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See detailRare coding variants in genes encoding GABAA receptors in genetic generalised epilepsies: an exome-based case-control study
May, Patrick UL; Girard, Simon; Harrer, Merle et al

in Lancet Neurology (2018), 17(8), 699-708

Background Genetic generalised epilepsy is the most common type of inherited epilepsy. Despite a high concordance rate of 80% in monozygotic twins, the genetic background is still poorly understood. We ... [more ▼]

Background Genetic generalised epilepsy is the most common type of inherited epilepsy. Despite a high concordance rate of 80% in monozygotic twins, the genetic background is still poorly understood. We aimed to investigate the burden of rare genetic variants in genetic generalised epilepsy. Methods For this exome-based case-control study, we used three different genetic generalised epilepsy case cohorts and three independent control cohorts, all of European descent. Cases included in the study were clinically evaluated for genetic generalised epilepsy. Whole-exome sequencing was done for the discovery case cohort, a validation case cohort, and two independent control cohorts. The replication case cohort underwent targeted next-generation sequencing of the 19 known genes encoding subunits of GABAA receptors and was compared to the respective GABAA receptor variants of a third independent control cohort. Functional investigations were done with automated two-microelectrode voltage clamping in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Findings Statistical comparison of 152 familial index cases with genetic generalised epilepsy in the discovery cohort to 549 ethnically matched controls suggested an enrichment of rare missense (Nonsyn) variants in the ensemble of 19 genes encoding GABAA receptors in cases (odds ratio [OR] 2·40 [95% CI 1·41–4·10]; pNonsyn=0·0014, adjusted pNonsyn=0·019). Enrichment for these genes was validated in a whole-exome sequencing cohort of 357 sporadic and familial genetic generalised epilepsy cases and 1485 independent controls (OR 1·46 [95% CI 1·05–2·03]; pNonsyn=0·0081, adjusted pNonsyn=0·016). Comparison of genes encoding GABAA receptors in the independent replication cohort of 583 familial and sporadic genetic generalised epilepsy index cases, based on candidate-gene panel sequencing, with a third independent control cohort of 635 controls confirmed the overall enrichment of rare missense variants for 15 GABAA receptor genes in cases compared with controls (OR 1·46 [95% CI 1·02–2·08]; pNonsyn=0·013, adjusted pNonsyn=0·027). Functional studies for two selected genes (GABRB2 and GABRA5) showed significant loss-of-function effects with reduced current amplitudes in four of seven tested variants compared with wild-type receptors. Interpretation Functionally relevant variants in genes encoding GABAA receptor subunits constitute a significant risk factor for genetic generalised epilepsy. Examination of the role of specific gene groups and pathways can disentangle the complex genetic architecture of genetic generalised epilepsy. [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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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 detailLack of replication of thirteen single-nucleotide polymorphisms implicated in Parkinson's disease: a large-scale international study.
Elbaz, Alexis; Nelson, Lorene M.; Payami, Haydeh et al

in Lancet neurology (2006), 5(11), 917-23

BACKGROUND: A genome-wide association study identified 13 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) significantly associated with Parkinson's disease. Small-scale replication studies were largely non ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: A genome-wide association study identified 13 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) significantly associated with Parkinson's disease. Small-scale replication studies were largely non-confirmatory, but a meta-analysis that included data from the original study could not exclude all SNP associations, leaving relevance of several markers uncertain. METHODS: Investigators from three Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research-funded genetics consortia-comprising 14 teams-contributed DNA samples from 5526 patients with Parkinson's disease and 6682 controls, which were genotyped for the 13 SNPs. Most (88%) participants were of white, non-Hispanic descent. We assessed log-additive genetic effects using fixed and random effects models stratified by team and ethnic origin, and tested for heterogeneity across strata. A meta-analysis was undertaken that incorporated data from the original genome-wide study as well as subsequent replication studies. FINDINGS: In fixed and random-effects models no associations with any of the 13 SNPs were identified (odds ratios 0.89 to 1.09). Heterogeneity between studies and between ethnic groups was low for all SNPs. Subgroup analyses by age at study entry, ethnic origin, sex, and family history did not show any consistent associations. In our meta-analysis, no SNP showed significant association (summary odds ratios 0.95 to 1.08); there was little heterogeneity except for SNP rs7520966. INTERPRETATION: Our results do not lend support to the finding that the 13 SNPs reported in the original genome-wide association study are genetic susceptibility factors for Parkinson's disease. [less ▲]

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