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See detailThe miRNome of Alzheimer's disease: consistent downregulation of the miR-132/212 cluster
Pichler, Sabrina; Gu, Wei UL; Hartl, Daniela et al

in Neurobiology of Aging (2016), 50

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA molecules, with essential functions in RNA silencing and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. miRNAs appear to regulate the development and ... [more ▼]

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNA molecules, with essential functions in RNA silencing and post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. miRNAs appear to regulate the development and function of the nervous system. Alterations of miRNA expression have been associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). To characterize the AD miRNA signature, we examined genome-wide miRNA and mRNA expression patterns in the temporal cortex of AD and control samples. We validated our miRNA results by semiquantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in independent prefrontal cortex. Furthermore, we separated gray and white matter brain sections to identify the cellular origin of the altered miRNA expression. We observed genome-wide downregulation of hsa-miR-132-3p and hsa-miR-212-3p in AD with a stronger decrease in gray matter AD samples. We further identified 10 differently expressed transcripts achieving genome-wide levels of significance. Significantly deregulated miRNAs and mRNAs were correlated and examined for potential binding sites (in silico). This miRNome-wide study in AD provides supportive evidence and corroborates an important contribution of miR-132/212 and corresponding target mRNAs to the pathogenesis of AD. [less ▲]

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See detailFrontotemporal dementia and its subtypes: a genome-wide association study.
Ferrari, Raffaele; Hernandez, Dena G.; Nalls, Michael A. et al

in Lancet neurology (2014), 13(7), 686-99

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 ... [more ▼]

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 x 10(-8)) single-nucleotide polymorphisms. FINDINGS: We identified novel associations exceeding the genome-wide significance threshold (p<5 x 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 x 10(-8); odds ratio=1.204 [95% CI 1.11-1.30]), rs9268856 (p=5.51 x 10(-9); 0.809 [0.76-0.86]) and rs1980493 (p value=1.57 x 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 x 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. FUNDING: The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and National Institute on Aging, the Wellcome/MRC Centre on Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's Research UK, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. [less ▲]

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