investigate the genetic architecture within and across the two disorders.
Although no individual single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) achieved genome-wide significance, the GWAS signals were enriched for SNPs strongly associated with variations in brain gene expression levels (expression quantitative loci, or eQTLs), suggesting the presence of true functional variants that contribute to risk of these disorders. Polygenic score analyses identified a significant polygenic component for OCD (p=2×10(-4)), predicting 3.2% of the phenotypic variance in an independent data set. In contrast, Tourette's syndrome had a smaller, nonsignificant polygenic component, predicting only 0.6% of the phenotypic variance (p=0.06). No significant polygenic signal was detected across the two disorders, although the sample is likely underpowered to detect a modest shared signal. Furthermore, the OCD polygenic signal was significantly attenuated when cases with both OCD and co-occurring Tourette's syndrome/chronic tics were included in the analysis (p=0.01).
Previous work has shown that Tourette's syndrome and OCD have some degree of shared genetic variation. However, the data from this study suggest that there are also distinct components to the genetic architectures of these two disorders. Furthermore, OCD with co-occurring Tourette's syndrome/chronic tics may have different underlying genetic susceptibility compared with OCD alone.
American Journal of Psychiatry 08/2014; 172(1). DOI:10.1176/appi.ajp.2014.13101306 · 12.30 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SQSTM1 mutations, coding for the p62 protein, were identified as a monogenic cause of Paget disease of bone and of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. More recently, SQSTM1 mutations were identified in few families with frontotemporal dementia. We report a new family carrying SQSTM1 mutation and presenting with a clinical phenotype of speech apraxia or atypical behavioral disorders, associated with early visuo-contructional deficits. This study further supports the implication of SQSTM1 in frontotemporal dementia, and enlarges the phenotypic spectrum associated with SQSTM1 mutations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance
α-Synuclein (SNCA) locus duplications are associated with variable clinical features and reduced penetrance but the reasons underlying this variability are unknown.Objectives
To report a novel family carrying a heterozygous 6.4 Mb duplication of the SNCA locus with an atypical clinical presentation strongly reminiscent of frontotemporal dementia and late-onset pallidopyramidal syndromes and study phenotype-genotype correlations in SNCA locus duplications.Design, Setting, and Participants
We report the clinical and neuropathologic features of a family carrying a 6.4 Mb duplication of the SNCA locus. To identify candidate disease modifiers, we completed a genetic analysis of the family and conducted statistical analysis on previously published cases carrying SNCA locus duplications using regression modeling with robust standard errors to account for clustering at the family level.Main Outcomes and Measures
We assessed whether length of the SNCA locus duplication influences disease penetrance and severity and whether extraduplication factors have a disease-modifying role.Results
We identified a large 6.4 Mb duplication of the SNCA locus in this family. Neuropathological analysis showed extensive α-synuclein pathology with minimal phospho-tau pathology. Genetic analysis showed an increased burden of Parkinson disease–related risk factors and the disease-predisposing H1/H1 microtubule-associated protein tau haplotype. Statistical analysis of previously published cases suggested there is a trend toward increasing disease severity and disease penetrance with increasing duplication size. The corresponding odds ratios from the univariable analyses were 1.17 (95% CI, 0.81-1.68) and 1.34 (95% CI, 0.78-2.31), respectively. Sex was significantly associated with both disease risk and severity; men compared with women had increased disease risk and severity and the corresponding odds ratios from the univariable analyses were 8.36 (95% CI, 1.97-35.42) and 5.55 (95% CI, 1.39-22.22), respectively.Conclusions and Relevance
These findings further expand the phenotypic spectrum of SNCA locus duplications. Increased dosage of genes located within the duplicated region probably cannot increase disease risk and disease severity without the contribution of additional risk factors. Identification of disease modifiers accounting for the substantial phenotypic heterogeneity of patients with SNCA locus duplications could provide insight into molecular events involved in α-synuclein aggregation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genetic variants in the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) have been linked to Nasu-Hakola disease, Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and FTD-like syndrome without bone involvement. TREM2 is an innate immune receptor preferentially expressed by microglia and is involved in inflammation and phagocytosis. Whether and how TREM2 missense mutations affect TREM2 function is unclear. We report that missense mutations associated with FTD and FTD-like syndrome reduce TREM2 maturation, abolish shedding by ADAM proteases, and impair the phagocytic activity of TREM2-expressing cells. As a consequence of reduced shedding, TREM2 is virtually absent in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma of a patient with FTD-like syndrome. A decrease in soluble TREM2 was also observed in the CSF of patients with AD and FTD, further suggesting that reduced TREM2 function may contribute to increased risk for two neurodegenerative disorders.
Science translational medicine 07/2014; 6(243). DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3009093 · 15.84 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a complex disorder characterised by a broad range of clinical manifestations, differential pathological signatures, and genetic variability. Mutations in three genes-MAPT, GRN, and C9orf72-have been associated with FTD. We sought to identify novel genetic risk loci associated with the disorder.
METHODS: We did a two-stage genome-wide association study on clinical FTD, analysing samples from 3526 patients with FTD and 9402 healthy controls. To reduce genetic heterogeneity, all participants were of European ancestry. In the discovery phase (samples from 2154 patients with FTD and 4308 controls), we did separate association analyses for each FTD subtype (behavioural variant FTD, semantic dementia, progressive non-fluent aphasia, and FTD overlapping with motor neuron disease [FTD-MND]), followed by a meta-analysis of the entire dataset. We carried forward replication of the novel suggestive loci in an independent sample series (samples from 1372 patients and 5094 controls) and then did joint phase and brain expression and methylation quantitative trait loci analyses for the associated (p<5 × 10(-8)) single-nucleotide polymorphisms.
FINDINGS: We identified novel associations exceeding the genome-wide significance threshold (p<5 × 10(-8)). Combined (joint) analyses of discovery and replication phases showed genome-wide significant association at 6p21.3, HLA locus (immune system), for rs9268877 (p=1·05 × 10(-8); odds ratio=1·204 [95% CI 1·11-1·30]), rs9268856 (p=5·51 × 10(-9); 0·809 [0·76-0·86]) and rs1980493 (p value=1·57 × 10(-8), 0·775 [0·69-0·86]) in the entire cohort. We also identified a potential novel locus at 11q14, encompassing RAB38/CTSC (the transcripts of which are related to lysosomal biology), for the behavioural FTD subtype for which joint analyses showed suggestive association for rs302668 (p=2·44 × 10(-7); 0·814 [0·71-0·92]). Analysis of expression and methylation quantitative trait loci data suggested that these loci might affect expression and methylation in cis.
INTERPRETATION: Our findings suggest that immune system processes (link to 6p21.3) and possibly lysosomal and autophagy pathways (link to 11q14) are potentially involved in FTD. Our findings need to be replicated to better define the association of the newly identified loci with disease and to shed light on the pathomechanisms contributing to FTD
The Lancet Neurology 07/2014; 3(7):686-99. DOI:10.1016/S1474-4422(14)70065-1 · 21.90 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical and neuropathological similarities between dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases
(PD and AD, respectively) suggest that these disorders may share etiology. To test this hypothesis, we have performed an association
study of 54 genomic regions, previously implicated in PD or AD, in a large cohort of DLB cases and controls. The cohort comprised
788 DLB cases and 2624 controls. To minimize the issue of potential misdiagnosis, we have also performed the analysis including
only neuropathologically proven DLB cases (667 cases). The results show that the APOE is a strong genetic risk factor for DLB, confirming previous findings, and that the SNCA and SCARB2 loci are also associated after a study-wise Bonferroni correction, although these have a different association profile than
the associations reported for the same loci in PD. We have previously shown that the p.N370S variant in GBA is associated with DLB, which, together with the findings at the SCARB2 locus, suggests a role for lysosomal dysfunction in this disease. These results indicate that DLB has a unique genetic risk
profile when compared with the two most common neurodegenerative diseases and that the lysosome may play an important role
in the etiology of this disorder. We make all these data available.
Human Molecular Genetics 06/2014; 23(23). DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddu334 · 6.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The overlapping clinical and neuropathologic features between late-onset apparently sporadic Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), familial Alzheimer's disease, and other neurodegenerative dementias (frontotemporal dementia, corticobasal degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) raises the question of whether shared genetic risk factors may explain the similar phenotype among these disparate disorders. To investigate this intriguing hypothesis, we analyzed rare coding variability in 6 Mendelian dementia genes (APP, PSEN1, PSEN2, GRN, MAPT, and PRNP), in 141 LOAD patients and 179 elderly controls, neuropathologically proven, from the UK. In our cohort, 14 LOAD cases (10%) and 11 controls (6%) carry at least 1 rare variant in the genes studied. We report a novel variant in PSEN1 (p.I168T) and a rare variant in PSEN2 (p.A237V), absent in controls and both likely pathogenic. Our findings support previous studies, suggesting that (1) rare coding variability in PSEN1 and PSEN2 may influence the susceptibility for LOAD and (2) GRN, MAPT, and PRNP are not major contributors to LOAD. Thus, genetic screening is pivotal for the clinical differential diagnosis of these neurodegenerative dementias.
Neurobiology of Aging 06/2014; 35(12). DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.06.002 · 5.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Alzheimer’s disease is a common debilitating dementia with known heritability, for which 20 late onset susceptibility loci have been identified, but more remain to be discovered. This study sought to identify new susceptibility genes, using an alternative gene-wide analytical approach which tests for patterns of association within genes, in the powerful genome-wide association dataset of the International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project Consortium, comprising over 7 m genotypes from 25,580 Alzheimer’s cases and 48,466 controls.
Principal Findings: In addition to earlier reported genes, we detected genome-wide significant loci on chromosomes 8 (TP53INP1, p=1.461026) and 14 (IGHV1-67 p=7.961028) which indexed novel susceptibility loci.
Significance: The additional genes identified in this study, have an array of functions previously implicated in Alzheimer’s disease, including aspects of energy metabolism, protein degradation and the immune system and add further weight to these pathways as potential therapeutic targets in Alzheimer’s disease
PLoS ONE 06/2014; 9(6):e94661. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0094661. · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Progressive supranuclear palsy is a rare parkinsonian disorder with characteristic neurofibrillary pathology consisting of hyperphosphorylated tau protein. Common variation defining the microtubule associated protein tau gene (MAPT) H1 haplotype strongly contributes to disease risk. A recent genome-wide association study (GWAS) revealed 3 novel risk loci on chromosomes 1, 2, and 3 that primarily implicate STX6, EIF2AK3, and MOBP, respectively. Genetic associations, however, rarely lead to direct identification of the relevant functional allele. More often, they are in linkage disequilibrium with the causative polymorphism(s) that could be a coding change or affect gene expression regulatory motifs. To identify any such changes, we sequenced all coding exons of those genes directly implicated by the associations in progressive supranuclear palsy cases and analyzed regional gene expression data from control brains to identify expression quantitative trait loci within 1 Mb of the risk loci. Although we did not find any coding variants underlying the associations, GWAS-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms at these loci are in complete linkage disequilibrium with haplotypes that completely overlap with the respective genes. Although implication of EIF2AK3 and MOBP could not be fully assessed, we show that the GWAS single-nucleotide polymorphism rs1411478 (STX6) is a strong expression quantitative trait locus with significantly lower expression of STX6 in white matter in carriers of the risk allele.
Neurobiology of Aging 06/2014; 35(6):1514.e1–1514.e12. DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.01.010 · 5.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here, we describe a nonsense haplotype in PRNP associated with clinical Alzheimer's disease. The patient presented an early-onset of cognitive decline with memory loss as the primary cognitive problem. Whole-exome sequencing revealed a nonsense mutation in PRNP (NM_000311, c.C478T; p.Q160*; rs80356711) associated with homozygosity for the V allele at position 129 of the protein, further highlighting how very similar genotypes in PRNP result in strikingly different phenotypes.
Neurobiology of Aging 05/2014; 35(11). DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.05.013 · 5.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE The core clinical and neuropathological feature of the autosomal dominant spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) is cerebellar degeneration. Mutations in the known genes explain only 50% to 60% of SCA cases. To date, no effective treatments exist, and the knowledge of drug-treatable molecular pathways is limited. The examination of overlapping mechanisms and the interpretation of how ataxia genes interact will be important in the discovery of potential disease-modifying agents. OBJECTIVES To address the possible relationships among known SCA genes, predict their functions, identify overlapping pathways, and provide a framework for candidate gene discovery using whole-transcriptome expression data. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS We have used a systems biology approach based on whole-transcriptome gene expression analysis. As part of the United Kingdom Brain Expression Consortium, we analyzed the expression profile of 788 brain samples obtained from 101 neuropathologically healthy individuals (10 distinct brain regions each). Weighted gene coexpression network analysis was used to cluster 24 SCA genes into gene coexpression modules in an unsupervised manner. The overrepresentation of SCA transcripts in modules identified in the cerebellum was assessed. Enrichment analysis was performed to infer the functions and molecular pathways of genes in biologically relevant modules. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Molecular functions and mechanisms implicating SCA genes, as well as lists of relevant coexpressed genes as potential candidates for novel SCA causative or modifier genes. RESULTS Two cerebellar gene coexpression modules were statistically enriched in SCA transcripts (P = .021 for the tan module and P = 2.87 × 10-5 for the light yellow module) and contained established granule and Purkinje cell markers, respectively. One module includes genes involved in the ubiquitin-proteasome system and contains SCA genes usually associated with a complex phenotype, while the other module encloses many genes important for calcium homeostasis and signaling and contains SCA genes associated mostly with pure ataxia. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Using normal gene expression in the human brain, we identified significant cell types and pathways in SCA pathogenesis. The overrepresentation of genes involved in calcium homeostasis and signaling may indicate an important target for therapy in the future. Furthermore, the gene networks provide new candidate genes for ataxias or novel genes that may be critical for cerebellar function.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
To identify the genetic cause of a complex syndrome characterized by autophagic vacuolar myopathy (AVM), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, pigmentary retinal degeneration, and epilepsy.
Clinical, pathologic, and genetic study.
Two brothers presented with visual failure, seizures, and prominent cardiac involvement, but only mild cognitive impairment and no motor deterioration after 40 years of disease duration. Muscle biopsy revealed the presence of widespread alterations suggestive of AVM with autophagic vacuoles with sarcolemmal features. Through combined homozygosity mapping and exome sequencing, we identified a novel p.Gly165Glu mutation in CLN3.
This study expands the clinical phenotype of CLN3 disease. Genetic testing for CLN3 should be considered in AVM with autophagic vacuoles with sarcolemmal features.