Association of Long ATXN2 CAG Repeat Sizes With Increased Risk of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Centre for Excellence in Neuromics, CHUM Research Center, Université de Montréal, 2099 Alexandre De-Seve St, Montreal, QC H2L 2W5, Canada.
Archives of neurology (Impact Factor: 7.42). 06/2011; 68(6):739-42. DOI: 10.1001/archneurol.2011.111
Source: PubMed


To analyze the ataxin 2 (ATXN2) CAG repeat size in a cohort of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and healthy controls. Large (CAG)(n) alleles of the ATXN2 gene (27-33 repeats) were recently reported to be associated with an increased risk of ALS.
Case-control study.
France and Quebec, Canada.
A total of 556 case patients with ALS and 471 healthy controls; both groups of participants are of French or French-Canadian origin.
We observed a significant association between ATXN2 high-length alleles (≥29 CAG repeats) and ALS in French and French-Canadian ALS populations. Furthermore, we identified spinocerebellar ataxia type 2-pathogenic polyglutamine expansions (≥32 CAG repeats) in both familial and sporadic ALS cases.
Altogether, our findings support ATXN2 high-length repeats as a risk factor for ALS and further indicate a genetic link between spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 and ALS.

Download full-text


Available from: Veronique V Belzil, Nov 11, 2014
  • Source
    • "Other follow-up reports generally confirmed this initial finding, but there is no consensus with regards to which repeat length is associated with ALS. One study using ROC (receiver operating characteristic) curves showed that more than 29 CAG repeats in the ATXN2 gene was associated with an increased risk of ALS [54]; however, other studies have linked ALS with greater than 30 CAG repeats in Italy [52], 30–35 CAG repeats in Germany [65], and ≥28 CAG repeats in Italy [48]. Here, we used 30–33 repeats as the cut-off for association with ALS because the difference between ALS cases and corresponding controls was not apparent when the CAG repeat in ATXN2 is less than 29 or greater than 34. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rare degenerative condition of the motor neurons. Over 10% of ALS cases are linked to monogenic mutations, with the remainder thought to be due to other risk factors, including environmental factors, genetic polymorphisms, and possibly gene-environmental interactions. We examined the association between ALS and an intermediate CAG repeat expansion in the ATXN2 gene using a meta-analytic approach. Observational studies were searched with relevant disease and gene terms from MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO from January 2010 through to January 2014. All identified articles were screened using disease terms, gene terms, population information, and CAG repeat information according to PRISMA guidelines. The final list of 17 articles was further evaluated based on the study location, time period, and authors to exclude multiple usage of the same study populations: 13 relevant articles were retained for this study. The range 30-33 CAG repeats in the ATXN2 gene was most strongly associated with ALS. The meta-analysis revealed that the presence of an intermediate CAG repeat (30-33) in the ATXN2 gene was associated with an increased risk of ALS [odds ratio (OR) = 4.44, 95%CI: 2.91-6.76)] in Caucasian ALS patients. There was no significant difference in the association of this CAG intermediate repeat expansion in the ATXN2 gene between familial ALS cases (OR = 3.59, 1.58-8.17) and sporadic ALS cases (OR = 3.16, 1.88-5.32). These results indicate that the presence of intermediate CAG repeat expansion in the ATXN2 gene is a specific genetic risk factor for ALS, unlike monogenic mutations with an autosomal dominant transmission mode, which cause a more severe phenotype of ALS, with a higher prevalence in familial ALS.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · PLoS ONE
  • Source
    • "Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have an important function in the development of neurodegenerative disorders (Ramanan and Saykin, 2013). For example, polymorphisms in the promoter Rep1 of alpha-synuclein (SNCA), polyglutamine repeats in ATXN2, and Val343Ala in coenzyme Q2 4-hydroxybenzoate polyprenyltransferase increase the risk for PD (Mata et al., 2010), ALS (Daoud et al., 2011), and MSA (Collaboration, 2013), respectively. SNCA, which is encoded by the SNCA gene, is the major component of Lewy bodies and neurites, which are the pathologic hallmarks of PD (Mollenhauer et al., 2011). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Previous studies found that polymorphisms rs2736990 and rs356220 in the alpha-synuclein (SNCA) gene increase the risk for Parkinson's disease (PD) in a Caucasian population. In consideration of the overlapping of clinical manifestations and pathologic characteristics among PD, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and multiple system atrophy (MSA), the possible associations of these 2 polymorphisms and 3 neurodegenerative diseases were studied in the Chinese population. A total of 1011 PD, 778 sporadic ALS (SALS), 264 MSA patients, and 721 healthy controls (HCs) were studied. All subjects were genotyped for the 2 polymorphisms using polymerase chain reaction and direct sequencing. Significant differences in the genotype frequencies (p = 0.0188 and 0.0064, respectively) and minor allele frequencies (MAFs) (p = 0.0065 and 0.0095, respectively) of rs2736990 and rs356220 were observed between the PD patients and HCs. Moreover, significant differences were found between the early-onset PD patients (<50 years) and matched controls but not in the late-onset PD patients (≥50 years). However, no differences were observed between subgroups with regard to clinical features, such as sex, onset symptoms (tremor or rigidity), cognition (normal or abnormal), and anxiety and depression (presence or absence). No significant differences were found in the genotype frequencies and MAFs of these 2 single-nucleotide polymorphisms between SALS patients and HCs and between MSA patients and HCs. No significant differences were found between subgroups with regard to the clinical presentation of SALS and MSA. Our results show that rs2736990 and rs356220 in SNCA decreased the risk for PD in a Chinese population. These candidate polymorphisms were unlikely to be the causes of SALS and MSA in this population.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Neurobiology of Aging
  • Source
    • "Further, an increase in ataxin-2 polyglutamine length is a risk factor for ALS demonstrating the clinical relevance of these findings [Elden et al., 2010; Daoud et al., 2011]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the TAR DNA Binding Protein gene (TARDBP), encoding the protein TDP-43, were identified in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Interestingly, TDP-43 positive inclusion bodies were first discovered in ubiquitin-positive, tau negative ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) inclusion bodies, and subsequently observed in the majority of neurodegenerative disorders. To date, 47 missense and one truncating mutations have been described in a large number of familial (FALS) and sporadic (SALS) patients. Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) was found to be responsible for a previously identified ALS6 locus, being mutated in both FALS and SALS patients. TARDBP and FUS have a structural and functional similarity and most of mutations in both genes are also clustered in the C-terminus of the proteins. The molecular mechanisms through which mutant TDP-43 and FUS may cause motor neuron degeneration are not well understood. Both proteins play an important role in mRNA transport, axonal maintenance and motor neuron development. Functional characterization of these mutations in in vitro and in vivo systems is helping to better understand how motor neuron degeneration occurs. This report summarizes the biological and clinical relevance of TARDBP and FUS mutations in ALS. All the data reviewed here has been submitted to a database based on the Leiden Open (source) Variation Database(LOVD) and is accessible online at,
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2013 · Human Mutation
Show more