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2.  Rare Variants in APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2 Increase Risk for AD in Late-Onset Alzheimer's Disease Families 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(2):e31039.
Pathogenic mutations in APP, PSEN1, PSEN2, MAPT and GRN have previously been linked to familial early onset forms of dementia. Mutation screening in these genes has been performed in either very small series or in single families with late onset AD (LOAD). Similarly, studies in single families have reported mutations in MAPT and GRN associated with clinical AD but no systematic screen of a large dataset has been performed to determine how frequently this occurs. We report sequence data for 439 probands from late-onset AD families with a history of four or more affected individuals. Sixty sequenced individuals (13.7%) carried a novel or pathogenic mutation. Eight pathogenic variants, (one each in APP and MAPT, two in PSEN1 and four in GRN) three of which are novel, were found in 14 samples. Thirteen additional variants, present in 23 families, did not segregate with disease, but the frequency of these variants is higher in AD cases than controls, indicating that these variants may also modify risk for disease. The frequency of rare variants in these genes in this series is significantly higher than in the 1,000 genome project (p = 5.09×10−5; OR = 2.21; 95%CI = 1.49–3.28) or an unselected population of 12,481 samples (p = 6.82×10−5; OR = 2.19; 95%CI = 1.347–3.26). Rare coding variants in APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2, increase risk for or cause late onset AD. The presence of variants in these genes in LOAD and early-onset AD demonstrates that factors other than the mutation can impact the age at onset and penetrance of at least some variants associated with AD. MAPT and GRN mutations can be found in clinical series of AD most likely due to misdiagnosis. This study clearly demonstrates that rare variants in these genes could explain an important proportion of genetic heritability of AD, which is not detected by GWAS.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0031039
PMCID: PMC3270040  PMID: 22312439
3.  Cardiac signaling genes exhibit unexpected sequence diversity in sporadic cardiomyopathy, revealing HSPB7 polymorphisms associated with disease  
Sporadic heart failure is thought to have a genetic component, but the contributing genetic events are poorly defined. Here, we used ultra-high-throughput resequencing of pooled DNAs to identify SNPs in 4 biologically relevant cardiac signaling genes, and then examined the association between allelic variants and incidence of sporadic heart failure in 2 large Caucasian populations. Resequencing of DNA pools, each containing DNA from approximately 100 individuals, was rapid, accurate, and highly sensitive for identifying common and rare SNPs; it also had striking advantages in time and cost efficiencies over individual resequencing using conventional Sanger methods. In 2,606 individuals examined, we identified a total of 129 separate SNPs in the 4 cardiac signaling genes, including 23 nonsynonymous SNPs that we believe to be novel. Comparison of allele frequencies between 625 Caucasian nonaffected controls and 1,117 Caucasian individuals with systolic heart failure revealed 12 SNPs in the cardiovascular heat shock protein gene HSPB7 with greater proportional representation in the systolic heart failure group; all 12 SNPs were confirmed in an independent replication study. These SNPs were found to be in tight linkage disequilibrium, likely reflecting a single genetic event, but none altered amino acid sequence. These results establish the power and applicability of pooled resequencing for comparative SNP association analysis of target subgenomes in large populations and identify an association between multiple HSPB7 polymorphisms and heart failure.
doi:10.1172/JCI39085
PMCID: PMC2798680  PMID: 20038796

Results 1-3 (3)