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1.  Examination of the Factor Structure of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire among British and Trinidadian Adults 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:258275.
Much debate in schizotypal research has centred on the factor structure of the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire (SPQ), with research variously showing higher-order dimensionality consisting of two to seven dimensions. In addition, cross-cultural support for the stability of those factors remains limited. Here, we examined the factor structure of the SPQ among British and Trinidadian adults. Participants from a White British subsample (n = 351) resident in the UK and from an African Caribbean subsample (n = 284) resident in Trinidad completed the SPQ. The higher-order factor structure of the SPQ was analysed through confirmatory factor analysis, followed by multiple-group analysis for the model of best fit. Between-group differences for sex and ethnicity were investigated using multivariate analysis of variance in relation to the higher-order domains. The model of best-fit was the four-factor structure, which demonstrated measurement invariance across groups. Additionally, these data had an adequate fit for two alternative models: (a) 3-factor and (b) modified 4-factor model. The British subsample had significantly higher scores across all domains than the Trinidadian group, and men scored significantly higher on the disorganised domain than women. The four-factor structure received confirmatory support and, importantly, support for use with populations varying in ethnicity and culture.
doi:10.1155/2015/258275
PMCID: PMC4324113
2.  Genetic analysis implicates APOE, SNCA and suggests lysosomal dysfunction in the etiology of dementia with Lewy bodies 
Human molecular genetics  2014;23(23):6139-6146.
Clinical and neuropathological similarities between dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases (PD and AD, respectively) suggest that these disorders may share etiology. To test this hypothesis, we have performed an association study of 54 genomic regions, previously implicated in PD or AD, in a large cohort of DLB cases and controls. The cohort comprised 788 DLB cases and 2624 controls. To minimize the issue of potential misdiagnosis, we have also performed the analysis including only neuropathologically proven DLB cases (667 cases). The results show that the APOE is a strong genetic risk factor for DLB, confirming previous findings, and that the SNCA and SCARB2 loci are also associated after a study-wise Bonferroni correction, although these have a different association profile than the associations reported for the same loci in PD. We have previously shown that the p.N370S variant in GBA is associated with DLB, which, together with the findings at the SCARB2 locus, suggests a role for lysosomal dysfunction in this disease. These results indicate that DLB has a unique genetic risk profile when compared with the two most common neurodegenerative diseases and that the lysosome may play an important role in the etiology of this disorder. We make all these data available.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddu334
PMCID: PMC4222357  PMID: 24973356
3.  Investigating the role of rare coding variability in Mendelian dementia genes (APP, PSEN1, PSEN2, GRN, MAPT, and PRNP) in late-onset Alzheimer's disease 
Neurobiology of Aging  2014;35(12):2881.e1-2881.e6.
The overlapping clinical and neuropathologic features between late-onset apparently sporadic Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD), and other neurodegenerative dementias (frontotemporal dementia, corticobasal degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) raise the question of whether shared genetic risk factors may explain the similar phenotype among these disparate disorders. To investigate this intriguing hypothesis, we analyzed rare coding variability in 6 Mendelian dementia genes (APP, PSEN1, PSEN2, GRN, MAPT, and PRNP), in 141 LOAD patients and 179 elderly controls, neuropathologically proven, from the UK. In our cohort, 14 LOAD cases (10%) and 11 controls (6%) carry at least 1 rare variant in the genes studied. We report a novel variant in PSEN1 (p.I168T) and a rare variant in PSEN2 (p.A237V), absent in controls and both likely pathogenic. Our findings support previous studies, suggesting that (1) rare coding variability in PSEN1 and PSEN2 may influence the susceptibility for LOAD and (2) GRN, MAPT, and PRNP are not major contributors to LOAD. Thus, genetic screening is pivotal for the clinical differential diagnosis of these neurodegenerative dementias.
Highlights
•We have used exome sequencing to investigate rare coding variability in Mendelian dementia genes (APP, PSEN1, PSEN2, GRN, MAPT, and PRNP) in a cohort composed of 141 late-onset sporadic Alzheimer's disease cases and 179 elderly controls, autopsy proven from the UK.•We report a novel mutation in PSEN1 (p.I168T) and a rare variant in PSEN2 (p.A237V), both likely pathogenic.•We conclude that PSEN1 and PSEN2 harbor susceptibility factors for sporadic Alzheimer's disease. By contrast, GRN, MAPT, and PRNP do not play a major role for the development of late-onset sporadic Alzheimer's disease.•Genetic screening is therefore pivotal for a clinical differential diagnosis of sporadic late-onset Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative dementias (frontotemporal dementia, corticobasal degeneration, progressive supranuclear palsy, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease).
doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.06.002
PMCID: PMC4236585  PMID: 25104557
Alzheimer's disease; Neurodegenerative dementia; APP; PSEN1; PSEN2; MAPT; GRN; PRNP; Exome sequencing
4.  Exome sequencing identifies 2 novel presenilin 1 mutations (p.L166V and p.S230R) in British early-onset Alzheimer's disease☆ 
Neurobiology of Aging  2014;35(10):2422.e13-2422.e16.
Early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD) represents 1%–2% of the Alzheimer's disease (AD) cases, and it is generally characterized by a positive family history and a rapidly progressive symptomatology. Rare coding and fully penetrant variants in amyloid precursor protein (APP), presenilin 1 (PSEN1), and presenilin 2 (PSEN2) are the only causative mutations reported for autosomal dominant AD. Thus, in this study we used exome sequencing data to rapidly screen rare coding variability in APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2, in a British cohort composed of 47 unrelated EOAD cases and 179 elderly controls, neuropathologically proven. We report 2 novel and likely pathogenic variants in PSEN1 (p.L166V and p.S230R). A comprehensive catalog of rare pathogenic variants in the AD Mendelian genes is pivotal for a premortem diagnosis of autosomal dominant EOAD and for the differential diagnosis with other early onset dementias such as frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).
doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.04.026
PMCID: PMC4099516  PMID: 24880964
Early-onset Alzheimer's disease; APP; PSEN1; PSEN2; British cohort
5.  Human TRPM8 and TRPA1 pain channels, including a gene variant with increased sensitivity to agonists (TRPA1 R797T), exhibit differential regulation by SRC-tyrosine kinase inhibitor 
Bioscience Reports  2014;34(4):e00131.
TRPM8 (transient receptor potential M8) and TRPA1 (transient receptor potential A1) are cold-temperature-sensitive nociceptors expressed in sensory neurons but their behaviour in neuronal cells is poorly understood. Therefore DNA expression constructs containing human TRPM8 or TRPA1 cDNAs were transfected into HEK (human embryonic kidney cells)-293 or SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells and G418 resistant clones analysed for effects of agonists and antagonists on intracellular Ca2+ levels. Approximately 51% of HEK-293 and 12% of SH-SY5Y cell clones expressed the transfected TRP channel. TRPM8 and TRPA1 assays were inhibited by probenecid, indicating the need to avoid this agent in TRP channel studies. A double-residue mutation in ICL-1 (intracellular loop-1) of TRPM8 (SV762,763EL, mimicking serine phosphorylation) or one in the C-terminal tail region (FK1045,1046AG, a lysine knockout) retained sensitivity to agonists (WS 12, menthol) and antagonist {AMTB [N-(3-Aminopropyl)-2-[(3-methylphenyl)methoxy]-N-(2-thienylmethyl)benzamide]}. SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) variants in TRPA1 ICL-1 (R797T, S804N) and TRPA1 fusion protein containing C-terminal (His)10 retained sensitivity to agonists (cinnamaldehyde, allyl-isothiocyanate, carvacrol, eugenol) and antagonists (HC-030031, A967079). One SNP variant, 797T, possessed increased sensitivity to agonists. TRPA1 became repressed in SH-SY5Y clones but was rapidly rescued by Src-family inhibitor PP2 [4-amino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-7-(t-butyl)pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine]. Conversely, TRPM8 in SH-SY5Y cells was inhibited by PP2. Further studies utilizing SH-SY5Y may identify structural features of TRPA1 and TRPM8 involved in conferring differential post-translational regulation.
Transient receptor potential channels M8 and A1 sense the cellular environment and activate entry of Ca2+ into the cytoplasm. We identified a TRPA1 (transient receptor potential A1) variant with increased sensitivity and differential modulation of channels by a tyrosine kinase inhibitor in neuroblastoma cells.
doi:10.1042/BSR20140061
PMCID: PMC4122973  PMID: 24975826
EC50; SNP; TRPA1; TRPM8; tyrosine kinases; AITC, allyl-isothiocyanate; A1TRPM8, transient receptor potential M8; AMTB, N-(3-Aminopropyl)-2-[(3-methylphenyl)methoxy]-N-(2-thienylmethyl)benzamide; HC 030031, 2-(1,3-dimethyl-2,6-dioxo-1,2,3,6-tetrahydro-7H-purin-7-yl)-N-(4-isopropylphenyl)acetamide; HEK, human embryonic kidney cells; ICL-1, intracellular loop-1; PP2, 4-amino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-7-(t-butyl)pyrazolo[3,4-d]pyrimidine; PP3, 4-amino-7-phenylpyrazol[3,4-d]pyrimidine; RFU, relative fluorescence unit; SNP, single nucleotide polymorphism; TRPA1, transient receptor potential; WS 12, (1R,2S)-N-(4-methoxyphenyl)-5-methyl-2-(1-methylethyl)cyclohexanecarboxamide
6.  Genetic variants influencing human aging from late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) genome-wide association studies (GWAS) 
Neurobiology of aging  2012;33(8):1849.e5-1849.18.
Genetics plays a crucial role in human aging with up to 30% of those living to the mid-80s being determined by genetic variation. Survival to older ages likely entails an even greater genetic contribution. There is increasing evidence that genes implicated in age-related diseases, such as cancer and neuronal disease, play a role in affecting human life span. We have selected the 10 most promising late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) susceptibility genes identified through several recent large genome-wide association studies (GWAS). These 10 LOAD genes (APOE, CLU, PICALM, CR1, BIN1, ABCA7, MS4A6A, CD33, CD2AP, and EPHA1) have been tested for association with human aging in our dataset (1385 samples with documented age at death [AAD], age range: 58–108 years; mean age at death: 80.2) using the most significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) found in the previous studies. Apart from the APOE locus (rs2075650) which showed compelling evidence of association with risk on human life span (p = 5.27 × 10−4), none of the other LOAD gene loci demonstrated significant evidence of association. In addition to examining the known LOAD genes, we carried out analyses using age at death as a quantitative trait. No genome-wide significant SNPs were discovered. Increasing sample size and statistical power will be imperative to detect genuine aging-associated variants in the future. In this report, we also discuss issues relating to the analysis of genome-wide association studies data from different centers and the bioinformatic approach required to distinguish spurious genome-wide significant signals from real SNP associations.
doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2012.02.014
PMCID: PMC4120742  PMID: 22445811
Lifespan; Late onset Alzheimer’s disease; GWAS; Aging; Genes
7.  The Role of Variation at AβPP, PSEN1, PSEN2, and MAPT in Late Onset Alzheimer’s Disease 
Gerrish, Amy | Russo, Giancarlo | Richards, Alexander | Moskvina, Valentina | Ivanov, Dobril | Harold, Denise | Sims, Rebecca | Abraham, Richard | Hollingworth, Paul | Chapman, Jade | Hamshere, Marian | Pahwa, Jaspreet Singh | Dowzell, Kimberley | Williams, Amy | Jones, Nicola | Thomas, Charlene | Stretton, Alexandra | Morgan, Angharad R. | Lovestone, Simon | Powell, John | Proitsi, Petroula | Lupton, Michelle K. | Brayne, Carol | Rubinsztein, David C. | Gill, Michael | Lawlor, Brian | Lynch, Aoibhinn | Morgan, Kevin | Brown, Kristelle S. | Passmore, Peter A. | Craig, David | McGuinness, Bernadette | Todd, Stephen | Johnston, Janet A. | Holmes, Clive | Mann, David | Smith, A. David | Love, Seth | Kehoe, Patrick G. | Hardy, John | Mead, Simon | Fox, Nick | Rossor, Martin | Collinge, John | Maier, Wolfgang | Jessen, Frank | Kölsch, Heike | Heun, Reinhard | Schürmann, Britta | van den Bussche, Hendrik | Heuser, Isabella | Kornhuber, Johannes | Wiltfang, Jens | Dichgans, Martin | Frölich, Lutz | Hampel, Harald | Hüll, Michael | Rujescu, Dan | Goate, Alison M. | Kauwe, John S. K. | Cruchaga, Carlos | Nowotny, Petra | Morris, John C. | Mayo, Kevin | Livingston, Gill | Bass, Nicholas J. | Gurling, Hugh | McQuillin, Andrew | Gwilliam, Rhian | Deloukas, Panagiotis | Davies, Gail | Harris, Sarah E. | Starr, John M. | Deary, Ian J. | Al-Chalabi, Ammar | Shaw, Christopher E. | Tsolaki, Magda | Singleton, Andrew B. | Guerreiro, Rita | Mühleisen, Thomas W. | Nöthen, Markus M. | Moebus, Susanne | Jöckel, Karl-Heinz | Klopp, Norman | Wichmann, H-Erich | Carrasquillo, Minerva M | Pankratz, V Shane | Younkin, Steven G. | Jones, Lesley | Holmans, Peter A. | O’Donovan, Michael C. | Owen, Michael J. | Williams, Julie
Rare mutations in AβPP, PSEN1, and PSEN2 cause uncommon early onset forms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and common variants in MAPT are associated with risk of other neurodegenerative disorders. We sought to establish whether common genetic variation in these genes confer risk to the common form of AD which occurs later in life (>65 years). We therefore tested single-nucleotide polymorphisms at these loci for association with late-onset AD (LOAD) in a large case-control sample consisting of 3,940 cases and 13,373 controls. Single-marker analysis did not identify any variants that reached genome-wide significance, a result which is supported by other recent genome-wide association studies. However, we did observe a significant association at the MAPT locus using a gene-wide approach (p = 0.009). We also observed suggestive association between AD and the marker rs9468, which defines the H1 haplotype, an extended haplotype that spans the MAPT gene and has previously been implicated in other neurodegenerative disorders including Parkinson’s disease, progressive supranuclear palsy, and corticobasal degeneration. In summary common variants at AβPP, PSEN1, and PSEN2 and MAPT are unlikely to make strong contributions to susceptibility for LOAD. However, the gene-wide effect observed at MAPT indicates a possible contribution to disease risk which requires further study.
doi:10.3233/JAD-2011-110824
PMCID: PMC4118466  PMID: 22027014
Alzheimer’s disease; amyloid-β protein precursor; genetics; human; MAPT protein; PSEN1 protein; PSEN2 protein
8.  Rare coding variants in Phospholipase D3 (PLD3) confer risk for Alzheimer's disease 
Nature  2013;505(7484):550-554.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified several risk variants for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD)1,2. These common variants have replicable but small effects on LOAD risk and generally do not have obvious functional effects. Low-frequency coding variants, not detected by GWAS, are predicted to include functional variants with larger effects on risk. To identify low frequency coding variants with large effects on LOAD risk, we performed whole exome-sequencing (WES) in 14 large LOAD families and follow-up analyses of the candidate variants in several large case-control datasets. A rare variant in PLD3 (phospholipase-D family, member 3, rs145999145; V232M) segregated with disease status in two independent families and doubled risk for AD in seven independent case-control series (V232M meta-analysis; OR= 2.10, CI=1.47-2.99; p= 2.93×10-5, 11,354 cases and controls of European-descent). Gene-based burden analyses in 4,387 cases and controls of European-descent and 302 African American cases and controls, with complete sequence data for PLD3, indicate that several variants in this gene increase risk for AD in both populations (EA: OR= 2.75, CI=2.05-3.68; p=1.44×10-11, AA: OR= 5.48, CI=1.77-16.92; p=1.40×10-3). PLD3 is highly expressed in brain regions vulnerable to AD pathology, including hippocampus and cortex, and is expressed at lower levels in neurons from AD brains compared to control brains (p=8.10×10-10). Over-expression of PLD3 leads to a significant decrease in intracellular APP and extracellular Aβ42 and Aβ40, while knock-down of PLD3 leads to a significant increase in extracellular Aβ42 and Aβ40. Together, our genetic and functional data indicate that carriers of PLD3 coding variants have a two-fold increased risk for LOAD and that PLD3 influences APP processing. This study provides an example of how densely affected families may be used to identify rare variants with large effects on risk for disease or other complex traits.
doi:10.1038/nature12825
PMCID: PMC4050701  PMID: 24336208
9.  Modelling the Interplay between Childhood and Adult Adversity in Pathways to Psychosis 
Psychological medicine  2013;44(2):407-419.
Background
There is evidence that a range of socio-environmental exposures are associated with an increased risk of psychosis. However, despite the fact that such factors probably combine in complex ways to increase risk, the majority of studies have tended to consider each exposure separately. In light of this, we sought to extend previous analyses of data from the ÆSOP study on childhood and adult markers of disadvantage to examine how they combine to increase risk of psychosis, testing both mediation (path) models and synergistic effects.
Method
All patients with a first episode of psychosis who made contact with psychiatric services in defined catchment areas in London and Nottingham, UK (n = 390) and a series of community controls (n = 391) were included in the ÆSOP study. Data relating to clinical and social variables, including parental separation and loss, education and adult disadvantage, were collected from cases and controls.
Results
There was evidence that the effect of separation from, but not death of, a parent in childhood on risk of psychosis was partially mediated through subsequent poor educational attainment (no qualifications), adult social disadvantage and, to a lesser degree, low self-esteem. In addition, there was strong evidence that separation from, but not death of, a parent combined synergistically with subsequent disadvantage to increase risk. These effects held for all ethnic groups in the sample.
Conclusions
Exposure to childhood and adult disadvantage may combine in complex ways to push some individuals along a predominantly socio-developmental pathway to psychosis.
doi:10.1017/S0033291713000767
PMCID: PMC4081841  PMID: 23590972
10.  Genetic analysis implicates APOE, SNCA and suggests lysosomal dysfunction in the etiology of dementia with Lewy bodies 
Human Molecular Genetics  2014;23(23):6139-6146.
Clinical and neuropathological similarities between dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases (PD and AD, respectively) suggest that these disorders may share etiology. To test this hypothesis, we have performed an association study of 54 genomic regions, previously implicated in PD or AD, in a large cohort of DLB cases and controls. The cohort comprised 788 DLB cases and 2624 controls. To minimize the issue of potential misdiagnosis, we have also performed the analysis including only neuropathologically proven DLB cases (667 cases). The results show that the APOE is a strong genetic risk factor for DLB, confirming previous findings, and that the SNCA and SCARB2 loci are also associated after a study-wise Bonferroni correction, although these have a different association profile than the associations reported for the same loci in PD. We have previously shown that the p.N370S variant in GBA is associated with DLB, which, together with the findings at the SCARB2 locus, suggests a role for lysosomal dysfunction in this disease. These results indicate that DLB has a unique genetic risk profile when compared with the two most common neurodegenerative diseases and that the lysosome may play an important role in the etiology of this disorder. We make all these data available.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddu334
PMCID: PMC4222357  PMID: 24973356
11.  Gene-Wide Analysis Detects Two New Susceptibility Genes for Alzheimer's Disease 
Escott-Price, Valentina | Bellenguez, Céline | Wang, Li-San | Choi, Seung-Hoan | Harold, Denise | Jones, Lesley | Holmans, Peter | Gerrish, Amy | Vedernikov, Alexey | Richards, Alexander | DeStefano, Anita L. | Lambert, Jean-Charles | Ibrahim-Verbaas, Carla A. | Naj, Adam C. | Sims, Rebecca | Jun, Gyungah | Bis, Joshua C. | Beecham, Gary W. | Grenier-Boley, Benjamin | Russo, Giancarlo | Thornton-Wells, Tricia A. | Denning, Nicola | Smith, Albert V. | Chouraki, Vincent | Thomas, Charlene | Ikram, M. Arfan | Zelenika, Diana | Vardarajan, Badri N. | Kamatani, Yoichiro | Lin, Chiao-Feng | Schmidt, Helena | Kunkle, Brian | Dunstan, Melanie L. | Vronskaya, Maria | Johnson, Andrew D. | Ruiz, Agustin | Bihoreau, Marie-Thérèse | Reitz, Christiane | Pasquier, Florence | Hollingworth, Paul | Hanon, Olivier | Fitzpatrick, Annette L. | Buxbaum, Joseph D. | Campion, Dominique | Crane, Paul K. | Baldwin, Clinton | Becker, Tim | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Cruchaga, Carlos | Craig, David | Amin, Najaf | Berr, Claudine | Lopez, Oscar L. | De Jager, Philip L. | Deramecourt, Vincent | Johnston, Janet A. | Evans, Denis | Lovestone, Simon | Letenneur, Luc | Hernández, Isabel | Rubinsztein, David C. | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Sleegers, Kristel | Goate, Alison M. | Fiévet, Nathalie | Huentelman, Matthew J. | Gill, Michael | Brown, Kristelle | Kamboh, M. Ilyas | Keller, Lina | Barberger-Gateau, Pascale | McGuinness, Bernadette | Larson, Eric B. | Myers, Amanda J. | Dufouil, Carole | Todd, Stephen | Wallon, David | Love, Seth | Rogaeva, Ekaterina | Gallacher, John | George-Hyslop, Peter St | Clarimon, Jordi | Lleo, Alberto | Bayer, Anthony | Tsuang, Debby W. | Yu, Lei | Tsolaki, Magda | Bossù, Paola | Spalletta, Gianfranco | Proitsi, Petra | Collinge, John | Sorbi, Sandro | Garcia, Florentino Sanchez | Fox, Nick C. | Hardy, John | Naranjo, Maria Candida Deniz | Bosco, Paolo | Clarke, Robert | Brayne, Carol | Galimberti, Daniela | Scarpini, Elio | Bonuccelli, Ubaldo | Mancuso, Michelangelo | Siciliano, Gabriele | Moebus, Susanne | Mecocci, Patrizia | Zompo, Maria Del | Maier, Wolfgang | Hampel, Harald | Pilotto, Alberto | Frank-García, Ana | Panza, Francesco | Solfrizzi, Vincenzo | Caffarra, Paolo | Nacmias, Benedetta | Perry, William | Mayhaus, Manuel | Lannfelt, Lars | Hakonarson, Hakon | Pichler, Sabrina | Carrasquillo, Minerva M. | Ingelsson, Martin | Beekly, Duane | Alvarez, Victoria | Zou, Fanggeng | Valladares, Otto | Younkin, Steven G. | Coto, Eliecer | Hamilton-Nelson, Kara L. | Gu, Wei | Razquin, Cristina | Pastor, Pau | Mateo, Ignacio | Owen, Michael J. | Faber, Kelley M. | Jonsson, Palmi V. | Combarros, Onofre | O'Donovan, Michael C. | Cantwell, Laura B. | Soininen, Hilkka | Blacker, Deborah | Mead, Simon | Mosley, Thomas H. | Bennett, David A. | Harris, Tamara B. | Fratiglioni, Laura | Holmes, Clive | de Bruijn, Renee F. A. G. | Passmore, Peter | Montine, Thomas J. | Bettens, Karolien | Rotter, Jerome I. | Brice, Alexis | Morgan, Kevin | Foroud, Tatiana M. | Kukull, Walter A. | Hannequin, Didier | Powell, John F. | Nalls, Michael A. | Ritchie, Karen | Lunetta, Kathryn L. | Kauwe, John S. K. | Boerwinkle, Eric | Riemenschneider, Matthias | Boada, Mercè | Hiltunen, Mikko | Martin, Eden R. | Schmidt, Reinhold | Rujescu, Dan | Dartigues, Jean-François | Mayeux, Richard | Tzourio, Christophe | Hofman, Albert | Nöthen, Markus M. | Graff, Caroline | Psaty, Bruce M. | Haines, Jonathan L. | Lathrop, Mark | Pericak-Vance, Margaret A. | Launer, Lenore J. | Van Broeckhoven, Christine | Farrer, Lindsay A. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Ramirez, Alfredo | Seshadri, Sudha | Schellenberg, Gerard D. | Amouyel, Philippe | Williams, Julie
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e94661.
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 = 1.4×10−6) and 14 (IGHV1-67 p = 7.9×10−8) 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.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094661
PMCID: PMC4055488  PMID: 24922517
12.  Meta-analysis of 74,046 individuals identifies 11 new susceptibility loci for Alzheimer’s disease 
Lambert, Jean-Charles | Ibrahim-Verbaas, Carla A | Harold, Denise | Naj, Adam C | Sims, Rebecca | Bellenguez, Céline | Jun, Gyungah | DeStefano, Anita L | Bis, Joshua C | Beecham, Gary W | Grenier-Boley, Benjamin | Russo, Giancarlo | Thornton-Wells, Tricia A | Jones, Nicola | Smith, Albert V | Chouraki, Vincent | Thomas, Charlene | Ikram, M Arfan | Zelenika, Diana | Vardarajan, Badri N | Kamatani, Yoichiro | Lin, Chiao-Feng | Gerrish, Amy | Schmidt, Helena | Kunkle, Brian | Dunstan, Melanie L | Ruiz, Agustin | Bihoreau, Marie-Thérèse | Choi, Seung-Hoan | Reitz, Christiane | Pasquier, Florence | Hollingworth, Paul | Ramirez, Alfredo | Hanon, Olivier | Fitzpatrick, Annette L | Buxbaum, Joseph D | Campion, Dominique | Crane, Paul K | Baldwin, Clinton | Becker, Tim | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Cruchaga, Carlos | Craig, David | Amin, Najaf | Berr, Claudine | Lopez, Oscar L | De Jager, Philip L | Deramecourt, Vincent | Johnston, Janet A | Evans, Denis | Lovestone, Simon | Letenneur, Luc | Morón, Francisco J | Rubinsztein, David C | Eiriksdottir, Gudny | Sleegers, Kristel | Goate, Alison M | Fiévet, Nathalie | Huentelman, Matthew J | Gill, Michael | Brown, Kristelle | Kamboh, M Ilyas | Keller, Lina | Barberger-Gateau, Pascale | McGuinness, Bernadette | Larson, Eric B | Green, Robert | Myers, Amanda J | Dufouil, Carole | Todd, Stephen | Wallon, David | Love, Seth | Rogaeva, Ekaterina | Gallacher, John | St George-Hyslop, Peter | Clarimon, Jordi | Lleo, Alberto | Bayer, Anthony | Tsuang, Debby W | Yu, Lei | Tsolaki, Magda | Bossù, Paola | Spalletta, Gianfranco | Proitsi, Petroula | Collinge, John | Sorbi, Sandro | Sanchez-Garcia, Florentino | Fox, Nick C | Hardy, John | Deniz Naranjo, Maria Candida | Bosco, Paolo | Clarke, Robert | Brayne, Carol | Galimberti, Daniela | Mancuso, Michelangelo | Matthews, Fiona | Moebus, Susanne | Mecocci, Patrizia | Zompo, Maria Del | Maier, Wolfgang | Hampel, Harald | Pilotto, Alberto | Bullido, Maria | Panza, Francesco | Caffarra, Paolo | Nacmias, Benedetta | Gilbert, John R | Mayhaus, Manuel | Lannfelt, Lars | Hakonarson, Hakon | Pichler, Sabrina | Carrasquillo, Minerva M | Ingelsson, Martin | Beekly, Duane | Alvarez, Victoria | Zou, Fanggeng | Valladares, Otto | Younkin, Steven G | Coto, Eliecer | Hamilton-Nelson, Kara L | Gu, Wei | Razquin, Cristina | Pastor, Pau | Mateo, Ignacio | Owen, Michael J | Faber, Kelley M | Jonsson, Palmi V | Combarros, Onofre | O’Donovan, Michael C | Cantwell, Laura B | Soininen, Hilkka | Blacker, Deborah | Mead, Simon | Mosley, Thomas H | Bennett, David A | Harris, Tamara B | Fratiglioni, Laura | Holmes, Clive | de Bruijn, Renee F A G | Passmore, Peter | Montine, Thomas J | Bettens, Karolien | Rotter, Jerome I | Brice, Alexis | Morgan, Kevin | Foroud, Tatiana M | Kukull, Walter A | Hannequin, Didier | Powell, John F | Nalls, Michael A | Ritchie, Karen | Lunetta, Kathryn L | Kauwe, John S K | Boerwinkle, Eric | Riemenschneider, Matthias | Boada, Mercè | Hiltunen, Mikko | Martin, Eden R | Schmidt, Reinhold | Rujescu, Dan | Wang, Li-san | Dartigues, Jean-François | Mayeux, Richard | Tzourio, Christophe | Hofman, Albert | Nöthen, Markus M | Graff, Caroline | Psaty, Bruce M | Jones, Lesley | Haines, Jonathan L | Holmans, Peter A | Lathrop, Mark | Pericak-Vance, Margaret A | Launer, Lenore J | Farrer, Lindsay A | van Duijn, Cornelia M | Van Broeckhoven, Christine | Moskvina, Valentina | Seshadri, Sudha | Williams, Julie | Schellenberg, Gerard D | Amouyel, Philippe
Nature genetics  2013;45(12):1452-1458.
Eleven susceptibility loci for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) were identified by previous studies; however, a large portion of the genetic risk for this disease remains unexplained. We conducted a large, two-stage meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in individuals of European ancestry. In stage 1, we used genotyped and imputed data (7,055,881 SNPs) to perform meta-analysis on 4 previously published GWAS data sets consisting of 17,008 Alzheimer’s disease cases and 37,154 controls. In stage 2,11,632 SNPs were genotyped and tested for association in an independent set of 8,572 Alzheimer’s disease cases and 11,312 controls. In addition to the APOE locus (encoding apolipoprotein E), 19 loci reached genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8) in the combined stage 1 and stage 2 analysis, of which 11 are newly associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
doi:10.1038/ng.2802
PMCID: PMC3896259  PMID: 24162737
13.  Practical detection of a definitive biomarker panel for Alzheimer’s disease; comparisons between matched plasma and cerebrospinal fluid 
Previous mass spectrometry analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has allowed the identification of a panel of molecular markers that are associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The panel comprises Amyloid beta, Apolipoprotein E, Fibrinogen alpha chain precursor, Keratin type I cytoskeletal 9, Serum albumin precursor, SPARC-like 1 protein and Tetranectin. Here we report the development and implementation of immunoassays to measure the abundance and diagnostic capacity of these putative biomarkers in matched lumbar CSF and blood plasma samples taken in life from individuals confirmed at post-mortem as suffering from AD (n = 10) and from screened ‘cognitively healthy’ subjects (n = 18). The inflammatory components of Alzheimer’s disease were also investigated. Employment of supervised learning techniques permitted examination of the interrelated expression patterns of the putative biomarkers and identified inflammatory components, resulting in biomarker panels with a diagnostic accuracy of 87.5% and 86.7% for the plasma and CSF datasets respectively. This is extremely important as it offers an ideal high-throughput and relatively inexpensive population screening approach. It appears possible to determine the presence or absence of AD based on our biomarker panel and it seems likely that a cheap and rapid blood test for AD is feasible.
PMCID: PMC4065395  PMID: 24959311
Alzheimer’s disease; biomarker; blood plasma; cerebrospinal fluid
14.  A Paired RNAi and RabGAP Overexpression Screen Identifies Rab11 as a Regulator of β-Amyloid Production 
Cell reports  2013;5(6):1536-1551.
Summary
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by cerebral deposition of β-amyloid (Aβ) peptides, which are generated from amyloid precursor protein (APP) by β- and γ-secretases. APP and the secretases are membrane associated, but whether membrane trafficking controls Aβ levels is unclear. Here, we performed an RNAi screen of all human Rab-GTPases, which regulate membrane trafficking, complemented with a Rab-GTPase-activating protein screen, and present a road map of the membrane-trafficking events regulating Aβ production. We identify Rab11 and Rab3 as key players. Although retromers and retromer-associated proteins control APP recycling, we show that Rab11 controlled β-secretase endosomal recycling to the plasma membrane and thus affected Aβ production. Exome sequencing revealed a significant genetic association of Rab11A with late-onset AD, and network analysis identified Rab11A and Rab11B as components of the late-onset AD risk network, suggesting a causal link between Rab11 and AD. Our results reveal trafficking pathways that regulate Aβ levels and show how systems biology approaches can unravel the molecular complexity underlying AD.
doi:10.1016/j.celrep.2013.12.005
PMCID: PMC4004174  PMID: 24373285
15.  ApoE variant p.V236E is associated with markedly reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease 
Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) have identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) which show significant association at the well-known APOE locus and at nineteen additional loci. Among the functional, disease-associated variants at these loci, missense variants are particularly important because they can be readily investigated in model systems to search for novel therapeutic targets. It is now possible to perform a low-cost search for these “actionable” variants by genotyping the missense variants at known LOAD loci already cataloged on the Exome Variant Server (EVS). In this proof-of-principle study designed to explore the efficacy of this approach, we analyzed three rare EVS variants in APOE, p.L28P, p.R145C and p.V236E, in our case control series of 9114 subjects. p.R145C proved to be too rare to analyze effectively. The minor allele of p.L28P, which was in complete linkage disequilibrium (D’ = 1) with the far more common APOE ϵ4 allele, showed no association with LOAD (P = 0.75) independent of the APOE ϵ4 allele. p.V236E was significantly associated with a marked reduction in risk of LOAD (P = 7.5×10−05; OR = 0.10, 0.03 to 0.45). The minor allele of p.V236E, which was in complete linkage disequilibrium (D’ = 1) with the common APOE ϵ3 allele, identifies a novel LOAD-associated haplotype (APOE ϵ3b) which is associated with decreased risk of LOAD independent of the more abundant APOE ϵ2, ϵ3 and ϵ4 haplotypes. Follow-up studies will be important to confirm the significance of this association and to better define its odds ratio. The ApoE p.V236E substitution is the first disease-associated change located in the lipid-binding, C-terminal domain of the protein. Thus our study (i) identifies a novel APOE missense variant which may profitably be studied to better understand how ApoE function may be modified to reduce risk of LOAD and (ii) indicates that analysis of protein-altering variants cataloged on the EVS can be a cost-effective way to identify actionable functional variants at recently discovered LOAD loci.
doi:10.1186/1750-1326-9-11
PMCID: PMC3995879  PMID: 24607147
16.  Probing the GnRH receptor agonist binding site identifies methylated triptorelin as a new anti-proliferative agent 
D-amino acid substitutions at glycine postion 6 in GnRH-I decapeptide can possess super-agonist activity and enhanced in vivo pharmacokinetics. Agonists elicit growth-inhibition in tumorigenic cells expressing the GnRH receptor above threshold levels. However, new agonists with modified properties are required to improve the anti-proliferative range. Effects of residue substitutions and methylations on tumourigenic HEK293[SCL60] and WPE-1-NB26-3 prostate cells expressing the rat GnRH receptor were compared. Peptides were ranked according to receptor binding affinity, induction of inositol phosphate production and cell growth-inhibition. Analogues possessing D-Trp6 (including triptorelin), D-Leu6 (including leuprolide), D-Ala6, D-Lys6, or D-Arg6 exhibited agonist and anti-proliferative activity. Residues His5 or His5,Trp7,Tyr8, corresponding to residues found in GnRH-II, were tolerated, with retention of sub-nanomolar/low nanomolar binding affinities and EC50s for receptor activation and IC50s for cell growth-inhibition. His5D-Arg6-GnRH-I exhibited reduced binding affinity and potency, effective in the mid-nanomolar range. However, all GnRH-II-like analogues were less potent than triptorelin. By comparison, three methylated-Trp6 triptorelin variants showed differential binding, receptor activation and anti-proliferation potency. Significantly, 5-Methyl-DL-Trp6-Triptorelin was equipotent to triptorelin. Subsequent studies should determine whether pharmacologically enhanced derivatives of triptorelin can be developed by further alkylations, without substitutions or cleavable cytotoxic adducts, to improve the extent of growth-inhibition of tumour cells expressing the GnRH receptor.
PMCID: PMC3906704  PMID: 24490142
17.  Interplay Between Childhood Physical Abuse and Familial Risk in the Onset of Psychotic Disorders 
Schizophrenia Bulletin  2014;40(6):1443-1451.
Background: Childhood abuse is considered one of the main environmental risk factors for the development of psychotic symptoms and disorders. However, this association could be due to genetic factors influencing exposure to such risky environments or increasing sensitivity to the detrimental impact of abuse. Therefore, using a large epidemiological case-control sample, we explored the interplay between a specific form of childhood abuse and family psychiatric history (a proxy for genetic risk) in the onset of psychosis. Methods: Data were available on 172 first presentation psychosis cases and 246 geographically matched controls from the Aetiology and Ethnicity of Schizophrenia and Other Psychoses study. Information on childhood abuse was obtained retrospectively using the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse Questionnaire and occurrence of psychotic and affective disorders in first degree relatives with the Family Interview for Genetic Studies. Results: Parental psychosis was more common among psychosis cases than unaffected controls (adjusted OR = 5.96, 95% CI: 2.09–17.01, P = .001). Parental psychosis was also associated with physical abuse from mothers in both cases (OR = 3.64, 95% CI: 1.06–12.51, P = .040) and controls (OR = 10.93, 95% CI: 1.03–115.90, P = .047), indicative of a gene-environment correlation. Nevertheless, adjusting for parental psychosis did not measurably impact on the abuse-psychosis association (adjusted OR = 3.31, 95% CI: 1.22–8.95, P = .018). No interactions were found between familial liability and maternal physical abuse in determining psychosis caseness. Conclusions: This study found no evidence that familial risk accounts for associations between childhood physical abuse and psychotic disorder nor that it substantially increases the odds of psychosis among individuals reporting abuse.
doi:10.1093/schbul/sbt201
PMCID: PMC4193698  PMID: 24399191
family history; gene-environment correlation; gene-environment interaction; liability; schizophrenia; trauma
18.  Integrating online communities and social networks with computerised treatment for insomnia: a qualitative study 
The British Journal of General Practice  2012;62(605):e840-e850.
Background
Insomnia is a common psychological complaint. Cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I), although effective, is little used because of lack of trained providers. Computerised CBT-I (CCBT-I) may be a solution to this shortfall in access.
Aim
To explore patient and health professional perspectives and the role of social networking, to develop a novel CCBT-I programme to increase access to this form of intervention.
Design and setting
Qualitative methods underpinned by the theory of planned behaviour in primary care in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire.
Method
Semi-structured interviews and focus groups with a purposive sample of health professionals and adults with insomnia.
Results
A total of 23 health professionals and 28 patients were interviewed. Features designed to engender trust and improve functionality were perceived to improve uptake and adherence to CCBT-I. Trust lay in programme accreditation; for professionals, trust derived from evidence of effectiveness; for patients, trust depended on the doctor–patient relationship, professional support, the quality of online peer support, and perceptions of risk. Patients wanted mobile applications; access in short periods; self-assessment; interactive, personalised information on sleep; and moderated contact with other users. Patients and practitioners differed over whether useful information could be distinguished from less useful or potentially incorrect information.
Conclusion
Improving uptake and adherence to online programmes for insomnia requires design features focusing on trust and functionality. Enabling greater patient control and interaction with other users and professionals may stimulate positive experiences of online therapy. CCBT-I would enable greater access to treatment but is limited by lack of online access or poor computer literacy.
doi:10.3399/bjgp12X659321
PMCID: PMC3505418  PMID: 23211265
cognitive behaviour therapy for insomnia, computerised; general practice; insomnia; primary health care; social networking
19.  Assessment of posttraumatic symptoms in patients with first-episode psychosis 
The Journal of nervous and mental disease  2011;199(11):10.1097/NMD.0b013e318234a037.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is common among patients with psychotic disorders. The present study examined the internal reliability and comparability of the Impact of Event Scale (IES) in a sample of 38 patients with first-episode psychosis and 47 controls exposed to severe physical and/or sexual abuse. The IES total score and both subscales showed high internal consistency in both groups (Cronbach alpha coefficients of approximately .9 or above). Given their equivalent trauma reporting, the lack of differences in IES scores between patients and controls seems to indicate that patients are likely to report accurately and neither exaggerate nor minimize their posttraumatic symptoms. Overall, the findings suggest that the IES can be used to assess symptoms of posttraumatic stress in patients with psychotic disorders as in other populations.
doi:10.1097/NMD.0b013e318234a037
PMCID: PMC3825662  PMID: 22048144
trauma; post-traumatic stress; first-episode psychosis; reliability
20.  Gender Differences in Neuropsychological Performance across Psychotic Disorders – a Multi-Centre Population Based Case-Control Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e77318.
Background
Patients with schizophrenia and other psychoses exhibit a wide range of neuropsychological deficits. An unresolved question concerns whether there are gender differences in cognitive performance.
Methods
Data were derived from a multi-centre population based case-control study of patients with first-episode psychosis. A neuropsychological test battery was administered to patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (N=70, 36% females), bipolar/mania (N=34, 60% females), depressive psychosis (N=36, 58% females) and healthy controls (N=148, 55% females). Generalized and specific cognitive deficits were compared.
Results
There was strong evidence for disorder-specific gender differences in neuropsychological performance. Males and females with schizophrenia showed similar pervasive neuropsychological impairments. In psychotic depressive disorder females performed worse than males across neuropsychological measures. Differences in neuropsychological performance between males and females with bipolar/manic disorder were restricted to language functions. Symptom severity did not contribute to the observed gender differences.
Conclusions
Early in the course of psychotic illness, gender related factors appear to moderate the severity of cognitive deficits in depressive psychosis and bipolar/mania patients.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0077318
PMCID: PMC3810462  PMID: 24204806
21.  TREM2 Variants in Alzheimer's Disease 
The New England journal of medicine  2012;368(2):117-127.
BACKGROUND
Homozygous loss-of-function mutations in TREM2, encoding the triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 protein, have previously been associated with an autosomal recessive form of early-onset dementia.
METHODS
We used genome, exome, and Sanger sequencing to analyze the genetic variability in TREM2 in a series of 1092 patients with Alzheimer's disease and 1107 controls (the discovery set). We then performed a meta-analysis on imputed data for the TREM2 variant rs75932628 (predicted to cause a R47H substitution) from three genomewide association studies of Alzheimer's disease and tested for the association of the variant with disease. We genotyped the R47H variant in an additional 1887 cases and 4061 controls. We then assayed the expression of TREM2 across different regions of the human brain and identified genes that are differentially expressed in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease and in control mice.
RESULTS
We found significantly more variants in exon 2 of TREM2 in patients with Alzheimer's disease than in controls in the discovery set (P = 0.02). There were 22 variant alleles in 1092 patients with Alzheimer's disease and 5 variant alleles in 1107 controls (P<0.001). The most commonly associated variant, rs75932628 (encoding R47H), showed highly significant association with Alzheimer's disease (P<0.001). Meta-analysis of rs75932628 genotypes imputed from genomewide association studies confirmed this association (P = 0.002), as did direct genotyping of an additional series of 1887 patients with Alzheimer's disease and 4061 controls (P<0.001). Trem2 expression differed between control mice and a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.
CONCLUSIONS
Heterozygous rare variants in TREM2 are associated with a significant increase in the risk of Alzheimer's disease. (Funded by Alzheimer's Research UK and others.)
doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1211851
PMCID: PMC3631573  PMID: 23150934
22.  Linking Protective GAB2 Variants, Increased Cortical GAB2 Expression and Decreased Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64802.
GRB-associated binding protein 2 (GAB2) represents a compelling genome-wide association signal for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) with reported odds ratios (ORs) ranging from 0.75–0.85. We tested eight GAB2 variants in four North American Caucasian case-control series (2,316 LOAD, 2,538 controls) for association with LOAD. Meta-analyses revealed ORs ranging from (0.61–1.20) with no significant association (all p>0.32). Four variants were hetergeneous across the populations (all p<0.02) due to a potentially inflated effect size (OR = 0.61–0.66) only observed in the smallest series (702 LOAD, 209 controls). Despite the lack of association in our series, the previously reported protective association for GAB2 remained after meta-analyses of our data with all available previously published series (11,952-22,253 samples; OR = 0.82–0.88; all p<0.04). Using a freely available database of lymphoblastoid cell lines we found that protective GAB2 variants were associated with increased GAB2 expression (p = 9.5×10−7−9.3×10−6). We next measured GAB2 mRNA levels in 249 brains and found that decreased neurofibrillary tangle (r = −0.34, p = 0.0006) and senile plaque counts (r = −0.32, p = 0.001) were both good predictors of increased GAB2 mRNA levels albeit that sex (r = −0.28, p = 0.005) may have been a contributing factor. In summary, we hypothesise that GAB2 variants that are protective against LOAD in some populations may act functionally to increase GAB2 mRNA levels (in lymphoblastoid cells) and that increased GAB2 mRNA levels are associated with significantly decreased LOAD pathology. These findings support the hypothesis that Gab2 may protect neurons against LOAD but due to significant population heterogeneity, it is still unclear whether this protection is detectable at the genetic level.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064802
PMCID: PMC3665686  PMID: 23724096
23.  A multi-centre study of ACE and the risk of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease 
A key pathological feature of late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) is the abnormal extracellular accumulation of the amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide. Thus altered Aβ degradation could be a major contributor to the development of LOAD. Variants in the gene encoding the Aβ-degrading enzyme, angiotensin-1 converting enzyme (ACE) therefore represent plausible candidates for association with LOAD pathology and risk. Following Alzgene meta-analyses of all published case-control studies, the ACE variants rs4291 and rs1800764 showed significant association with LOAD risk. Furthermore ACE haplotypes are associated with both plasma ACE levels and LOAD risk. We tested three ACE variants (rs4291, rs4343 and rs1800764) for association with LOAD in ten Caucasian case-control populations (n=8,212). No association was found using multiple logistic models (all p>0.09). We found no population heterogeneity (all p>0.38) or evidence for association with LOAD risk following meta-analysis of the ten populations for rs4343 (OR=1.00), rs4291 (OR=0.97) or rs1800764 (OR=0.99). Although we found no haplotypic association in our complete dataset (p=0.51), a significant global haplotypic p-value was observed in one population (p=0.007) due to an association of the H3 haplotype (OR=0.72, p=0.02) and a trend towards an association of H4 (OR=1.38, p=0.09) and H7 (OR=2.07, p=0.08) although these did not survive Bonferroni correction. Previously reported associations of ACE variants with LOAD will be diminished following this study. At best, ACE variants have modest effect sizes, which are likely part of a complex interaction between genetic, phenotypic and pharmacological effects that would be undetected in traditional case-control studies.
doi:10.3233/JAD-2011-101914
PMCID: PMC3655234  PMID: 21297258
Alzheimer Disease; Late Onset; Angiotensin-1 Converting Enzyme; Haplotype; Heterogeneity; Meta-Analysis
24.  Allele-specific RNA interference rescues the long-QT syndrome phenotype in human-induced pluripotency stem cell cardiomyocytes 
European Heart Journal  2013;35(16):1078-1087.
Aims
Long-QT syndromes (LQTS) are mostly autosomal-dominant congenital disorders associated with a 1:1000 mutation frequency, cardiac arrest, and sudden death. We sought to use cardiomyocytes derived from human-induced pluripotency stem cells (hiPSCs) as an in vitro model to develop and evaluate gene-based therapeutics for the treatment of LQTS.
Methods and results
We produced LQTS-type 2 (LQT2) hiPSC cardiomyocytes carrying a KCNH2 c.G1681A mutation in a IKr ion-channel pore, which caused impaired glycosylation and channel transport to cell surface. Allele-specific RNA interference (RNAi) directed towards the mutated KCNH2 mRNA caused knockdown, while leaving the wild-type mRNA unaffected. Electrophysiological analysis of patient-derived LQT2 hiPSC cardiomyocytes treated with mutation-specific siRNAs showed normalized action potential durations (APDs) and K+ currents with the concurrent rescue of spontaneous and drug-induced arrhythmias (presented as early-afterdepolarizations).
Conclusions
These findings provide in vitro evidence that allele-specific RNAi can rescue diseased phenotype in LQTS cardiomyocytes. This is a potentially novel route for the treatment of many autosomal-dominant-negative disorders, including those of the heart.
doi:10.1093/eurheartj/eht067
PMCID: PMC3992427  PMID: 23470493
iPS cells; Long-QT syndrome; Arrhythmia; Electrophysiology; Gene therapy
25.  Transcript and protein profiling identifies signaling, growth arrest, apoptosis, and NF-κB survival signatures following GNRH receptor activation 
Endocrine-Related Cancer  2013;20(1):123-136.
GNRH significantly inhibits proliferation of a proportion of cancer cell lines by activating GNRH receptor (GNRHR)-G protein signaling. Therefore, manipulation of GNRHR signaling may have an under-utilized role in treating certain breast and ovarian cancers. However, the precise signaling pathways necessary for the effect and the features of cellular responses remain poorly defined. We used transcriptomic and proteomic profiling approaches to characterize the effects of GNRHR activation in sensitive cells (HEK293-GNRHR, SCL60) in vitro and in vivo, compared to unresponsive HEK293. Analyses of gene expression demonstrated a dynamic response to the GNRH superagonist Triptorelin. Early and mid-phase changes (0.5–1.0 h) comprised mainly transcription factors. Later changes (8–24 h) included a GNRH target gene, CGA, and up- or downregulation of transcripts encoding signaling and cell division machinery. Pathway analysis identified altered MAPK and cell cycle pathways, consistent with occurrence of G2/M arrest and apoptosis. Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) pathway gene transcripts were differentially expressed between control and Triptorelin-treated SCL60 cultures. Reverse-phase protein and phospho-proteomic array analyses profiled responses in cultured cells and SCL60 xenografts in vivo during Triptorelin anti-proliferation. Increased phosphorylated NF-κB (p65) occurred in SCL60 in vitro, and p-NF-κB and IκBϵ were higher in treated xenografts than controls after 4 days Triptorelin. NF-κB inhibition enhanced the anti-proliferative effect of Triptorelin in SCL60 cultures. This study reveals details of pathways interacting with intense GNRHR signaling, identifies potential anti-proliferative target genes, and implicates the NF-κB survival pathway as a node for enhancing GNRH agonist-induced anti-proliferation.
doi:10.1530/ERC-12-0192
PMCID: PMC3573841  PMID: 23202794
GnRh; NFκB; triptorelin; xenograft; SCL60

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