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See detailGenetic meta-analysis of diagnosed Alzheimer's disease identifies new risk loci and implicates Aβ, tau, immunity and lipid processing
Kunkle, Brian W.; Grenier-Boley, Benjamin; Sims, Rebecca et al

in Nature Genetics (2019), 51(3), 414

Risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), the most prevalent dementia, is partially driven by genetics. To identify LOAD risk loci, we performed a large genome-wide association meta-analysis of ... [more ▼]

Risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), the most prevalent dementia, is partially driven by genetics. To identify LOAD risk loci, we performed a large genome-wide association meta-analysis of clinically diagnosed LOAD (94,437 individuals). We confirm 20 previous LOAD risk loci and identify five new genome-wide loci (IQCK, ACE, ADAM10, ADAMTS1, and WWOX), two of which (ADAM10, ACE) were identified in a recent genome-wide association (GWAS)-by-familial-proxy of Alzheimer's or dementia. Fine-mapping of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region confirms the neurological and immune-mediated disease haplotype HLA-DR15 as a risk factor for LOAD. Pathway analysis implicates immunity, lipid metabolism, tau binding proteins, and amyloid precursor protein (APP) metabolism, showing that genetic variants affecting APP and A$\beta$ processing are associated not only with early-onset autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease but also with LOAD. Analyses of risk genes and pathways show enrichment for rare variants (P = 1.32 × 10−7), indicating that additional rare variants remain to be identified. We also identify important genetic correlations between LOAD and traits such as family history of dementia and education. [less ▲]

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See detailA rare loss-of function variant of ADAM17 is associated with late-onset familial Alzheimer disease
Hartl, Daniela; May, Patrick UL; Gu, Wei UL et al

in Molecular Psychiatry (2018)

Common variants of about 20 genes contributing to AD risk have so far been identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, there is still a large proportion of heritability that might ... [more ▼]

Common variants of about 20 genes contributing to AD risk have so far been identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, there is still a large proportion of heritability that might be explained by rare but functionally important variants. One of the so far identified genes with rare AD causing variants is ADAM10. Using whole-genome sequencing we now identified a single rare nonsynonymous variant (SNV) rs142946965 [p.R215I] in ADAM17 co-segregating with an autosomal-dominant pattern of late-onset AD in one family. Subsequent genotyping and analysis of available whole-exome sequencing data of additional case/control samples from Germany, the UK and the USA identified five variant carriers among AD patients only. The mutation inhibits pro-protein cleavage and the formation of the active enzyme, thus leading to loss-of-function of ADAM17 α-secretase. Further, we identified a strong negative correlation between ADAM17 and APP gene expression in human brain and present in vitro evidence that ADAM17 negatively controls the expression of APP. As a consequence, p.R215I mutation of ADAM17 leads to elevated Aß formation in vitro. Together our data supports a causative association of the identified ADAM17 variant in the pathogenesis of AD. [less ▲]

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See detailRare ABCA7 variants in 2 German families with Alzheimer disease
May, Patrick UL; Pichler, Sabrina; Hartl, Daniela et al

in Neurology Genetics (2018), 4(2),

Objective The aim of this study was to identify variants associated with familial late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) using whole-genome sequencing. Methods Several families with an autosomal dominant ... [more ▼]

Objective The aim of this study was to identify variants associated with familial late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) using whole-genome sequencing. Methods Several families with an autosomal dominant inheritance pattern of AD were analyzed by whole-genome sequencing. Variants were prioritized for rare, likely pathogenic variants in genes already known to be associated with AD and confirmed by Sanger sequencing using standard protocols. Results We identified 2 rare ABCA7 variants (rs143718918 and rs538591288) with varying penetrance in 2 independent German AD families, respectively. The single nucleotide variant (SNV) rs143718918 causes a missense mutation, and the deletion rs538591288 causes a frameshift mutation of ABCA7. Both variants have previously been reported in larger cohorts but with incomplete segregation information. ABCA7 is one of more than 20 AD risk loci that have so far been identified by genome-wide association studies, and both common and rare variants of ABCA7 have previously been described in different populations with higher frequencies in AD cases than in controls and varying penetrance. Furthermore, ABCA7 is known to be involved in several AD-relevant pathways. Conclusions We conclude that both SNVs might contribute to the development of AD in the examined family members. Together with previous findings, our data confirm ABCA7 as one of the most relevant AD risk genes. [less ▲]

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See detailIDENTIFICATION OF A RARE GENE VARIANT THAT IS ASSOCIATED WITH FAMILIAL ALZHEIMER DISEASE AND REGULATES APP EXPRESSION
Hartl, Daniela; May, Patrick UL; Gu, Wei UL et al

in Alzheimer's & Dementia : The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association (2017), 13(7, Supplement), 648

Background Genetic mutations leading to familial forms of Alzheimer disease (AD) have so far been reported for a few genes including APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2, UNC5C, PLD3, ABCA7, TTC3, and possibly ADAM10 ... [more ▼]

Background Genetic mutations leading to familial forms of Alzheimer disease (AD) have so far been reported for a few genes including APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2, UNC5C, PLD3, ABCA7, TTC3, and possibly ADAM10. With the advent of whole exome and whole genome sequencing approaches new genes and mutations are likely to be identified. Methods We analyzed the genetic cause of AD in a large multiplex family with an autosomal-dominant pattern of inheritance with LOAD. The family lacked pathogenic mutations of known AD genes. We performed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) in six family members (two affected and four unaffected) and prioritized rare, potential damaging, variants that segregated with disease. Variants were further characterized by subsequent molecular analyzes in human brain and cell culture models. Results We identified a single rare nonsynonymous variant co-segregating with AD. The mutation inhibits pro-protein cleavage and the formation of the active enzyme, thus leading to a loss-of-function of the gene. We further found a strong negative correlation between the identified gene and APP gene expression in human brain and in cells over-expressing the gene. The negative regulation of APP expression was only observed for the wt gene, but not for mutated forms, thus causing beside the loss of enzyme function a decoupling of both APPexpression and subsequent beta-amyloid formation. The identity of the gene will be presented on the conference. Conclusions This novel pathway strongly supports a causative association of the identified gene with the pathogenesis of AD. [less ▲]

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See detailRare coding variants in PLCG2, ABI3, and TREM2 implicate microglial-mediated innate immunity in Alzheimer's disease
Sims, Rebecca; van der Lee, Sven J.; Naj, Adam C. et al

in Nature Genetics (2017), 49

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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 detailAmyloid-β Protein Precursor Cleavage Products in Postmortem Ventricular Cerebrospinal Fluid of Alzheimer’s Disease Patients
Hartl, Daniela; Gu, Wei UL; Mayhaus, Manuel et al

in Journal of Alzheimer's Disease [=JAD] (2015), 47(2), 365-372

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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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See detailGene-wide analysis detects two new susceptibility genes for Alzheimer's disease.
Escott-Price, Valentina; Bellenguez, Celine; Wang, Li-San et al

in PloS one (2014), 9(6), 94661

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 ... [more ▼]

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 = 1.4x10-6) and 14 (IGHV1-67 p = 7.9x10-8) 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. [less ▲]

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See detailMeta-analysis of 74,046 individuals identifies 11 new susceptibility loci for Alzheimer's disease
Lambert, Jean-Charles; Ibrahim-Verbaas, Carla A.; Harold, Denise et al

in Nature Genetics (2013), 45

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