[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Excitotoxicity is thought to play a pathogenic role in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Excitotoxic motor neuron death is mediated through the Ca(2+)-permeable α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA)-type of glutamate receptors and Ca(2+) permeability is determined by the GluR2 subunit. We investigated whether polymorphisms or mutations in the GluR2 gene (GRIA2) predispose patients to ALS. Upon sequencing 24 patients and 24 controls no nonsynonymous coding variants were observed but 24 polymorphisms were identified, 9 of which were novel. In a screening set of 310 Belgian ALS cases and 794 healthy controls and a replication set of 3157 cases and 5397 controls from 6 additional populations no association with susceptibility, age at onset, or disease duration was observed. We conclude that polymorphisms in the GluR2 gene (GRIA2) are not a major contributory factor in the pathogenesis of ALS.
Neurobiology of aging 02/2012; 33(2):418-20. · 5.94 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of upper and lower motor neurons. ALS is considered to be a complex trait and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have implicated a few susceptibility loci. However, many more causal loci remain to be discovered. Since it has been shown that genetic variants associated with complex traits are more likely to be eQTLs than frequency-matched variants from GWAS platforms, we conducted a two-stage genome-wide screening for eQTLs associated with ALS. In addition, we applied an eQTL analysis to finemap association loci. Expression profiles using peripheral blood of 323 sporadic ALS patients and 413 controls were mapped to genome-wide genotyping data. Subsequently, data from a two-stage GWAS (3,568 patients and 10,163 controls) were used to prioritize eQTLs identified in the first stage (162 ALS, 207 controls). These prioritized eQTLs were carried forward to the second sample with both gene-expression and genotyping data (161 ALS, 206 controls). Replicated eQTL SNPs were then tested for association in the second-stage GWAS data to find SNPs associated with disease, that survived correction for multiple testing. We thus identified twelve cis eQTLs with nominally significant associations in the second-stage GWAS data. Eight SNP-transcript pairs of highest significance (lowest p = 1.27 × 10(-51)) withstood multiple-testing correction in the second stage and modulated CYP27A1 gene expression. Additionally, we show that C9orf72 appears to be the only gene in the 9p21.2 locus that is regulated in cis, showing the potential of this approach in identifying causative genes in association loci in ALS. This study has identified candidate genes for sporadic ALS, most notably CYP27A1. Mutations in CYP27A1 are causal to cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis which can present as a clinical mimic of ALS with progressive upper motor neuron loss, making it a plausible susceptibility gene for ALS.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(4):e35333. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease of motor neurons that results in progressive weakness and death from respiratory failure, commonly within about 3 years. Previous studies have shown association of a locus on chromosome 9p with ALS and linkage with ALS-frontotemporal dementia. We aimed to test whether this genomic region is also associated with ALS in an independent set of UK samples, and to identify risk factors associated with ALS in a further genome-wide association study that combined data from the independent analysis with those from other countries.
We collected samples from patients with sporadic ALS from 20 UK hospitals and obtained UK control samples from the control groups of the Depression Case Control study, the Bipolar Affective Case Control Study, and the British 1958 birth cohort DNA collection. Genotyping of DNA in this independent analysis was done with Illumina HumanHap550 BeadChips. We then undertook a joint genome-wide analysis that combined data from the independent set with published data from the UK, USA, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, France, Sweden, and Belgium. The threshold for significance was p=0·05 in the independent analysis, because we were interested in replicating a small number of previously reported associations, whereas the Bonferroni-corrected threshold for significance in the joint analysis was p=2·20×10(-7)
After quality control, samples were available from 599 patients and 4144 control individuals in the independent set. In this analysis, two single nucleotide polymorphisms in a locus on chromosome 9p21.2 were associated with ALS: rs3849942 (p=2·22×10(-6); odds ratio [OR] 1·39, 95% CI 1·21-1·59) and rs2814707 (p=3·32×10(-6); 1·38, 1·20-1·58). In the joint analysis, which included samples from 4312 patients with ALS and 8425 control individuals, rs3849942 (p=4·64×10(-10); OR 1·22, 95% CI 1·15-1·30) and rs2814707 (p=4·72×10(-10); 1·22, 1·15-1·30) were associated with ALS.
We have found strong evidence of a genetic association of two single nucleotide polymorphisms on chromosome 9 with sporadic ALS, in line with findings from previous independent GWAS of ALS and linkage studies of ALS-frontotemporal dementia. Our findings together with these earlier findings suggest that genetic variation at this locus on chromosome 9 causes sporadic ALS and familial ALS-frontotemporal dementia. Resequencing studies and then functional analysis should be done to identify the defective gene.
The Lancet Neurology 10/2010; 9(10):986-94. · 23.92 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We conducted a genome-wide association study among 2,323 individuals with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 9,013 control subjects and evaluated all SNPs with P < 1.0 x 10(-4) in a second, independent cohort of 2,532 affected individuals and 5,940 controls. Analysis of the genome-wide data revealed genome-wide significance for one SNP, rs12608932, with P = 1.30 x 10(-9). This SNP showed robust replication in the second cohort (P = 1.86 x 10(-6)), and a combined analysis over the two stages yielded P = 2.53 x 10(-14). The rs12608932 SNP is located at 19p13.3 and maps to a haplotype block within the boundaries of UNC13A, which regulates the release of neurotransmitters such as glutamate at neuromuscular synapses. Follow-up of additional SNPs showed genome-wide significance for two further SNPs (rs2814707, with P = 7.45 x 10(-9), and rs3849942, with P = 1.01 x 10(-8)) in the combined analysis of both stages. These SNPs are located at chromosome 9p21.2, in a linkage region for familial ALS with frontotemporal dementia found previously in several large pedigrees.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a degenerative disorder of motor neurons that typically develops in the 6th decade and is uniformly fatal, usually within 5 years. To identify genetic variants associated with susceptibility and phenotypes in sporadic ALS, we performed a genome-wide SNP analysis in sporadic ALS cases and controls. A total of 288,357 SNPs were screened in a set of 1,821 sporadic ALS cases and 2,258 controls from the U.S. and Europe. Survival analysis was performed using 1,014 deceased sporadic cases. Top results for susceptibility were further screened in an independent sample set of 538 ALS cases and 556 controls. SNP rs1541160 within the KIFAP3 gene (encoding a kinesin-associated protein) yielded a genome-wide significant result (P = 1.84 x 10(-8)) that withstood Bonferroni correction for association with survival. Homozygosity for the favorable allele (CC) conferred a 14.0 months survival advantage. Sequence, genotypic and functional analyses revealed that there is linkage disequilibrium between rs1541160 and SNP rs522444 within the KIFAP3 promoter and that the favorable alleles of rs1541160 and rs522444 correlate with reduced KIFAP3 expression. No SNPs were associated with risk of sporadic ALS, site of onset, or age of onset. We have identified a variant within the KIFAP3 gene that is associated with decreased KIFAP3 expression and increased survival in sporadic ALS. These findings support the view that genetic factors modify phenotypes in this disease and that cellular motor proteins are determinants of motor neuron viability.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 06/2009; 106(22):9004-9. · 9.74 Impact Factor