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1.  Splice site SNPs of phospholipase PLCXD3 are significantly associated with variant and sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease 
BMC Medical Genetics  2013;14:91.
Background
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is an infectious, neurodegenerative, protein-misfolding disease, of the prion disease family, originally acquired through ingestion of meat products contaminated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Public health concern was increased by the discovery of human-to-human transmission via blood transfusion. This study has verified a novel genetic marker linked to disease risk.
Methods
SNP imputation and association testing indicated those genes that had significant linkage to disease risk and one gene was investigated further with Sanger resequencing. Results from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease were compared with those from sporadic (idiopathic) Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and published controls.
Results
The most significant disease risk, in addition to the prion protein gene, was for the phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C, X domain containing 3 (PLCXD3) gene. Sanger resequencing of CJD patients across a region of PLCXD3 with known variants confirmed three SNPs associated with variant and sporadic CJD.
Conclusions
These data provide the first highly significant confirmation of SNP allele frequencies for a novel CJD candidate gene providing new avenues for investigating these neurodegenerative prion diseases. The phospholipase PLCXD3 is primarily expressed in the brain and is associated with lipid catabolism and signal transduction.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-14-91
PMCID: PMC3847123  PMID: 24028506
Prion disease; Infection; Neurodegeneration; Susceptibility; Phospholipase
2.  Cerebrospinal fluid biomarker supported diagnosis of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and rapid dementias: a longitudinal multicentre study over 10 years 
Brain  2012;135(10):3051-3061.
To date, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, particularly protein 14-3-3 testing, presents an important approach in the identification of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease cases. However, one special point of criticism of 14-3-3 testing is the specificity in the differential diagnosis of rapid dementia. The constant observation of increased cerebrospinal fluid referrals in the national surveillance centres over the last years raises the concern of declining specificity due to higher number of cerebrospinal fluid tests performed in various neurological conditions. Within the framework of a European Community supported longitudinal multicentre study (‘cerebrospinal fluid markers’) we analysed the spectrum of rapid progressive dementia diagnoses, their potential influence on 14-3-3 specificity as well as results of other dementia markers (tau, phosphorylated tau and amyloid-β1–42) and evaluated the specificity of 14-3-3 in Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease diagnosis for the years 1998–2008. A total of 29 022 cerebrospinal fluid samples were analysed for 14-3-3 protein and other cerebrospinal fluid dementia markers in patients with rapid dementia and suspected Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in the participating centres. In 10 731 patients a definite diagnosis could be obtained. Protein 14-3-3 specificity was analysed for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease with respect to increasing cerebrospinal fluid tests per year and spectrum of differential diagnosis. Ring trials were performed to ensure the comparability between centres during the reported time period. Protein 14-3-3 test specificity remained high and stable in the diagnosis of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease during the observed time period across centres (total specificity 92%; when compared with patients with definite diagnoses only: specificity 90%). However, test specificity varied with respect to differential diagnosis. A high 14-3-3 specificity was obtained in differentiation to other neurodegenerative diseases (95–97%) and non-neurological conditions (91–97%). We observed lower specificity in the differential diagnoses of acute neurological diseases (82–87%). A marked and constant increase in cerebrospinal fluid test referrals per year in all centres did not influence 14-3-3 test specificity and no change in spectrum of differential diagnosis was observed. Cerebrospinal fluid protein 14-3-3 detection remains an important test in the diagnosis of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Due to a loss in specificity in acute neurological events, the interpretation of positive 14-3-3 results needs to be performed in the clinical context. The spectrum of differential diagnosis of rapid progressive dementia varied from neurodegenerative dementias to dementia due to acute neurological conditions such as inflammatory diseases and non-neurological origin.
doi:10.1093/brain/aws238
PMCID: PMC3470713  PMID: 23012332
rapid dementia; Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease; cerebrospinal fluid; 14-3-3; specificity; neurodegeneration; differential diagnosis in dementia
3.  A polymorphism in the regulatory region of PRNP is associated with increased risk of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease 
BMC Medical Genetics  2011;12:73.
Background
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rare transmissible neurodegenerative disorder. An important determinant for CJD risk and phenotype is the M129V polymorphism of the human prion protein gene (PRNP), but there are also other coding and non-coding polymorphisms inside this gene.
Methods
We tested whether three non-coding polymorphism located inside the PRNP regulatory region (C-101G, G310C and T385C) were associated with risk of CJD and with age at onset in a United Kingdom population-based sample of 131 sporadic CJD (sCJD) patients and 194 controls.
Results
We found no disease association for either PRNP C-101G or PRNP T385C. Although the crude analysis did not show a significant association between PRNP G310C and sCJD (OR: 1.5; 95%CI = 0.7 to 2.9), after adjusting by PRNP M129V genotype, it resulted that being a C allele carrier at PRNP G310C was significantly (p = 0.03) associated with a 2.4 fold increased risk of developing sCJD (95%CI = 1.1 to 5.4). Additionally, haplotypes carrying PRNP 310C coupled with PRNP 129M were significantly overrepresented in patients (p = 0.02) compared to controls. Cases of sCJD carrying a PRNP 310C allele presented at a younger age (on average 8.9 years younger than those without this allele), which was of statistical significance (p = 0.05). As expected, methionine and valine homozygosity at PRNP M129V increased significantly the risk of sCJD, alone and adjusted by PRNP G310C (OR MM/MV = 7.3; 95%CI 3.9 to 13.5 and OR VV/MV = 4.0; 95%CI 1.7 to 9.3).
Conclusions
Our findings support the hypothesis that genetic variations in the PRNP promoter may have a role in the pathogenesis of sCJD.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-12-73
PMCID: PMC3114709  PMID: 21600043
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; prion protein gene; molecular subtype; regulatory region; early onset
4.  Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in human genetic transmissible spongiform encephalopathies 
Journal of Neurology  2009;256(10):1620-1628.
The 14-3-3 protein test has been shown to support the clinical diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) when associated with an adequate clinical context, and a high differential potential for the diagnosis of sporadic CJD has been attributed to other cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteins such as tau protein, S100b and neuron specific enolase (NSE). So far there has been only limited information available about biochemical markers in genetic transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (gTSE), although they represent 10–15% of human TSEs. In this study, we analyzed CSF of 174 patients with gTSEs for 14-3-3 (n = 166), tau protein (n = 78), S100b (n = 46) and NSE (n = 50). Levels of brain-derived proteins in CSF varied in different forms of gTSE. Biomarkers were found positive in the majority of gCJD (81%) and insert gTSE (69%), while they were negative in most cases of fatal familial insomnia (13%) and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (10%). Disease duration and codon 129 genotype influence the findings in a different way than in sporadic CJD.
doi:10.1007/s00415-009-5163-x
PMCID: PMC3085782  PMID: 19444528
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; CSF proteins; 14-3-3 protein; Tau
5.  Cathepsin D SNP associated with increased risk of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease 
BMC Medical Genetics  2008;9:31.
Background
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) originally resulted from the consumption of foodstuffs contaminated by bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) material, with 163 confirmed cases in the UK to date. Many thousands are likely to have been exposed to dietary infection and so it is important (for surveillance, epidemic modelling, public health and understanding pathogenesis) to identify genetic factors that may affect individual susceptibility to infection. This study looked at a polymorphism in the cathepsin D gene (refSNP ID: rs17571) previously examined in Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Methods
Blood samples taken from 110 vCJD patients were tested for the C-T base change, and genotype data were compared with published frequencies for a control population using multiple logistic regression.
Results
There was a significant excess of the cathepsin D polymorphism TT genotype in the vCJD cohort compared to controls. The TT genotype was found to have a 9.75 fold increase in risk of vCJD compared to the CT genotype and a 10.92 fold increase compared to the CC genotype.
Conclusion
This mutation event has been observed to alter the protease activity of the cathepsin D protein and has been linked to an increase in amyloid beta plaque formation in AD. vCJD neuropathology is characterised by the presence of amyloid plaques, formed from the prion protein, and therefore alterations in the amyloid processing activity of cathepsin D may affect the neuropathogenesis of this disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-9-31
PMCID: PMC2374769  PMID: 18426579
6.  Source of Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease outside United Kingdom 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2007;13(8):1166-1169.
Bovine imports during the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s from the UK contributed substantially to the global spread of this disease.
We studied the occurrence of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) outside the United Kingdom in relation to the incidence of indigenous bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and to the level of live bovines and bovine products imported from the UK during the 1980s and the first half of the 1990s. Our study provides evidence that a country’s number of vCJD cases correlates with the number of live bovines it imported from the UK from 1980 to 1990 (Spearman rank correlation coefficient [rs] 0.73, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.42–0.89, p<0.001). Similar correlations were observed with the number of indigenous BSE cases (rs 0.70, 95% CI 0.37–0.87, p = 0.001) and carcass meat imported from the UK from 1980 to 1996 (rs 0.75, 95% CI 0.45–0.89; p<0.001) Bovine imports from the UK may have been an important source of human exposure to BSE and may have contributed to the global risk for disease.
doi:10.3201/eid1308.070178
PMCID: PMC2828088  PMID: 17953086
variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; bovine spongiform encephalopathy; live bovine imports; mechanically recovered meat; research
7.  Human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in eleven countries: diagnostic pattern across time, 1993–2002 
BMC Public Health  2006;6:278.
Background
The objective of this study was to describe the diagnostic panorama of human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies across 11 countries.
Methods
From data collected for surveillance purposes, we describe annual proportions of deaths due to different human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in eleven EUROCJD-consortium countries over the period 1993–2002, as well as variations in the use of diagnostic tests. Using logistic models we quantified international differences and changes across time.
Results
In general, pre-mortem use of diagnostic investigations increased with time. International differences in pathological confirmation of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, stable over time, were evident. Compared to their counterparts, some countries displayed remarkable patterns, such as: 1) the high proportion, increasing with time, of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United Kingdom, (OR 607.99 95%CI 84.72–4363.40), and France (OR 18.35, 95%CI 2.20–152.83); 2) high, decreasing proportions of iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in France, (OR 5.81 95%CI 4.09–8.24), and the United Kingdom, (OR 1.54 95%CI 1.03–2.30); and, 3) high and stable ratios of genetic forms in Slovakia (OR 21.82 95%CI 12.42–38.33) and Italy (OR 2.12 95%CI 1.69–2.68).
Conclusion
Considerable international variation in aetiological subtypes of human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies was evident over the observation period. With the exception of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in France and the United Kingdom, these differences persisted across time.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-6-278
PMCID: PMC1665456  PMID: 17096829

Results 1-7 (7)