[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Frontotemporal dementia-amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (FTD-ALS) is a heritable form of FTD, but the gene(s) responsible for the majority of autosomal dominant FTD-ALS cases have yet to be found. Previous studies have identified a region on chromosome 9p that is associated with FTD and ALS.
The authors report the clinical, volumetric MRI, neuropathological and genetic features of a new chromosome 9p-linked FTD-ALS family, VSM-20.
Ten members of family VSM-20 displayed heterogeneous clinical phenotypes of isolated behavioural-variant FTD (bvFTD), ALS or a combination of the two. Parkinsonism was common, with one individual presenting with a corticobasal syndrome. Analysis of structural MRI scans from five affected family members revealed grey- and white-matter loss that was most prominent in the frontal lobes, with mild parietal and occipital lobe atrophy, but less temporal lobe atrophy than in 10 severity-matched sporadic bvFTD cases. Autopsy in three family members showed a consistent and unique subtype of FTLD-TDP pathology. Genome-wide linkage analysis conclusively linked family VSM-20 to a 28.3 cM region between D9S1808 and D9S251 on chromosome 9p, reducing the published minimal linked region to a 3.7 Mb interval. Genomic sequencing and expression analysis failed to identify mutations in the 10 known and predicted genes within this candidate region, suggesting that next-generation sequencing may be needed to determine the mutational mechanism associated with chromosome 9p-linked FTD-ALS.
Family VSM-20 significantly reduces the region linked to FTD-ALS on chromosome 9p. A distinct pattern of brain atrophy and neuropathological findings may help to identify other families with FTD-ALS caused by this genetic abnormality.
Journal of neurology, neurosurgery, and psychiatry 02/2011; 82(2):196-203. DOI:10.1136/jnnp.2009.204081 · 6.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine whether TMEM106B single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are associated with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) in patients with and without mutations in progranulin (GRN) and to determine whether TMEM106B modulates GRN expression.
We performed a case-control study of 3 SNPs in TMEM106B in 482 patients with clinical and 80 patients with pathologic FTLD-TAR DNA-binding protein 43 without GRN mutations, 78 patients with FTLD with GRN mutations, and 822 controls. Association analysis of TMEM106B with GRN plasma levels was performed in 1,013 controls and TMEM106B and GRN mRNA expression levels were correlated in peripheral blood samples from 33 patients with FTLD and 150 controls.
In our complete FTLD patient cohort, nominal significance was identified for 2 TMEM106B SNPs (top SNP rs1990622, p(allelic) = 0.036). However, the most significant association with risk of FTLD was observed in the subgroup of GRN mutation carriers compared to controls (corrected p(allelic) = 0.0009), where there was a highly significant decrease in the frequency of homozygote carriers of the minor alleles of all TMEM106B SNPs (top SNP rs1990622, CC genotype frequency 2.6% vs 19.1%, corrected p(recessive) = 0.009). We further identified a significant association of TMEM106B SNPs with plasma GRN levels in controls (top SNP rs1990622, corrected p = 0.002) and in peripheral blood samples a highly significant correlation was observed between TMEM106B and GRN mRNA expression in patients with FTLD (r = -0.63, p = 7.7 × 10(-5)) and controls (r = -0.49, p = 2.2 × 10(-10)).
In our study, TMEM106B SNPs significantly reduced the disease penetrance in patients with GRN mutations, potentially by modulating GRN levels. These findings hold promise for the development of future protective therapies for FTLD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Insertion and deletion variants (indels) within poly glycine tracts of fused in sarcoma (FUS) were initially reported as causative of disease in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Subsequent studies identified similar indels in controls and suggested that these indels may confer susceptibility to ALS. We aimed to elucidate the role of previously published and novel exonic indels in FUS in an extensive cohort of 630 ALS patients and 1063 controls. We detected indels in FUS exons 5, 6, 12, and 14 with similar frequencies in patients (0.95%) and controls (0.75%). Exonic indels in poly glycine tracts were also observed with similar frequencies. The largest indel (p.Gly138_Tyr143del) was observed in 1 control. In 1 patient, a 3 base pair deletion in exon 14 (p.Gly475del) was identified, however in vitro studies did not reveal abnormal localization of p.Gly475del mutant FUS. These findings suggest that not all exonic indels in FUS cause disease.
Neurobiology of aging 11/2010; 33(2):424.e23-4. DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2010.09.029 · 5.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the gene encoding fused in sarcoma (FUS) were recently identified as a novel cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), emphasizing the genetic heterogeneity of ALS. We sequenced the genes encoding superoxide dismutase (SOD1), TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TARDBP) and FUS in 99 sporadic and 17 familial ALS patients ascertained at Mayo Clinic. We identified two novel mutations in FUS in two out of 99 (2.0%) sporadic ALS patients and established the de novo occurrence of one FUS mutation. In familial patients, we identified three (17.6%) SOD1 mutations, while FUS and TARDBP mutations were excluded. The de novo FUS mutation (g.10747A>G; IVS13-2A>G) affects the splice-acceptor site of FUS intron 13 and was shown to induce skipping of FUS exon 14 leading to the C-terminal truncation of FUS (p.G466VfsX14). Subcellular localization studies showed a dramatic increase in the cytoplasmic localization of FUS and a reduction of normal nuclear expression in cells transfected with truncated compared to wild-type FUS. We further identified a novel in-frame insertion/deletion mutation in FUS exon 12 (p.S402_P411delinsGGGG) which is predicted to expand a conserved poly-glycine motif. Our findings extend the mutation spectrum in FUS leading to ALS and describe the first de novo mutation in FUS.
Human Mutation 05/2010; 31(5):E1377-89. DOI:10.1002/humu.21241 · 5.14 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here, we describe the generation and characterization of a novel tau transgenic mouse model (mTau) that overexpresses wild-type murine tau protein by twofold compared with endogenous levels. Transgenic tau expression was driven by a BAC transgene containing the entire wild-type mouse tau locus, including the endogenous promoter and the regulatory elements associated with the tau gene. The mTau model therefore differs from other tau models in that regulation of the genomic mouse transgene mimics that of the endogenous gene, including normal exon splicing regulation. Biochemical data from the mTau mice demonstrated that modest elevation of mouse tau leads to tau hyperphosphorylation at multiple pathologically relevant epitopes and accumulation of sarkosyl-insoluble tau. The mTau mice show a progressive increase in hyperphosphorylated tau pathology with age up to 15 to 18 months, which is accompanied by gliosis and vacuolization. In contrast, older mice show a decrease in tau pathology levels, which may represent hippocampal neuronal loss occurring in this wild-type model. Collectively, these results describe a novel model of tauopathy that develops pathological changes reminiscent of early stage Alzheimer's disease and other related neurodegenerative diseases, achieved without overexpression of a mutant human tau transgene. This model will provide an important tool for understanding the early events leading to the development of tau pathology and a model for analysis of potential therapeutic targets for sporadic tauopathies.
American Journal Of Pathology 09/2009; 175(4):1598-609. DOI:10.2353/ajpath.2009.090462 · 4.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the progranulin gene (GRN) are an important cause of frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) with ubiquitin and TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP43)-positive pathology. The clinical presentation associated with GRN mutations is heterogeneous and may include clinical probable Alzheimer's disease. All GRN mutations identified thus far cause disease through a uniform disease mechanism, i.e. the loss of functional GRN or haploinsufficiency. To determine if expression of GRN in plasma could predict GRN mutation status and could be used as a biological marker, we optimized a GRN ELISA and studied plasma samples of a consecutive clinical FTLD series of 219 patients, 70 control individuals, 72 early-onset probable Alzheimer's disease patients and nine symptomatic and 18 asymptomatic relatives of GRN mutation families. All FTLD patients with GRN loss-of-function mutations showed significantly reduced levels of GRN in plasma to about one third of the levels observed in non-GRN carriers and control individuals (P < 0.001). No overlap in distributions of GRN levels was observed between the eight GRN loss-of-function mutation carriers (range: 53-94 ng/ml) and 191 non-GRN mutation carriers (range: 115-386 ng/ml). Similar low levels of GRN were identified in asymptomatic GRN mutation carriers. Importantly, ELISA analyses also identified one probable Alzheimer's disease patient (1.4%) carrying a loss-of-function mutation in GRN. Biochemical analyses further showed that the GRN ELISA only detects full-length GRN, no intermediate granulin fragments. This study demonstrates that using a GRN ELISA in plasma, pathogenic GRN mutations can be accurately detected in symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers. The approximately 75% reduction in full-length GRN, suggests an unbalanced GRN metabolism in loss-of-function mutation carriers whereby more GRN is processed into granulins. We propose that plasma GRN levels could be used as a reliable and inexpensive tool to identify all GRN mutation carriers in early-onset dementia populations and asymptomatic at-risk individuals.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) has been identified as the major disease protein in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitin inclusions (FTLD-U), defining a novel class of neurodegenerative conditions: the TDP-43 proteinopathies. The first pathogenic mutations in the gene encoding TDP-43 (TARDBP) were recently reported in familial and sporadic ALS patients, supporting a direct role for TDP-43 in neurodegeneration. In this study, we report the identification and functional analyses of two novel and one known mutation in TARDBP that we identified as a result of extensive mutation analyses in a cohort of 296 patients with variable neurodegenerative diseases associated with TDP-43 histopathology. Three different heterozygous missense mutations in exon 6 of TARDBP (p.M337V, p.N345K, and p.I383V) were identified in the analysis of 92 familial ALS patients (3.3%), while no mutations were detected in 24 patients with sporadic ALS or 180 patients with other TDP-43-positive neurodegenerative diseases. The presence of p.M337V, p.N345K, and p.I383V was excluded in 825 controls and 652 additional sporadic ALS patients. All three mutations affect highly conserved amino acid residues in the C-terminal part of TDP-43 known to be involved in protein-protein interactions. Biochemical analysis of TDP-43 in ALS patient cell lines revealed a substantial increase in caspase cleaved fragments, including the approximately 25 kDa fragment, compared to control cell lines. Our findings support TARDBP mutations as a cause of ALS. Based on the specific C-terminal location of the mutations and the accumulation of a smaller C-terminal fragment, we speculate that TARDBP mutations may cause a toxic gain of function through novel protein interactions or intracellular accumulation of TDP-43 fragments leading to apoptosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss-of-function mutations in progranulin (GRN) cause ubiquitin- and TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43)-positive frontotemporal dementia (FTLD-U), a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting approximately 10% of early-onset dementia patients. Here we expand the role of GRN in FTLD-U and demonstrate that a common genetic variant (rs5848), located in the 3'-untranslated region (UTR) of GRN in a binding-site for miR-659, is a major susceptibility factor for FTLD-U. In a series of pathologically confirmed FTLD-U patients without GRN mutations, we show that carriers homozygous for the T-allele of rs5848 have a 3.2-fold increased risk to develop FTLD-U compared with homozygous C-allele carriers (95% CI: 1.50-6.73). We further demonstrate that miR-659 can regulate GRN expression in vitro, with miR-659 binding more efficiently to the high risk T-allele of rs5848 resulting in augmented translational inhibition of GRN. A significant reduction in GRN protein was observed in homozygous T-allele carriers in vivo, through biochemical and immunohistochemical methods, mimicking the effect of heterozygous loss-of-function GRN mutations. In support of these findings, the neuropathology of homozygous rs5848 T-allele carriers frequently resembled the pathological FTLD-U subtype of GRN mutation carriers. We suggest that the expression of GRN is regulated by miRNAs and that common genetic variability in a miRNA binding-site can significantly increase the risk for FTLD-U. Translational regulation by miRNAs may represent a common mechanism underlying complex neurodegenerative disorders.
Human Molecular Genetics 09/2008; 17(23):3631-42. DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddn257 · 6.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in three genes (PSEN1, PSEN2, and APP) have been identified in patients with early-onset (<65 years) Alzheimer's disease (AD). We performed a screening for mutations in the coding regions of presenilins, as well as exons 16 and 17 of the APP gene in a total of 231 patients from the Iberian peninsular with a clinical diagnosis of early-onset AD (mean age at onset of 52.9 years; range 31-64). We found three novel mutations in PSEN1, one novel mutation in PSEN2, and a novel mutation in the APP gene. Four previously described mutations in PSEN1 were also found. The same analysis was carried in 121 elderly healthy controls from the Iberian peninsular, and a set of 130 individuals from seven African populations belonging to the Centre d'Etude du Polymorphisme Humain-Human Genome Diversity Panel (CEPH-HGDP), in order to determine the extent of normal variability in these genes. Interestingly, in the latter series, we found five new non-synonymous changes in all three genes and a presenilin 2 variant (R62H) that has been previously related to AD. In some of these mutations, the pathologic consequence is uncertain and needs further investigation. To address this question we propose and use a systematic algorithm to classify the putative pathology of AD mutations.
Neurobiology of aging 08/2008; 31(5):725-31. DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2008.06.012 · 5.01 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early onset familial Alzheimer disease (EOFAD) can be caused by mutations in genes for amyloid precursor protein, presenilin 1 (PSEN1), or presenilin 2 (PSEN2). There is considerable phenotypic variability in EOFAD, including some patients with spastic paraparesis. The objective is to describe clinical and neuropathologic features of a family with a PSEN1 mutation that has been reported previously, without autopsy confirmation, in a single Greek family whose affected members presented with memory loss in their 30s, as well as variable limb spasticity and seizures.
We prospectively evaluated 2 children (son and daughter) with EOFAD and reviewed medical records on their mother. Archival material from the autopsy of the mother was reviewed and postmortem studies were performed on the brain of the daughter.
All 3 individuals in this family had disease onset in their 30s, with cognitive deficits in multiple domains, including memory, language, and attention, as well as less common features such as spastic dysarthria, limb spasticity, and seizures. At autopsy both the mother and her daughter had pathologic findings of Alzheimer disease, and histologic evidence of corticospinal tract degeneration. Genetic studies revealed a mutation in PSEN1 leading to an asparagine to serine substitution at amino acid residue 135 (N135S) in presenilin 1.
This is the first description of neuropathologic findings in EOFAD owing to N135S PSEN1 mutation. The clinical phenotype was remarkable for spastic dysarthria, limb spasticity, and seizures, in addition to more typical features of EOFAD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Approximately 90% of persons with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have the sporadic form, which may be caused by the interaction of multiple environmental factors and previously unknown genes.
We performed a genomewide association analysis using 766,955 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found in 386 white patients with sporadic ALS and 542 neurologically normal white controls (the discovery series). Associations of SNPs with sporadic ALS were confirmed in two independent replication populations: replication series 1, with 766 case patients with the disease and 750 neurologically normal controls, and replication series 2, with 135 case patients and 275 controls.
We identified 10 genetic loci that are significantly associated (P<0.05) with sporadic ALS in three independent series of case patients and controls and an additional 41 loci that had significant associations in two of the three series. The most significant association with disease in white case patients as compared with controls was found for a SNP near an uncharacterized gene known as FLJ10986 (P=3.0x10(-4); odds ratio for having the genotype in patients vs. controls, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.13 to 1.62). The FLJ10986 protein was found to be expressed in the spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid of patients and of controls. Specific SNPs seem to be associated with sex, age at onset, and site of onset of sporadic ALS.
Variants of FLJ10986 may confer susceptibility to sporadic ALS. FLJ10986 and 50 other candidate loci warrant further investigation for their potential role in conferring susceptibility to the disease.
New England Journal of Medicine 08/2007; 357(8):775-88. DOI:10.1056/NEJMoa070174 · 55.87 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over 100 mutations in the presenilin-1 gene (PSEN1) have been shown to result in familial early onset Alzheimer disease (EOAD), but only a relatively few give rise to plaques with an appearance like cotton wool (CWP) and/or spastic paraparesis (SP). A family with EOAD, seizures and CWP was investigated by neuropathological study and DNA sequencing of the PSEN1 gene. Abeta was identified in leptomeningeal vessels and in cerebral plaques. A single point mutation, p.L420R (g.1508T > G) that gives rise to a missense mutation in the eighth transmembrane (TM8) domain of PS1 was identified in two affected members of the family. p.L420R (g.1508T > G) is the mutation responsible for EOAD, seizures and CWP without SP in this family.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To date, only the H1 MAPT haplotype has been consistently associated with risk of developing the neurodegenerative disease progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). We hypothesized that additional genetic loci may be involved in conferring risk of PSP that could be identified through a pooling-based genomewide association study of >500,000 SNPs. Candidate SNPs with large differences in allelic frequency were identified by ranking all SNPs by their probe-intensity difference between cohorts. The MAPT H1 haplotype was strongly detected by this methodology, as was a second major locus on chromosome 11p12-p11 that showed evidence of association at allelic (P<.001), genotypic (P<.001), and haplotypic (P<.001) levels and was narrowed to a single haplotype block containing the DNA damage-binding protein 2 (DDB2) and lysosomal acid phosphatase 2 (ACP2) genes. Since DNA damage and lysosomal dysfunction have been implicated in aging and neurodegenerative processes, both genes are viable candidates for conferring risk of disease.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 04/2007; 80(4):769-78. DOI:10.1086/513320 · 10.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Null mutations in the progranulin gene (PGRN) were recently reported to cause tau-negative frontotemporal dementia linked to chromosome 17. We assessed the genetic contribution
of PGRN mutations in an extended population of patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) (N=378). Mutations were identified in 10% of the total FTLD population and 23% of patients with a positive family history. This
mutation frequency dropped to 5% when analysis was restricted to an unbiased FTLD subpopulation (N=167) derived from patients referred to Alzheimer's Disease Research Centers (ADRC). Among the ADRC patients, PGRN mutations were equally frequent as mutations in the tau gene (MAPT). We identified 23 different pathogenic PGRN mutations, including a total of 21 nonsense, frameshift and splice-site mutations that cause premature termination of the
coding sequence and degradation of the mutant RNA by nonsense-mediated decay. We also observed an unusual splice-site mutation
in the exon 1 5′ splice site, which leads to loss of the Kozac sequence, and a missense mutation in the hydrophobic core of
the PGRN signal peptide. Both mutations revealed novel mechanisms that result in loss of functional PGRN. One mutation, c.1477C>T
(p.Arg493X), was detected in eight independently ascertained familial FTLD patients who were shown to share a common extended
haplotype over the PGRN genomic region. Clinical examination of patients with PGRN mutations revealed highly variable onset ages with language dysfunction as a common presenting symptom. Neuropathological
examination showed FTLD with ubiquitin-positive cytoplasmic and intranuclear inclusions in all PGRN mutation carriers.
Human Molecular Genetics 10/2006; 15(20):2988-3001. DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddl241 · 6.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the second most common cause of dementia in people under the age of 65 years. A large proportion of FTD patients (35-50%) have a family history of dementia, consistent with a strong genetic component to the disease. In 1998, mutations in the gene encoding the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) were shown to cause familial FTD with parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17q21 (FTDP-17). The neuropathology of patients with defined MAPT mutations is characterized by cytoplasmic neurofibrillary inclusions composed of hyperphosphorylated tau. However, in multiple FTD families with significant evidence for linkage to the same region on chromosome 17q21 (D17S1787-D17S806), mutations in MAPT have not been found and the patients consistently lack tau-immunoreactive inclusion pathology. In contrast, these patients have ubiquitin (ub)-immunoreactive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions and characteristic lentiform ub-immunoreactive neuronal intranuclear inclusions. Here we demonstrate that in these families, FTD is caused by mutations in progranulin (PGRN) that are likely to create null alleles. PGRN is located 1.7 Mb centromeric of MAPT on chromosome 17q21.31 and encodes a 68.5-kDa secreted growth factor involved in the regulation of multiple processes including development, wound repair and inflammation. PGRN has also been strongly linked to tumorigenesis. Moreover, PGRN expression is increased in activated microglia in many neurodegenerative diseases including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, motor neuron disease and Alzheimer's disease. Our results identify mutations in PGRN as a cause of neurodegenerative disease and indicate the importance of PGRN function for neuronal survival.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two extended haplotypes exist across the tau gene-H1 and H2-with H1 consistently associated with increased risk of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Using 15 haplotype tagging SNPs (htSNPs), capturing >95% of MAPT haplotype diversity, we performed association analysis in a US sample of 274 predominantly pathologically confirmed PSP patients and 424 matched control individuals. We found that PSP risk is associated with one of two major ancestral H1 haplotypes, H1B, increasing from 14% in control individuals to 22% in PSP patients (P<0.001). In young PSP patients, the H1B risk could be localized to a 22 kb regulatory region in intron 0 (P<0.001) and could be fully explained by one SNP, htSNP167, creating a LBP-1c/LSF/CP2 site, shown to regulate the expression of genes in other neurodegenerative disorders. Luciferase reporter data indicated that the 182 bp conserved regulatory region, in which htSNP167 is located, is transcriptionally active with both alleles differentially influencing expression. Further, we replicated the htSNP167 association in a second, independently ascertained US PSP patient-control sample. However, the htSNP association showed that H1 risk alone could not explain the overall differences in H1 and H2 frequencies in PSP patients and control individuals. Thus, risk variants on different H1 htSNP haplotypes and protective variants on H2 contribute to population risk for PSP.
Human Molecular Genetics 11/2005; 14(21):3281-92. DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddi361 · 6.39 Impact Factor