The proteolytic processing of amyloid precursor protein (APP) to generate the neurotoxic Aβ peptide is central to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). The endocytic system mediates the processing of APP by controlling its access to secretases that cleave APP. A key mediator of APP localization is SorL1 – a membrane protein that has been genetically linked to AD. The retromer complex is a conserved protein complex required for endosome-to-Golgi retrieval of a number of physiologically important membrane proteins including SorL1. Based on the prior suggestion that endocytosis and retromer sorting pathways might be involved, we hypothesized that variants in other genes in this pathway might also modulate AD risk. Genetic association of AD with 451 polymorphisms in 15 genes encoding retromer or retromer-associated proteins was tested in a Caucasian sample of 8,309 AD cases and 7,366 cognitively normal elders using individual SNP and gene-based tests. We obtained significant evidence of association with KIAA1033 (Paris p = 0.025), SNX1 (Paris p =0.035), SNX3 (p = 0.0057) and RAB7A (Paris p = 0.018). Ten KIAA1033 SNPs were also significantly associated with AD in a group of African Americans (513 AD cases, 504 controls). Findings with four significant SNX3 SNPs in the discovery sample were replicated in a community-based sample of Israeli-Arabs (124 AD cases, 142 controls). We show that Snx3 and Rab7A proteins interact with the cargo-selective retromer complex through independent mechanisms to regulate the membrane association of retromer and thereby are key mediators of retromer function. These data implicate additional AD risk genes in the retromer pathway and formally demonstrate a direct link between the activity of the retromer complex and the pathogenesis of AD.
Background and Objective
Genetic linkage and association studies in late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD) or LOAD endophenotypes have pointed to several candidate regions on chromosome 10q, among these the ~250kb LD block harboring the three genes IDE, KIF11 and HHEX. We explored the association between variants in the genomic region harboring the IDE-KIF11-HHEX complex with plasma Aβ40 and Aβ42 levels in a case-control cohort of Caribbean Hispanics.
First, we performed single marker multivariate linear regression analysis relating the individual SNPs with plasma Aβ40 and Aβ42 levels. Then we performed 3-SNP sliding window haplotype analyses, correcting all analyses for multiple testing
Out of 32 SNPs in this region, three SNPs in IDE (rs2421943, rs12264682, rs11187060) were significantly associated with plasma Aß40 or Aß42 levels in single marker and haplotype analyses after correction for multiple testing. As described above, all these SNPs lie within the same linkage disequilibrium block, and are in linkage disequilibrium with the previously reported haplotypes.
Our findings provide modest support for an association in the IDE harboring region on chromosome 10q with Aβ 40 and 42 levels.
amyloid beta; Alzheimer’s disease; genetics; insulin-degrading enzyme
The extensive autophagic-lysosomal pathology in Alzheimer disease (AD) brain has revealed a major defect in the proteolytic clearance of autophagy substrates. Autophagy failure contributes on several levels to AD pathogenesis and has become an important therapeutic target for AD and other neurodegenerative diseases. We recently observed broad therapeutic effects of stimulating autophagic-lysosomal proteolysis in the TgCRND8 mouse model of AD that exhibits defective proteolytic clearance of autophagic substrates, robust intralysosomal amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) accumulation, extracellular β-amyloid deposition and cognitive deficits. By genetically deleting the lysosomal cysteine protease inhibitor, cystatin B (CstB), to selectively restore depressed cathepsin activities, we substantially cleared Aβ, ubiquitinated proteins and other autophagic substrates from autolysosomes/lysosomes and rescued autophagic-lysosomal pathology, as well as reduced total Aβ40/42 levels and extracellular amyloid deposition, highlighting the underappreciated importance of the lysosomal system for Aβ clearance. Most importantly, lysosomal remediation prevented the marked learning and memory deficits in TgCRND8 mice. Our findings underscore the pathogenic significance of autophagic-lysosomal dysfunction in AD and demonstrate the value of reversing this dysfunction as an innovative therapeutic strategy for AD.
autophagy; lysosome; cathepsin; cystatin B; proteolysis; Alzheimer disease; transgenic
To identify novel loci for late-onset Alzheimer disease (LOAD) in Caribbean Hispanic individuals and to replicate the findings in a publicly available data set from the National Institute on Aging Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Family Study.
Nested case-control genome-wide association study.
The Washington Heights–Inwood Columbia Aging Project and the Estudio Familiar de Influencia Genetica de Alzheimer study.
Five hundred forty-nine affected and 544 unaffected individuals of Caribbean Hispanic ancestry.
The Illumina HumanHap 650Y chip for genotyping.
Main Outcome Measure
Clinical diagnosis or pathologically confirmed diagnosis of LOAD.
The strongest support for allelic association was for rs9945493 on 18q23 (P=1.7 × 10−7), but 22 additional single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) had a P value less than 9 × 10−6 under 3 different analyses: unadjusted and stratified by the presence or absence of the APOE ε4 allele. Of these SNPs, 5 SNPs (rs4669573 and rs10197851 on 2p25.1; rs11711889 on 3q25.2; rs1117750 on 7p21.1; and rs7908652 on 10q23.1) were associated with LOAD in an independent cohort from the National Institute on Aging Late-Onset Alzheimer’s Disease Family Study. We also replicated genetic associations for CLU, PICALM, and BIN1.
Our genome-wide search of Caribbean Hispanic individuals identified several novel genetic variants associated with LOAD and replicated these associations in a white cohort. We also replicated associations in CLU, PICALM, and BIN1 in the Caribbean Hispanic cohort.
Autophagy, a major degradative pathway for proteins and organelles, is essential for survival of mature neurons. Extensive autophagic-lysosomal pathology in Alzheimer’s disease brain contributes to Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis, although the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Here, we identified and characterized marked intraneuronal amyloid-β peptide/amyloid and lysosomal system pathology in the Alzheimer’s disease mouse model TgCRND8 similar to that previously described in Alzheimer’s disease brains. We further establish that the basis for these pathologies involves defective proteolytic clearance of neuronal autophagic substrates including amyloid-β peptide. To establish the pathogenic significance of these abnormalities, we enhanced lysosomal cathepsin activities and rates of autophagic protein turnover in TgCRND8 mice by genetically deleting cystatin B, an endogenous inhibitor of lysosomal cysteine proteases. Cystatin B deletion rescued autophagic-lysosomal pathology, reduced abnormal accumulations of amyloid-β peptide, ubiquitinated proteins and other autophagic substrates within autolysosomes/lysosomes and reduced intraneuronal amyloid-β peptide. The amelioration of lysosomal function in TgCRND8 markedly decreased extracellular amyloid deposition and total brain amyloid-β peptide 40 and 42 levels, and prevented the development of deficits of learning and memory in fear conditioning and olfactory habituation tests. Our findings support the pathogenic significance of autophagic-lysosomal dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease and indicate the potential value of restoring normal autophagy as an innovative therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer’s disease.
autophagy; lysosome; cystatin B; cathepsin; Alzheimer’s disease
Recently genome-wide association studies have identified significant association between Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and variations in CLU, PICALM, BIN1, CR1, MS4A4/MS4A6E, CD2AP, CD33, EPHA1, and ABCA7. However, the pathogenic variants in these loci have not yet been found. We conducted a genome-wide scan for large copy number variation (CNV) in a dataset of Caribbean Hispanic origin (554 controls and 559 AD cases that were previously investigated in a SNP-based genome-wide association study using Illumina HumanHap 650Y platform). We ran four CNV calling algorithms to obtain high-confidence calls for large CNVs (>100 kb) that were detected by at least two algorithms. Global burden analyses did not reveal significant differences between cases and controls in CNV rate, distribution of deletions or duplications, total or average CNV size; or number of genes affected by CNVs. However, we observed a nominal association between AD and a ∼470 kb duplication on chromosome 15q11.2 (P = 0.037). This duplication, encompassing up to five genes (TUBGCP5, CYFIP1, NIPA2, NIPA1, and WHAMML1) was present in 10 cases (2.6%) and 3 controls (0.8%). The dosage increase of CYFIP1 and NIPA1 genes was further confirmed by quantitative PCR. The current study did not detect CNVs that affect novel AD loci identified by recent genome-wide association studies. However, because the array technology used in our study has limitations in detecting small CNVs, future studies must carefully assess novel AD genes for the presence of disease-related CNVs.
gene; deletion; duplication; Alzheimer’s Disease; copy number variants
Aberrant accumulation of amyloid beta (Aβ) oligomers may underlie the cognitive failure of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). All species of Aβ peptides are produced physiologically during normal brain activity. Therefore, elucidation of mechanisms that interconnect excitatory glutamatergic neurotransmission, synaptic amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing and production of its metabolite Aβ may reveal synapse-specific strategies for suppressing the pathological accumulation of Aβ oligomers and fibrils that characterize AD. In order to study synaptic APP processing, we used isolated intact nerve terminals (cortical synaptoneurosomes) from TgCRND8 mice, which express a human APP with familial AD mutations. Potassium chloride depolarization caused sustained release from synaptoneurosomes of Aβ42 as well as Aβ40 and appeared to co-activate α-, β- and γ-secretases, which are known to generate a family of released peptides, including Aβ40 and Aβ42. Stimulation of postsynaptic Group I mGluRs with DHPG induced a rapid accumulation of APP carboxy terminal fragments (CTFs) in the synaptoneurosomes, a family of membrane-bound intermediates generated from APP metabolized by α- and β-secretases. Following stimulation with the Group II mGluR agonist DCG-IV, levels of APP CTFs in the synaptoneurosomes initially increased, but then returned to baseline by 10 minutes after stimulation. This APP CTF degradation phase was accompanied by sustained accumulation of Aβ42 in the releasate, which was blocked by the Group II mGluR antagonist LY341495. These data suggest that Group II mGluR may trigger synaptic activation of all three secretases and that suppression of Group II mGluR signaling may be a therapeutic strategy for selectively reducing synaptic generation of Aβ42.
metabotropic glutamate receptor; depolarization; amyloid β; Alzheimer’s disease; synapse; synaptosome
Heterogeneity is observed in the patterns of cognition in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Such heterogeneity might suggest the involvement of different aetiological pathways or different host responses to pathology.
627 subjects with mild/moderate AD underwent cognitive assessment with the Mini-Mental Status Exam (MMSE) and the Dementia Rating Scale-2 (DRS-2). Latent class analysis (LCA) was performed on cognition subscale data to identify and characterise cognitive subgroups. Clinical, demographic and genetic factors were explored for association with class membership.
LCA suggested the existence of four subgroups; one group with mild and another with severe global impairment across the cognitive domains, one group with primary impairments in attention and construction, and another group with primary deficits in memory and orientation. Education, disease duration, age, APOE ε4 status, gender, presence of grasp reflex, white matter changes and early or prominent visuospatial impairment were all associated with class membership.
Our results support the existence of heterogeneity in patterns of cognitive impairment in AD. Our observation of classes characterised by predominant deficits in attention/construction and memory respectively deserves further exploration as does the association between membership in the attention/construction class and APOE ε4 negative status.
dementia; latent class analysis; cognition; Mattis Dementia Rating Scale-2; Mini-Mental State Examination; apolipoprotein E
The mutation of the spatacsin gene is the single most common cause of autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia with thin corpus callosum. Common clinical, pathological and genetic features between amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and hereditary spastic paraplegia motivated us to investigate 25 families with autosomal recessive juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and long-term survival for mutations in the spatascin gene. The inclusion criterion was a diagnosis of clinically definite amyotrophic lateral sclerosis according to the revised El Escorial criteria. The exclusion criterion was a diagnosis of hereditary spastic paraplegia with thin corpus callosum in line with an established protocol. Additional pathological and genetic evaluations were also performed. Surprisingly, 12 sequence alterations in the spatacsin gene (one of which is novel, IVS30 + 1 G > A) were identified in 10 unrelated pedigrees with autosomal recessive juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and long-term survival. The countries of origin of these families were Italy, Brazil, Canada, Japan and Turkey. The variants seemed to be pathogenic since they co-segregated with the disease in all pedigrees, were absent in controls and were associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis neuropathology in one member of one of these families for whom central nervous system tissue was available. Our study indicates that mutations in the spatascin gene could cause a much wider spectrum of clinical features than previously recognized, including autosomal recessive juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; hereditary spastic paraplegia; mutations; spatacsin
TMP21 has been shown to be associated with the γ-secretase complex and can specifically regulate γ-cleavage without affecting ϵ-mediated proteolysis. To explore the basis of this activity, TMP21 modulation of γ-secretase activity was investigated independent of ϵ-cleavage using an amyloid-β precursor proteinϵ (APPϵ) construct which lacks the amyloid intracellular domain domain. The APPϵ construct behaves similarly to the full-length precursor protein with respect to α- and β-cleavages and is able to undergo normal γ-processing. Co-expression of APPϵ and TMP21 resulted in the accumulation of membrane-embedded higher molecular weight Aβ-positive fragments, consistent with an inhibition of γ-secretase cleavage. The APPϵ system was used to examine the functional domains of TMP21 through the investigation of a series of TMP21-p24a chimera proteins. It was found that chimeras containing the transmembrane domain bound to the γ-secretase complex and could decrease γ-secretase proteolytic processing. This was confirmed though investigation of a synthetic peptide corresponding to the TMP21 transmembrane helix. The isolated TMP21 TM peptide but not the homologous p24a domain was able to reduce Aβ production in a dose-dependent fashion. These observations suggest that the TMP21 transmembrane domain promotes its association with the presenilin complex that results in decreased γ-cleavage activity.
Complexes involved in the γ/ϵ-secretase-regulated intramembranous proteolysis of substrates such as the amyloid-β precursor protein are composed primarily of presenilin (PS1 or PS2), nicastrin, anterior pharynx defective-1 (APH1), and PEN2. The presenilin aspartyl residues form the catalytic site, and similar potentially functional polar transmembrane residues in APH1 have been identified. Substitution of charged (E84A, R87A) or polar (Q83A) residues in TM3 had no effect on complex assembly or activity. In contrast, changes to either of two highly conserved histidines (H171A, H197A) located in TM5 and TM6 negatively affected PS1 cleavage and altered binding to other secretase components, resulting in decreased amyloid generating activity. Charge replacement with His-to-Lys substitutions rescued nicastrin maturation and PS1 endoproteolysis leading to assembly of the formation of structurally normal but proteolytically inactive γ-secretase complexes. Substitution with a negatively charged side chain (His-to-Asp) or altering the structural location of the histidines also disrupted γ-secretase binding and abolished functionality of APH1. These results suggest that the conserved transmembrane histidine residues contribute to APH1 function and can affect presenilin catalytic activity.
Variants in 3′ and 5′ regions of SORL1, the neuronal sorting protein-related receptor, were recently found to be associated with late onset familial and sporadic Alzheimer’s disease in several datasets that were selected for familial aggregation or were ethnically diverse or clinic-based selected series.
To investigate the association between Alzheimer’s disease and variant alleles in SORL1 using a series of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in an urban, multiethnic community-based population.
Design & Setting
We used a nested case-control analysis in a population-based, prospective study of aging and dementia in Medicare recipients, 65 years and older, residing in northern Manhattan.
There were 296 patients with probable Alzheimer’s disease and 428 healthy elderly controls. The participants were of African American (34%), Caribbean Hispanic (51%) or non-Hispanic whites (15%).
Main Outcome Measures
We genotyped all 29 SNPs in SORL1 that were examined in the earlier report. We assessed allelic association with AD using standard case-control methods which included APOE genotype as a covariate.
Several individual SNPs and SNP haplotypes were significantly associated with AD in this prospectively collected community-based cohort, confirming the previously reported positive association of SORL1 with Alzheimer’s disease. SNP 12 near the 5′ region was associated with AD in African-Americans and Hispanics. Two SNPs in the 3′ region were also associated with AD in African-Americans (SNP 26) and Whites (SNP 20). A single haplotype in the 3′ region was associated with AD in Hispanics. However, several different haplotypes were associated with AD in the African-Americans and Whites, including the “TTC” haplotypes at SNPs 23–25 (p=0.035) that was significantly associated with AD in the North European Whites in the previous report.
This study confirms the association between genetic variants in SORL1 and AD. While the associations observed in these datasets overlap with those previously reported, the finding of novel SNP and haplotype associations suggest that there may be extensive allelic heterogeneity in SORL1. Broad regions of the SORL1 gene will therefore need to be scrutinized for functional pathogenic variants.
SORL1; Alzheimer’s disease; sporadic; African American; Caribbean Hispanic
A broad region on chromosome 12p13 has been intensely investigated for novel genetic variants associated with Alzheimer disease (AD). We examined this region with 23 microsatellite markers using 124 North European (NE) families and 209 Caribbean Hispanic families with late-onset AD (FAD). Significant evidence for linkage was present in a 5 cM interval near 20 cM in both the NE FAD (LOD=3.5) and the Caribbean Hispanic FAD (LOD=2.2) datasets. We further investigated these families and an independent NE case-control dataset using 14 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The initial screening of the region at ~20 cM in the NE case-control dataset revealed significant association between AD and seven SNPs in several genes, with the strongest result for rs2532500 in TAPBPL (p=0.006). For rs3741916 in GAPDH, the C allele, rather than the G allele as was observed by Li and colleagues (2004), was the risk allele. When the two family datasets were examined, none of the SNPs were significant in NE families, but two SNPs were associated with AD in Caribbean Hispanics: rs740850 in NCAPD2 (p=0.0097) and rs1060620 in GAPDH (p=0.042). In a separate analysis combining the Caribbean Hispanic families and NE cases and controls, rs740850 was significant after correcting for multiple testing (empirical p=0.0048). Subsequent haplotype analyses revealed that two haplotype sets -- haplotype C-A at SNPs 6-7 within NCAPD2 in Caribbean Hispanics, and haplotypes containing C-A-T at SNPs 8-10 within GAPDH in Caribbean Hispanic family and NE case-control datasets -- were associated with AD. Taken together, these SNPs may be in linkage disequilibrium with a pathogenic variant(s) on or near NCAPD2 and GAPDH.
Alzheimer disease; GAPDH; NCAPD2; linkage; association
Oligomers of the 40 and 42 residue amyloid-β peptides
and Aβ42) have been implicated in the neuronal damage and impaired
cognitive function associated with Alzheimer’s disease. However,
little is known about the specific mechanisms by which these misfolded
species induce such detrimental effects on cells. In this work, we
use single-molecule imaging techniques to examine the initial interactions
between Aβ monomers and oligomers and the membranes of live
cells. This highly sensitive method enables the visualization of individual
Aβ species on the cell surface and characterization of their
oligomerization state, all at biologically relevant, nanomolar concentrations.
The results indicate that oligomers preferentially interact with cell
membranes, relative to monomers and that the oligomers become immobilized
on the cell surface. Additionally, we observe that the interaction
of Aβ species with the cell membrane is inhibited by the presence
of ATP-independent molecular chaperones. This study demonstrates the
power of this methodology for characterizing the interactions between
protein aggregates and the membranes of live neuronal cells at physiologically
relevant concentrations and opens the door to quantitative studies
of the cellular responses to potentially pathogenic oligomers.
Latrepirdine (Dimebon™) is a pro-neurogenic, antihistaminic compound that has yielded mixed results in clinical trials of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, with a dramatically positive outcome in a Russian clinical trial that was unconfirmed in a replication trial in the United States. We sought to determine whether latrepirdine-stimulated APP catabolism is at least partially attributable to regulation of macroautophagy, a highly conserved protein catabolism pathway that is known to be impaired in brains of patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We utilized several mammalian cellular models to determine whether latrepirdine regulates mTOR- and Atg5-dependent autophagy. Male TgCRND8 mice were chronically administered latrepirdine prior to behavior analysis in the cued and contextual fear conditioning paradigm, as well as immunohistological and biochemical analysis of AD-related neuropathology. Treatment of cultured mammalian cells with latrepirdine led to enhanced mTOR- and Atg5-dependent autophagy. Latrepirdine treatment of TgCRND8 transgenic mice was associated with improved learning behavior and with a reduction in accumulation of Aβ42 and α-synuclein. We conclude that latrepirdine possesses pro-autophagic properties in addition to the previously reported pro-neurogenic properties, both of which are potentially relevant to the treatment and/or prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. We suggest that elucidation of the molecular mechanism(s) underlying latrepirdine effects on neurogenesis, autophagy, and behavior might warranty the further study of latrepirdine as a potentially viable lead compound that might yield more consistent clinical benefit following optimization of its pro-neurogenic, pro-autophagic, and/or pro-cognitive activities.
autophagy; amyloid; Alzheimer’s disease; therapeutics
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.
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.
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.
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.)
Background: The human genome codes for two presenilin (PS) paralogs, PS1 and PS2.
Results: PS paralogs are embedded in overlapping but distinct molecular environments, with signal peptide peptidase (SPP) primarily binding to PS2.
Conclusion: Study paves the way for understanding functional divergence of PS paralogs.
Significance: Example of an interaction between a Type I- and Type II-directed intramembrane protease.
γ-Secretase plays a pivotal role in the production of neurotoxic amyloid β-peptides (Aβ) in Alzheimer disease (AD) and consists of a heterotetrameric core complex that includes the aspartyl intramembrane protease presenilin (PS). The human genome codes for two presenilin paralogs. To understand the causes for distinct phenotypes of PS paralog-deficient mice and elucidate whether PS mutations associated with early-onset AD affect the molecular environment of mature γ-secretase complexes, quantitative interactome comparisons were undertaken. Brains of mice engineered to express wild-type or mutant PS1, or HEK293 cells stably expressing PS paralogs with N-terminal tandem-affinity purification tags served as biological source materials. The analyses revealed novel interactions of the γ-secretase core complex with a molecular machinery that targets and fuses synaptic vesicles to cellular membranes and with the H+-transporting lysosomal ATPase macrocomplex but uncovered no differences in the interactomes of wild-type and mutant PS1. The catenin/cadherin network was almost exclusively found associated with PS1. Another intramembrane protease, signal peptide peptidase, predominantly co-purified with PS2-containing γ-secretase complexes and was observed to influence Aβ production.
Alzheimers Disease; Mass Spectrometry (MS); Presenilin; Proteomics; Secretases; Transgenic; Interactome
There is increasing evidence that common genetic risk factors underlie frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Recently, mutations in the sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) gene, which encodes p62 protein, have been reported in patients with ALS. P62 is a multifunctional adapter protein mainly involved in selective autophagy, oxidative stress response, and cell signaling pathways. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the frequency of SQSTM1 mutations in a dataset of unrelated patients with FTLD or ALS, in comparison with healthy controls and patients with Paget disease of bone (PDB).
Promoter region and all exons of SQSTM1 were sequenced in a large group of subjects, including patients with FTLD or ALS, healthy controls, and patients with PDB. The clinical characteristics of patients with FTLD or ALS with gene mutations were examined.
We identified 6 missense mutations in the coding region of SQSTM1 in patients with either FTLD or ALS, none of which were found in healthy controls or patients with PDB. In silico analysis suggested a pathogenetic role for these mutations. Furthermore, 7 novel noncoding SQSTM1 variants were found in patients with FTLD and patients with ALS, including 4 variations in the promoter region.
SQSTM1 mutations are present in patients with FTLD and patients with ALS. Additional studies are warranted in order to better investigate the role of p62 in the pathogenesis of both FTLD and ALS.
Multiple lines of evidence suggest that specific subtypes of age-related cataract (ARC) and Alzheimer disease (AD) are related etiologically. To identify shared genetic factors for ARC and AD, we estimated co-heritability of quantitative measures of cataract subtypes with AD-related brain MRI traits among 1,249 members of the Framingham Eye Study who had a brain MRI scan approximately ten years after the eye exam. Cortical cataract (CC) was found to be co-heritable with future development of AD and with several MRI traits, especially temporal horn volume (THV, ρ = 0.24, P<10−4). A genome-wide association study using 187,657 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for the bivariate outcome of CC and THV identified genome-wide significant association with CTNND2 SNPs rs17183619, rs13155993 and rs13170756 (P<2.6×10−7). These SNPs were also significantly associated with bivariate outcomes of CC and scores on several highly heritable neuropsychological tests (5.7×10−9≤P<3.7×10−6). Statistical interaction was demonstrated between rs17183619 and APP SNP rs2096488 on CC (P = 0.0015) and CC-THV (P = 0.038). A rare CTNND2 missense mutation (G810R) 249 base pairs from rs17183619 altered δ-catenin localization and increased secreted amyloid-β1–42 in neuronal cell culture. Immunohistopathological analysis of lens tissue obtained from two autopsy-confirmed AD subjects and two non-AD controls revealed elevated expression of δ-catenin in epithelial and cortical regions of lenses from AD subjects compared to controls. Our findings suggest that genetic variation in delta catenin may underlie both cortical lens opacities in mid-life and subsequent MRI and cognitive changes that presage the development of AD.
We have followed-up on the recent genome-wide association (GWA) of the clusterin gene (CLU) with increased risk for Alzheimer disease (AD), by performing an unbiased resequencing of all CLU coding exons and regulatory regions in an extended Flanders-Belgian cohort of Caucasian AD patients and control individuals (n = 1930). Moreover, we have replicated genetic findings by targeted resequencing in independent Caucasian cohorts of French (n = 2182) and Canadian (n = 573) origin and by performing meta-analysis combining our data with previous genetic CLU screenings.
In the Flanders-Belgian cohort, we identified significant clustering in exons 5-8 of rare genetic variations leading to non-synonymous substitutions and a 9-bp insertion/deletion affecting the CLU β-chain (p = 0.02). Replicating this observation by targeted resequencing of CLU exons 5-8 in 2 independent Caucasian cohorts of French and Canadian origin identified identical as well as novel non-synonymous substitutions and small insertion/deletions. A meta-analysis, combining the datasets of the 3 cohorts with published CLU sequencing data, confirmed that rare coding variations in the CLU β-chain were significantly enriched in AD patients (ORMH = 1.96 [95% CI = 1.18-3.25]; p = 0.009). Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) association analysis indicated the common AD risk association (GWA SNP rs11136000, p = 0.013) in the 3 combined datasets could not be explained by the presence of the rare coding variations we identified. Further, high-density SNP mapping in the CLU locus mapped the common association signal to a more 5' CLU region.
We identified a new genetic risk association of AD with rare coding CLU variations that is independent of the 5' common association signal identified in the GWA studies. At this stage the role of these coding variations and their likely effect on the β-chain domain and CLU protein functioning remains unclear and requires further studies.
Alzheimer disease; clusterin gene (CLU); genomic resequencing; non-synonymous substitutions; insertions/deletions; β-chain domain; meta-analysis
Sorting mechanisms that cause the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the β-secretases and γ-secretases to colocalize in the same compartment play an important role in the regulation of Aβ production in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). We and others have reported that genetic variants in the Sortilin-related receptor (SORL1) increased the risk of AD, that SORL1 is involved in trafficking of APP, and that under expression of SORL1 leads to overproduction of Aβ. Here we explored the role of one of its homologs, the sortilin-related VPS10 domain containing receptor 1 (SORCS1), in AD.
We analyzed the genetic associations between AD and 16 SORCS1–single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 6 independent data sets (2,809 cases and 3,482 controls). In addition, we compared SorCS1 expression levels of affected and unaffected brain regions in AD and control brains in microarray gene expression and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) sets, explored the effects of significant SORCS1-SNPs on SorCS1 brain expression levels, and explored the effect of suppression and overexpression of the common SorCS1 isoforms on APP processing and Aβ generation.
Inherited variants in SORCS1 were associated with AD in all datasets (0.001 < p < 0.049). In addition, SorCS1 influenced APP processing. While overexpression of SorCS1 reduced γ-secretase activity and Aβ levels, the suppression of SorCS1 increased γ-secretase processing of APP and the levels of Aβ.
These data suggest that inherited or acquired changes in SORCS1 expression or function may play a role in the pathogenesis of AD.
To determine whether genotypes at CLU,
PICALM, and CR1 confer risk for
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and whether risk for AD associated with
these genes is influenced by APOE genotypes.
Association study of AD and CLU,
PICALM, CR1 and APOE
Academic research institutions in the United States, Canada, and
7,070 AD cases, 3,055 with autopsies, and 8,169 elderly cognitively
normal controls, 1,092 with autopsies from 12 different studies, including
Caucasians, African Americans, Israeli-Arabs, and Caribbean Hispanics.
Unadjusted, CLU [odds ratio (OR) =
0.91, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.85 – 0.96 for
single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs11136000],
CR1 (OR = 1.14, CI = 1.07 –
1.22, SNP rs3818361), and PICALM (OR = 0.89, CI
= 0.84 – 0.94, SNP rs3851179) were associated with AD in
Caucasians. None were significantly associated with AD in the other ethnic
groups. APOE ε4 was significantly associated with
AD (ORs from 1.80 to 9.05) in all but one small Caucasian cohort and in the
Arab cohort. Adjusting for age, sex, and the presence of at least one
APOE ε4 allele greatly reduced evidence for
association with PICALM but not CR1 or
CLU. Models with the main SNP effect,
APOE ε4 (+/−), and an
interaction term showed significant interaction between
APOE ε4 (+/−) and
We confirm in a completely independent dataset that CR1,
CLU, and PICALM are AD susceptibility loci in
European ancestry populations. Genotypes at PICALM confer risk predominantly
in APOE ε4-positive subject. Thus, APOE and PICALM synergistically
The Alzheimer Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC) performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of late-onset Alzheimer disease (LOAD) using a 3 stage design consisting of a discovery stage (Stage 1) and two replication stages (Stages 2 and 3). Both joint and meta-analysis analysis approaches were used. We obtained genome-wide significant results at MS4A4A [rs4938933; Stages 1+2, meta-analysis (PM) = 1.7 × 10−9, joint analysis (PJ) = 1.7 × 10−9; Stages 1–3, PM = 8.2 × 10−12], CD2AP (rs9349407; Stages 1–3, PM = 8.6 × 10−9), EPHA1 (rs11767557; Stages 1–3 PM = 6.0 × 10−10), and CD33 (rs3865444; Stages 1–3, PM = 1.6 × 10−9). We confirmed that CR1 (rs6701713; PM = 4.6×10−10, PJ = 5.2×10−11), CLU (rs1532278; PM = 8.3 × 10−8, PJ = 1.9×10−8), BIN1 (rs7561528; PM = 4.0×10−14; PJ = 5.2×10−14), and PICALM (rs561655; PM = 7.0 × 10−11, PJ = 1.0×10−10) but not EXOC3L2 are LOAD risk loci1–3.
It is unclear whether mutations in fused in sarcoma (FUS) cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis via a loss-of-function effect due to titrating FUS from the nucleus or a gain-of-function effect from cytoplasmic overabundance. To investigate this question, we generated a series of independent Caenorhabditis elegans lines expressing mutant or wild-type (WT) human FUS. We show that mutant FUS, but not WT-FUS, causes cytoplasmic mislocalization associated with progressive motor dysfunction and reduced lifespan. The severity of the mutant phenotype in C. elegans was directly correlated with the severity of the illness caused by the same mutation in humans, arguing that this model closely replicates key features of the human illness. Importantly, the mutant phenotype could not be rescued by overexpression of WT-FUS, even though WT-FUS had physiological intracellular localization, and was not recruited to the cytoplasmic mutant FUS aggregates. Our data suggest that FUS mutants cause neuronal dysfunction by a dominant gain-of-function effect related either to neurotoxic aggregates of mutant FUS in the cytoplasm or to dysfunction in its RNA-binding functions.