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See detailGlobal investigation and meta-analysis of the C9orf72 (G4C2)n repeat in Parkinson disease.
Theuns, Jessie; Verstraeten, Aline; Sleegers, Kristel et al

in Neurology (2014)

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to clarify the role of (G4C2)n expansions in the etiology of Parkinson disease (PD) in the worldwide multicenter Genetic Epidemiology of Parkinson's Disease (GEO ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to clarify the role of (G4C2)n expansions in the etiology of Parkinson disease (PD) in the worldwide multicenter Genetic Epidemiology of Parkinson's Disease (GEO-PD) cohort. METHODS: C9orf72 (G4C2)n repeats were assessed in a GEO-PD cohort of 7,494 patients diagnosed with PD and 5,886 neurologically healthy control individuals ascertained in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. RESULTS: A pathogenic (G4C2)n>60 expansion was detected in only 4 patients with PD (4/7,232; 0.055%), all with a positive family history of neurodegenerative dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or atypical parkinsonism, while no carriers were detected with typical sporadic or familial PD. Meta-analysis revealed a small increase in risk of PD with an increasing number of (G4C2)n repeats; however, we could not detect a robust association between the C9orf72 (G4C2)n repeat and PD, and the population attributable risk was low. CONCLUSIONS: Together, these findings indicate that expansions in C9orf72 do not have a major role in the pathogenesis of PD. Testing for C9orf72 repeat expansions should only be considered in patients with PD who have overt symptoms of frontotemporal lobar degeneration/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or apparent family history of neurodegenerative dementia or motor neuron disease. [less ▲]

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See detailProtective effect of LRRK2 p.R1398H on risk of Parkinson's disease is independent of MAPT and SNCA variants.
Heckman, Michael G.; Elbaz, Alexis; Soto-Ortolaza, Alexandra I. et al

in Neurobiology of aging (2014), 35(1), 2665-14

The best validated susceptibility variants for Parkinson's disease are located in the alpha-synuclein (SNCA) and microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) genes. Recently, a protective p.N551K-R1398H ... [more ▼]

The best validated susceptibility variants for Parkinson's disease are located in the alpha-synuclein (SNCA) and microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) genes. Recently, a protective p.N551K-R1398H-K1423K haplotype in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene was identified, with p.R1398H appearing to be the most likely functional variant. To date, the consistency of the protective effect of LRRK2 p.R1398H across MAPT and SNCA variant genotypes has not been assessed. To address this, we examined 4 SNCA variants (rs181489, rs356219, rs11931074, and rs2583988), the MAPT H1-haplotype-defining variant rs1052553, and LRRK2 p.R1398H (rs7133914) in Caucasian (n = 10,322) and Asian (n = 2289) series. There was no evidence of an interaction of LRRK2 p.R1398H with MAPT or SNCA variants (all p >/= 0.10); the protective effect of p.R1398H was observed at similar magnitude across MAPT and SNCA genotypes, and the risk effects of MAPT and SNCA variants were observed consistently for LRRK2 p.R1398H genotypes. Our results indicate that the association of LRRK2 p.R1398H with Parkinson's disease is independent of SNCA and MAPT variants, and vice versa, in Caucasian and Asian populations. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome-wide association study in musician's dystonia: a risk variant at the arylsulfatase G locus?
Lohmann, Katja; Schmidt, Alexander; Schillert, Arne et al

in Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society (2014), 29(7), 921-7

Musician's dystonia (MD) affects 1% to 2% of professional musicians and frequently terminates performance careers. It is characterized by loss of voluntary motor control when playing the instrument ... [more ▼]

Musician's dystonia (MD) affects 1% to 2% of professional musicians and frequently terminates performance careers. It is characterized by loss of voluntary motor control when playing the instrument. Little is known about genetic risk factors, although MD or writer's dystonia (WD) occurs in relatives of 20% of MD patients. We conducted a 2-stage genome-wide association study in whites. Genotypes at 557,620 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) passed stringent quality control for 127 patients and 984 controls. Ten SNPs revealed P < 10(-5) and entered the replication phase including 116 MD patients and 125 healthy musicians. A genome-wide significant SNP (P < 5 x 10(-8) ) was also genotyped in 208 German or Dutch WD patients, 1,969 Caucasian, Spanish, and Japanese patients with other forms of focal or segmental dystonia as well as in 2,233 ethnically matched controls. Genome-wide significance with MD was observed for an intronic variant in the arylsulfatase G (ARSG) gene (rs11655081; P = 3.95 x 10(-9) ; odds ratio [OR], 4.33; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.66-7.05). rs11655081 was also associated with WD (P = 2.78 x 10(-2) ) but not with any other focal or segmental dystonia. The allele frequency of rs11655081 varies substantially between different populations. The population stratification in our sample was modest (lambda = 1.07), but the effect size may be overestimated. Using a small but homogenous patient sample, we provide data for a possible association of ARSG with MD. The variant may also contribute to the risk of WD, a form of dystonia that is often found in relatives of MD patients. [less ▲]

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See detailPopulation-specific frequencies for LRRK2 susceptibility variants in the Genetic Epidemiology of Parkinson's Disease (GEO-PD) Consortium.
Heckman, Michael G.; Soto-Ortolaza, Alexandra I.; Aasly, Jan O. et al

in Movement disorders : official journal of the Movement Disorder Society (2013), 28(12), 1740-4

BACKGROUND: Variants within the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene are recognized as the most frequent genetic cause of Parkinson's disease. Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 variation related to disease ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Variants within the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene are recognized as the most frequent genetic cause of Parkinson's disease. Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 variation related to disease susceptibility displays many features that reflect the nature of complex, late-onset sporadic disorders like Parkinson's disease. METHODS: The Genetic Epidemiology of Parkinson's Disease Consortium recently performed the largest genetic association study for variants in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene across 23 different sites in 15 countries. RESULTS: Herein, we detail the allele frequencies for the novel risk factors (p.A419V and p.M1646T) and the protective haplotype (p.N551K-R1398H-K1423K) nominated in the original publication. Simple population allele frequencies not only can provide insight into the clinical relevance of specific variants but also can help genetically define patient groups. CONCLUSIONS: Establishing individual patient-based genomic susceptibility profiles that incorporate both risk factors and protective factors will determine future diagnostic and treatment strategies. [less ▲]

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See detailGuidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy.
Klionsky, Daniel J.; Abdalla, Fabio C.; Abeliovich, Hagai et al

in Autophagy (2012), 8(4), 445-544

In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field ... [more ▼]

In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. A key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process vs. those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process); thus, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation needs to be differentiated from stimuli that result in increased autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular autophagy assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field. [less ▲]

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See detailAssociation of LRRK2 exonic variants with susceptibility to Parkinson's disease: a case-control study.
Ross, Owen A.; Soto-Ortolaza, Alexandra I.; Heckman, Michael G. et al

in Lancet neurology (2011), 10(10), 898-908

BACKGROUND: Background The leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) harbours highly penetrant mutations that are linked to familial parkinsonism. However, the extent of its polymorphic variability in ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Background The leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) harbours highly penetrant mutations that are linked to familial parkinsonism. However, the extent of its polymorphic variability in relation to risk of Parkinson's disease (PD) has not been assessed systematically. We therefore assessed the frequency of LRRK2 exonic variants in individuals with and without PD, to investigate the role of the variants in PD susceptibility. METHODS: LRRK2 was genotyped in patients with PD and controls from three series (white, Asian, and Arab-Berber) from sites participating in the Genetic Epidemiology of Parkinson's Disease Consortium. Genotyping was done for exonic variants of LRRK2 that were identified through searches of literature and the personal communications of consortium members. Associations with PD were assessed by use of logistic regression models. For variants that had a minor allele frequency of 0.5% or greater, single variant associations were assessed, whereas for rarer variants information was collapsed across variants. FINDINGS: 121 exonic LRRK2 variants were assessed in 15 540 individuals: 6995 white patients with PD and 5595 controls, 1376 Asian patients and 962 controls, and 240 Arab-Berber patients and 372 controls. After exclusion of carriers of known pathogenic mutations, new independent risk associations were identified for polymorphic variants in white individuals (M1646T, odds ratio 1.43, 95% CI 1.15-1.78; p=0.0012) and Asian individuals (A419V, 2.27, 1.35-3.83; p=0.0011). A protective haplotype (N551K-R1398H-K1423K) was noted at a frequency greater than 5% in the white and Asian series, with a similar finding in the Arab-Berber series (combined odds ratio 0.82, 0.72-0.94; p=0.0043). Of the two previously reported Asian risk variants, G2385R was associated with disease (1.73, 1.20-2.49; p=0.0026), but no association was noted for R1628P (0.62, 0.36-1.07; p=0.087). In the Arab-Berber series, Y2189C showed potential evidence of risk association with PD (4.48, 1.33-15.09; p=0.012). INTERPRETATION: The results for LRRK2 show that several rare and common genetic variants in the same gene can have independent effects on disease risk. LRRK2, and the pathway in which it functions, is important in the cause and pathogenesis of PD in a greater proportion of patients with this disease than previously believed. These results will help discriminate those patients who will benefit most from therapies targeted at LRRK2 pathogenic activity. FUNDING: Michael J Fox Foundation and National Institutes of Health. [less ▲]

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See detailIndependent and joint effects of the MAPT and SNCA genes in Parkinson disease.
Elbaz, Alexis; Ross, Owen A.; Ioannidis, John P. A. et al

in Annals of neurology (2011), 69(5), 778-92

OBJECTIVE: We studied the independent and joint effects of the genes encoding alpha-synuclein (SNCA) and microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) in Parkinson disease (PD) as part of a large meta ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: We studied the independent and joint effects of the genes encoding alpha-synuclein (SNCA) and microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) in Parkinson disease (PD) as part of a large meta-analysis of individual data from case-control studies participating in the Genetic Epidemiology of Parkinson's Disease (GEO-PD) consortium. METHODS: Participants of Caucasian ancestry were genotyped for a total of 4 SNCA (rs2583988, rs181489, rs356219, rs11931074) and 2 MAPT (rs1052553, rs242557) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs). Individual and joint effects of SNCA and MAPT SNPs were investigated using fixed- and random-effects logistic regression models. Interactions were studied on both a multiplicative and an additive scale, and using a case-control and case-only approach. RESULTS: Fifteen GEO-PD sites contributed a total of 5,302 cases and 4,161 controls. All 4 SNCA SNPs and the MAPT H1-haplotype-defining SNP (rs1052553) displayed a highly significant marginal association with PD at the significance level adjusted for multiple comparisons. For SNCA, the strongest associations were observed for SNPs located at the 3' end of the gene. There was no evidence of statistical interaction between any of the 4 SNCA SNPs and rs1052553 or rs242557, neither on the multiplicative nor on the additive scale. INTERPRETATION: This study confirms the association between PD and both SNCA SNPs and the H1 MAPT haplotype. It shows, based on a variety of approaches, that the joint action of variants in these 2 loci is consistent with independent effects of the genes without additional interacting effects. [less ▲]

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