Publications by authors named "Benjamin Grenier-Boley"

33 Publications

Primary brain cell infection by reveals the extent and dynamics of parasite differentiation and its impact on neuron biology.

Open Biol 2021 Oct 6;11(10):210053. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

U1019-UMR 9017-CIIL-Center for Infection and Immunity of Lille, University of Lille, CNRS, Inserm, CHU Lille, Institut Pasteur de Lille, F-59000 Lille, France.

is a eukaryotic parasite that forms latent cysts in the brain of immunocompetent individuals. The latent parasite infection of the immune-privileged central nervous system is linked to most complications. With no drug currently available to eliminate the latent cysts in the brain of infected hosts, the consequences of neurons' long-term infection are unknown. It has long been known that specifically differentiates into a latent form (bradyzoite) in neurons, but how the infected neuron responds to the infection remains to be elucidated. We have established a new model resulting in the production of mature bradyzoite cysts in brain cells. Using dual, host and parasite RNA-seq, we characterized the dynamics of differentiation of the parasite, revealing the involvement of key pathways in this process. Moreover, we identified how the infected brain cells responded to the parasite infection revealing the drastic changes that take place. We showed that neuronal-specific pathways are strongly affected, with synapse signalling being particularly affected, especially glutamatergic synapse signalling. The establishment of this new model allows investigating both the dynamics of parasite differentiation and the specific response of neurons to long-term infection by this parasite.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rsob.210053DOI Listing
October 2021

Common variants in Alzheimer's disease and risk stratification by polygenic risk scores.

Nat Commun 2021 06 7;12(1):3417. Epub 2021 Jun 7.

Servei de Neurologia, Hospital Universitari i Politècnic La Fe, Valencia, Spain.

Genetic discoveries of Alzheimer's disease are the drivers of our understanding, and together with polygenetic risk stratification can contribute towards planning of feasible and efficient preventive and curative clinical trials. We first perform a large genetic association study by merging all available case-control datasets and by-proxy study results (discovery n = 409,435 and validation size n = 58,190). Here, we add six variants associated with Alzheimer's disease risk (near APP, CHRNE, PRKD3/NDUFAF7, PLCG2 and two exonic variants in the SHARPIN gene). Assessment of the polygenic risk score and stratifying by APOE reveal a 4 to 5.5 years difference in median age at onset of Alzheimer's disease patients in APOE ɛ4 carriers. Because of this study, the underlying mechanisms of APP can be studied to refine the amyloid cascade and the polygenic risk score provides a tool to select individuals at high risk of Alzheimer's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22491-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8184987PMC
June 2021

Plasma amyloid β levels are driven by genetic variants near APOE, BACE1, APP, PSEN2: A genome-wide association study in over 12,000 non-demented participants.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 May 18. Epub 2021 May 18.

Human Genetics Center, Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.

Introduction: There is increasing interest in plasma amyloid beta (Aβ) as an endophenotype of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Identifying the genetic determinants of plasma Aβ levels may elucidate important biological processes that determine plasma Aβ measures.

Methods: We included 12,369 non-demented participants from eight population-based studies. Imputed genetic data and measured plasma Aβ1-40, Aβ1-42 levels and Aβ1-42/Aβ1-40 ratio were used to perform genome-wide association studies, and gene-based and pathway analyses. Significant variants and genes were followed up for their association with brain positron emission tomography Aβ deposition and AD risk.

Results: Single-variant analysis identified associations with apolipoprotein E (APOE) for Aβ1-42 and Aβ1-42/Aβ1-40 ratio, and BACE1 for Aβ1-40. Gene-based analysis of Aβ1-40 additionally identified associations for APP, PSEN2, CCK, and ZNF397. There was suggestive evidence for interaction between a BACE1 variant and APOE ε4 on brain Aβ deposition.

Discussion: Identification of variants near/in known major Aβ-processing genes strengthens the relevance of plasma-Aβ levels as an endophenotype of AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12333DOI Listing
May 2021

Multiomics integrative analysis identifies allele-specific blood biomarkers associated to Alzheimer's disease etiopathogenesis.

Aging (Albany NY) 2021 Apr 12;13(7):9277-9329. Epub 2021 Apr 12.

Department of Epidemiology, Human Genetics, and Environmental Sciences, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia, currently affecting 35 million people worldwide. Apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele is the major risk factor for sporadic, late-onset AD (LOAD), which comprises over 95% of AD cases, increasing the risk of AD 4-12 fold. Despite this, the role of APOE in AD pathogenesis is still a mystery. Aiming for a better understanding of APOE-specific effects, the ADAPTED consortium analysed and integrated publicly available data of multiple OMICS technologies from both plasma and brain stratified by haplotype ( and ). Combining genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with differential mRNA and protein expression analyses and single-nuclei transcriptomics, we identified genes and pathways contributing to AD in both APOE dependent and independent fashion. Interestingly, we characterised a set of biomarkers showing plasma and brain consistent protein profiles and opposite trends in and AD cases that could constitute screening tools for a disease that lacks specific blood biomarkers. Beside the identification of APOE-specific signatures, our findings advocate that this novel approach, based on the concordance across OMIC layers and tissues, is an effective strategy for overcoming the limitations of often underpowered single-OMICS studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.202950DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8064208PMC
April 2021

Alzheimer's genetic risk factor FERMT2 (Kindlin-2) controls axonal growth and synaptic plasticity in an APP-dependent manner.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 Nov 3. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Université de Lille, Inserm, CHU Lille, Institut Pasteur de Lille, U1167-RID-AGE-Facteurs de Risque et Déterminants Moléculaires des Maladies Liées au Vieillissement, Lille, 59019, France.

Although APP metabolism is being intensively investigated, a large fraction of its modulators is yet to be characterized. In this context, we combined two genome-wide high-content screenings to assess the functional impact of miRNAs and genes on APP metabolism and the signaling pathways involved. This approach highlighted the involvement of FERMT2 (or Kindlin-2), a genetic risk factor of Alzheimer's disease (AD), as a potential key modulator of axon guidance, a neuronal process that depends on the regulation of APP metabolism. We found that FERMT2 directly interacts with APP to modulate its metabolism, and that FERMT2 underexpression impacts axonal growth, synaptic connectivity, and long-term potentiation in an APP-dependent manner. Last, the rs7143400-T allele, which is associated with an increased AD risk and localized within the 3'UTR of FERMT2, induced a downregulation of FERMT2 expression through binding of miR-4504 among others. This miRNA is mainly expressed in neurons and significantly overexpressed in AD brains compared to controls. Altogether, our data provide strong evidence for a detrimental effect of FERMT2 underexpression in neurons and insight into how this may influence AD pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-020-00926-wDOI Listing
November 2020

Genetics of Alzheimer's disease: where we are, and where we are going.

Curr Opin Neurobiol 2020 04 18;61:40-48. Epub 2019 Dec 18.

Univ. Lille, Inserm, Institut Pasteur de Lille, CHU Lille, U1167 - Labex DISTALZ - RID-AGE - Risk Factors and Molecular Determinants of Aging-Related Diseases, F-59000 Lille, France. Electronic address:

Alzheimer's disease (AD) has a very strong genetic component, whose characterization has become an essential part of efforts to understand the pathophysiological processes of the disease. Thanks to the systematic use of high-throughput approaches over the last 10 years, more than 40 genes/loci have been linked to the AD risk. Although some of these signals are likely to be false positives, this genetic knowledge has shed new light on the pathogenesis of AD and, in particular, the major role of microglia. However, our knowledge of the genetics of AD is far from complete, and larger and more diverse genetic studies are required. Lastly, post-GWAS analyses will be needed to make sense of this genetic information without focusing too much on what we think we know about the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.11.024DOI Listing
April 2020

Association of variants in HTRA1 and NOTCH3 with MRI-defined extremes of cerebral small vessel disease in older subjects.

Brain 2019 04;142(4):1009-1023

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, USA.

We report a composite extreme phenotype design using distribution of white matter hyperintensities and brain infarcts in a population-based cohort of older persons for gene-mapping of cerebral small vessel disease. We demonstrate its application in the 3C-Dijon whole exome sequencing (WES) study (n = 1924, nWESextremes = 512), with both single variant and gene-based association tests. We used other population-based cohort studies participating in the CHARGE consortium for replication, using whole exome sequencing (nWES = 2,868, nWESextremes = 956) and genome-wide genotypes (nGW = 9924, nGWextremes = 3308). We restricted our study to candidate genes known to harbour mutations for Mendelian small vessel disease: NOTCH3, HTRA1, COL4A1, COL4A2 and TREX1. We identified significant associations of a common intronic variant in HTRA1, rs2293871 using single variant association testing (Pdiscovery = 8.21 × 10-5, Preplication = 5.25 × 10-3, Pcombined = 4.72 × 10-5) and of NOTCH3 using gene-based tests (Pdiscovery = 1.61 × 10-2, Preplication = 3.99 × 10-2, Pcombined = 5.31 × 10-3). Follow-up analysis identified significant association of rs2293871 with small vessel ischaemic stroke, and two blood expression quantitative trait loci of HTRA1 in linkage disequilibrium. Additionally, we identified two participants in the 3C-Dijon cohort (0.4%) carrying heterozygote genotypes at known pathogenic variants for familial small vessel disease within NOTCH3 and HTRA1. In conclusion, our proof-of-concept study provides strong evidence that using a novel composite MRI-derived phenotype for extremes of small vessel disease can facilitate the identification of genetic variants underlying small vessel disease, both common variants and those with rare and low frequency. The findings demonstrate shared mechanisms and a continuum between genes underlying Mendelian small vessel disease and those contributing to the common, multifactorial form of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awz024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6439324PMC
April 2019

Genetic meta-analysis of diagnosed Alzheimer's disease identifies new risk loci and implicates Aβ, tau, immunity and lipid processing.

Nat Genet 2019 03 28;51(3):414-430. Epub 2019 Feb 28.

Research Center and Memory Clinic of Fundació ACE, Institut Català de Neurociències Aplicades-Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain.

Risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), the most prevalent dementia, is partially driven by genetics. To identify LOAD risk loci, we performed a large genome-wide association meta-analysis of clinically diagnosed LOAD (94,437 individuals). We confirm 20 previous LOAD risk loci and identify five new genome-wide loci (IQCK, ACE, ADAM10, ADAMTS1, and WWOX), two of which (ADAM10, ACE) were identified in a recent genome-wide association (GWAS)-by-familial-proxy of Alzheimer's or dementia. Fine-mapping of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) region confirms the neurological and immune-mediated disease haplotype HLA-DR15 as a risk factor for LOAD. Pathway analysis implicates immunity, lipid metabolism, tau binding proteins, and amyloid precursor protein (APP) metabolism, showing that genetic variants affecting APP and Aβ processing are associated not only with early-onset autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease but also with LOAD. Analyses of risk genes and pathways show enrichment for rare variants (P = 1.32 × 10), indicating that additional rare variants remain to be identified. We also identify important genetic correlations between LOAD and traits such as family history of dementia and education.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41588-019-0358-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6463297PMC
March 2019

Whole exome sequencing study identifies novel rare and common Alzheimer's-Associated variants involved in immune response and transcriptional regulation.

Mol Psychiatry 2020 08 14;25(8):1859-1875. Epub 2018 Aug 14.

McDonnell Genome Institute, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, USA.

The Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project (ADSP) undertook whole exome sequencing in 5,740 late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) cases and 5,096 cognitively normal controls primarily of European ancestry (EA), among whom 218 cases and 177 controls were Caribbean Hispanic (CH). An age-, sex- and APOE based risk score and family history were used to select cases most likely to harbor novel AD risk variants and controls least likely to develop AD by age 85 years. We tested ~1.5 million single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and 50,000 insertion-deletion polymorphisms (indels) for association to AD, using multiple models considering individual variants as well as gene-based tests aggregating rare, predicted functional, and loss of function variants. Sixteen single variants and 19 genes that met criteria for significant or suggestive associations after multiple-testing correction were evaluated for replication in four independent samples; three with whole exome sequencing (2,778 cases, 7,262 controls) and one with genome-wide genotyping imputed to the Haplotype Reference Consortium panel (9,343 cases, 11,527 controls). The top findings in the discovery sample were also followed-up in the ADSP whole-genome sequenced family-based dataset (197 members of 42 EA families and 501 members of 157 CH families). We identified novel and predicted functional genetic variants in genes previously associated with AD. We also detected associations in three novel genes: IGHG3 (p = 9.8 × 10), an immunoglobulin gene whose antibodies interact with β-amyloid, a long non-coding RNA AC099552.4 (p = 1.2 × 10), and a zinc-finger protein ZNF655 (gene-based p = 5.0 × 10). The latter two suggest an important role for transcriptional regulation in AD pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41380-018-0112-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6375806PMC
August 2020

Analysis of shared heritability in common disorders of the brain.

Science 2018 06;360(6395)

Department of Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA.

Disorders of the brain can exhibit considerable epidemiological comorbidity and often share symptoms, provoking debate about their etiologic overlap. We quantified the genetic sharing of 25 brain disorders from genome-wide association studies of 265,218 patients and 784,643 control participants and assessed their relationship to 17 phenotypes from 1,191,588 individuals. Psychiatric disorders share common variant risk, whereas neurological disorders appear more distinct from one another and from the psychiatric disorders. We also identified significant sharing between disorders and a number of brain phenotypes, including cognitive measures. Further, we conducted simulations to explore how statistical power, diagnostic misclassification, and phenotypic heterogeneity affect genetic correlations. These results highlight the importance of common genetic variation as a risk factor for brain disorders and the value of heritability-based methods in understanding their etiology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aap8757DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6097237PMC
June 2018

Diffuse gliomas classified by 1p/19q co-deletion, TERT promoter and IDH mutation status are associated with specific genetic risk loci.

Acta Neuropathol 2018 05 19;135(5):743-755. Epub 2018 Feb 19.

Sorbonne Universités UPMC Univ Paris 06, INSERM CNRS, U1127, UMR 7225, ICM, 75013, Paris, France.

Recent genome-wide association studies of glioma have led to the discovery of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at 25 loci influencing risk. Gliomas are heterogeneous, hence to investigate the relationship between risk SNPs and glioma subtype we analysed 1659 tumours profiled for IDH mutation, TERT promoter mutation and 1p/19q co-deletion. These data allowed definition of five molecular subgroups of glioma: triple-positive (IDH mutated, 1p/19q co-deletion, TERT promoter mutated); TERT-IDH (IDH mutated, TERT promoter mutated, 1p/19q-wild-type); IDH-only (IDH mutated, 1p/19q wild-type, TERT promoter wild-type); triple-negative (IDH wild-type, 1p/19q wild-type, TERT promoter wild-type) and TERT-only (TERT promoter mutated, IDH wild-type, 1p/19q wild-type). Most glioma risk loci showed subtype specificity: (1) the 8q24.21 SNP for triple-positive glioma; (2) 5p15.33, 9p21.3, 17p13.1 and 20q13.33 SNPs for TERT-only glioma; (3) 1q44, 2q33.3, 3p14.1, 11q21, 11q23.3, 14q12, and 15q24.2 SNPs for IDH mutated glioma. To link risk SNPs to target candidate genes we analysed Hi-C and gene expression data, highlighting the potential role of IDH1 at 2q33.3, MYC at 8q24.21 and STMN3 at 20q13.33. Our observations provide further insight into the nature of susceptibility to glioma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-018-1825-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5904227PMC
May 2018

Contribution to Alzheimer's disease risk of rare variants in TREM2, SORL1, and ABCA7 in 1779 cases and 1273 controls.

Neurobiol Aging 2017 11 14;59:220.e1-220.e9. Epub 2017 Jul 14.

Department of Genetics and CNR-MAJ, Normandie Univ, UNIROUEN, Inserm U1245 and Rouen University Hospital, Normandy Centre for Genomic and Personalized Medicine, Rouen, France; Department of Research, Centre hospitalier du Rouvray, Sotteville-lès-Rouen, France. Electronic address:

We performed whole-exome and whole-genome sequencing in 927 late-onset Alzheimer disease (LOAD) cases, 852 early-onset AD (EOAD) cases, and 1273 controls from France. We assessed the evidence for gene-based association of rare variants with AD in 6 genes for which an association with such variants was previously claimed. When aggregating protein-truncating and missense-predicted damaging variants, we found exome-wide significant association between EOAD risk and rare variants in SORL1, TREM2, and ABCA7. No exome-wide significant signal was obtained in the LOAD sample, and significance of the order of 10 was observed in the whole AD group for TREM2. Our study confirms previous gene-level results for TREM2, SORL1, and ABCA7 and provides a clearer insight into the classes of rare variants involved. Despite different effect sizes and varying cumulative minor allele frequencies, the rare protein-truncating and missense-predicted damaging variants in TREM2, SORL1, and ABCA7 contribute similarly to the heritability of EOAD and explain between 1.1% and 1.5% of EOAD heritability each, compared with 9.12% for APOE ε4.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2017.07.001DOI Listing
November 2017

Dietary linoleic acid interacts with FADS1 genetic variability to modulate HDL-cholesterol and obesity-related traits.

Clin Nutr 2018 10 20;37(5):1683-1689. Epub 2017 Jul 20.

Univ. Lille, INSERM, CHU Lille, Institut Pasteur de Lille, U1167, RID-AGE, Facteurs de Risque et Déterminants Moléculaires des Maladies Liées Au Vieillissement, F-59000 Lille, France.

Background & Aims: Blood levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are under control of endogenous synthesis via Δ5- and Δ6-desaturases, encoded by the FADS1 and FADS2 genes, respectively and of diet. Genome-wide associations studies (GWAS) reported associations between polymorphisms in FADS1-FADS2 and variations in plasma concentrations of PUFAs, HDL- and LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. However, it is not established whether dietary PUFAs intake modulates these associations. We assessed whether dietary linoleic acid (LA) or α-linolenic acid (ALA) modulate the association between the FADS1 rs174547 polymorphism (a GWAS hit) and lipid and anthropometric phenotypes.

Methods: Dietary intakes of LA and ALA, FADS1 rs174547 genotypes, lipid and anthropometric variables were determined in three French population-based samples (n = 3069). These samples were stratified according to the median dietary LA (<9.5 and ≥9.5 g/d) and ALA (<0.80 and ≥0.80 g/d) intakes. The meta-analysis was performed using a random-effect.

Results: Our meta-analysis confirmed the association between rs174547 and plasma lipid levels and revealed an association with waist circumference and body mass index. These associations were not modified by dietary ALA intake (all p-interaction > 0.05). In contrast, the associations with HDL-cholesterol levels, waist circumference and BMI were modulated by the dietary intake of LA (p interaction < 0.05). In high LA consumers only, the rs174547 minor allele was significantly associated with lower HDL-cholesterol levels (β = -0.05 mmol/L, p = 0.0002). Furthermore, each copy of the rs174547 minor allele was associated with a 1.58 cm lower waist circumference (p = 0.0005) and a 0.46 kg m lower BMI (p = 0.01) in the low LA intake group, but not in the high LA intake group.

Conclusions: The present study suggests that dietary LA intake may modulate the association between the FADS gene variants and HDL-cholesterol concentration, waist circumference and BMI. These gene-nutrient interactions, if confirmed, suggest that subjects carrying the rs174547 minor allele might benefit from low dietary LA intakes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clnu.2017.07.012DOI Listing
October 2018

Rare coding variants in PLCG2, ABI3, and TREM2 implicate microglial-mediated innate immunity in Alzheimer's disease.

Nat Genet 2017 09 17;49(9):1373-1384. Epub 2017 Jul 17.

Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

We identified rare coding variants associated with Alzheimer's disease in a three-stage case-control study of 85,133 subjects. In stage 1, we genotyped 34,174 samples using a whole-exome microarray. In stage 2, we tested associated variants (P < 1 × 10) in 35,962 independent samples using de novo genotyping and imputed genotypes. In stage 3, we used an additional 14,997 samples to test the most significant stage 2 associations (P < 5 × 10) using imputed genotypes. We observed three new genome-wide significant nonsynonymous variants associated with Alzheimer's disease: a protective variant in PLCG2 (rs72824905: p.Pro522Arg, P = 5.38 × 10, odds ratio (OR) = 0.68, minor allele frequency (MAF) = 0.0059, MAF = 0.0093), a risk variant in ABI3 (rs616338: p.Ser209Phe, P = 4.56 × 10, OR = 1.43, MAF = 0.011, MAF = 0.008), and a new genome-wide significant variant in TREM2 (rs143332484: p.Arg62His, P = 1.55 × 10, OR = 1.67, MAF = 0.0143, MAF = 0.0089), a known susceptibility gene for Alzheimer's disease. These protein-altering changes are in genes highly expressed in microglia and highlight an immune-related protein-protein interaction network enriched for previously identified risk genes in Alzheimer's disease. These genetic findings provide additional evidence that the microglia-mediated innate immune response contributes directly to the development of Alzheimer's disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3916DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5669039PMC
September 2017

Tau deletion promotes brain insulin resistance.

J Exp Med 2017 Aug 26;214(8):2257-2269. Epub 2017 Jun 26.

Université de Lille, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Medicale (INSERM), CHU Lille, UMR-S 1172 JPArc, Lille, France

The molecular pathways underlying tau pathology-induced synaptic/cognitive deficits and neurodegeneration are poorly understood. One prevalent hypothesis is that hyperphosphorylation, misfolding, and fibrillization of tau impair synaptic plasticity and cause degeneration. However, tau pathology may also result in the loss of specific physiological tau functions, which are largely unknown but could contribute to neuronal dysfunction. In the present study, we uncovered a novel function of tau in its ability to regulate brain insulin signaling. We found that tau deletion leads to an impaired hippocampal response to insulin, caused by altered IRS-1 and PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue on chromosome 10) activities. Our data also demonstrate that tau knockout mice exhibit an impaired hypothalamic anorexigenic effect of insulin that is associated with energy metabolism alterations. Consistently, we found that tau haplotypes are associated with glycemic traits in humans. The present data have far-reaching clinical implications and raise the hypothesis that pathophysiological tau loss-of-function favors brain insulin resistance, which is instrumental for cognitive and metabolic impairments in Alzheimer's disease patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20161731DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5551570PMC
August 2017

A common haplotype lowers PU.1 expression in myeloid cells and delays onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Nat Neurosci 2017 Aug 19;20(8):1052-1061. Epub 2017 Jun 19.

Department of Psychiatry, Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA.

A genome-wide survival analysis of 14,406 Alzheimer's disease (AD) cases and 25,849 controls identified eight previously reported AD risk loci and 14 novel loci associated with age at onset. Linkage disequilibrium score regression of 220 cell types implicated the regulation of myeloid gene expression in AD risk. The minor allele of rs1057233 (G), within the previously reported CELF1 AD risk locus, showed association with delayed AD onset and lower expression of SPI1 in monocytes and macrophages. SPI1 encodes PU.1, a transcription factor critical for myeloid cell development and function. AD heritability was enriched within the PU.1 cistrome, implicating a myeloid PU.1 target gene network in AD. Finally, experimentally altered PU.1 levels affected the expression of mouse orthologs of many AD risk genes and the phagocytic activity of mouse microglial cells. Our results suggest that lower SPI1 expression reduces AD risk by regulating myeloid gene expression and cell function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn.4587DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5759334PMC
August 2017

Genome-wide, high-content siRNA screening identifies the Alzheimer's genetic risk factor FERMT2 as a major modulator of APP metabolism.

Acta Neuropathol 2017 06 8;133(6):955-966. Epub 2016 Dec 8.

Laboratoire d'Excellence Distalz, Univ. Lille, Unité INSERM 1167, Institut Pasteur de Lille, BP 245, 1 rue du professeur Calmette, 59000, Lille cedex, France.

Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified 19 susceptibility loci for Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, understanding how these genes are involved in the pathophysiology of AD is one of the main challenges of the "post-GWAS" era. At least 123 genes are located within the 19 susceptibility loci; hence, a conventional approach (studying the genes one by one) would not be time- and cost-effective. We therefore developed a genome-wide, high-content siRNA screening approach and used it to assess the functional impact of gene under-expression on APP metabolism. We found that 832 genes modulated APP metabolism. Eight of these genes were located within AD susceptibility loci. Only FERMT2 (a β3-integrin co-activator) was also significantly associated with a variation in cerebrospinal fluid Aβ peptide levels in 2886 AD cases. Lastly, we showed that the under-expression of FERMT2 increases Aβ peptide production by raising levels of mature APP at the cell surface and facilitating its recycling. Taken as a whole, our data suggest that FERMT2 modulates the AD risk by regulating APP metabolism and Aβ peptide production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-016-1652-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5427165PMC
June 2017

Mosaic Loss of Chromosome Y in Blood Is Associated with Alzheimer Disease.

Am J Hum Genet 2016 Jun 23;98(6):1208-1219. Epub 2016 May 23.

Department of Immunology, Genetics, and Pathology, Uppsala University, 75108 Uppsala, Sweden; Science for Life Laboratory, Uppsala University, 75123 Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address:

Men have a shorter life expectancy compared with women but the underlying factor(s) are not clear. Late-onset, sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD) is a common and lethal neurodegenerative disorder and many germline inherited variants have been found to influence the risk of developing AD. Our previous results show that a fundamentally different genetic variant, i.e., lifetime-acquired loss of chromosome Y (LOY) in blood cells, is associated with all-cause mortality and an increased risk of non-hematological tumors and that LOY could be induced by tobacco smoking. We tested here a hypothesis that men with LOY are more susceptible to AD and show that LOY is associated with AD in three independent studies of different types. In a case-control study, males with AD diagnosis had higher degree of LOY mosaicism (adjusted odds ratio = 2.80, p = 0.0184, AD events = 606). Furthermore, in two prospective studies, men with LOY at blood sampling had greater risk for incident AD diagnosis during follow-up time (hazard ratio [HR] = 6.80, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] = 2.16-21.43, AD events = 140, p = 0.0011). Thus, LOY in blood is associated with risks of both AD and cancer, suggesting a role of LOY in blood cells on disease processes in other tissues, possibly via defective immunosurveillance. As a male-specific risk factor, LOY might explain why males on average live shorter lives than females.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2016.05.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4908225PMC
June 2016

miRNA-dependent target regulation: functional characterization of single-nucleotide polymorphisms identified in genome-wide association studies of Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers Res Ther 2016 May 24;8(1):20. Epub 2016 May 24.

NSERM U1167, Facteurs de risque et déterminants moléculaires des maladies liées au vieillissement (RID-AGE) Research Group, Lille, France.

Background: A growing body of evidence suggests that microRNAs (miRNAs) are involved in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and that some disease-associated genetic variants are located within miRNA binding sites. In the present study, we sought to characterize functional polymorphisms in miRNA target sites within the loci defined in earlier genome-wide association studies (GWAS). The main objectives of this study were to (1) facilitate the identification of the gene or genes responsible for the GWAS signal within a locus of interest and (2) determine how functional polymorphisms might be involved in the AD process (e.g., by affecting miRNA-mediated variations in gene expression).

Methods: Stringent in silico analyses were developed to select potential polymorphisms susceptible to impairment of miRNA-mediated repression, and subsequent functional assays were performed in HeLa and HEK293 cells.

Results: Two polymorphisms were identified and further analyzed in vitro. The AD-associated rs7143400-T allele (located in 3' untranslated region [3'-UTR] of FERMT2) cotransfected with miR-4504 resulted in lower protein levels relative to the rs7143400-G allele cotransfected with the same miRNA. The AD-associated rs9909-C allele in the 3'-UTR of NUP160 abolished the miR-1185-1-3p-regulated expression observed for the rs9909-G allele.

Conclusions: When considered in conjunction with the findings of previous association studies, our results suggest that decreased expression of FERMT2 might be a risk factor in the etiopathology of AD, whereas increased expression of NUP160 might protect against the disease. Our data therefore provide new insights into AD by highlighting two new proteins putatively involved in the disease process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13195-016-0186-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4878064PMC
May 2016

ABCA7 rare variants and Alzheimer disease risk.

Neurology 2016 Jun 1;86(23):2134-7. Epub 2016 Apr 1.

From INSERM (K.L.G., G.N., O.Q., C.C., D.W., S.R., A.C.R., A.R.-L., T.F., D.H., D.C.), U1079, IRIB, University of Rouen, Normandy University; Normandy Centre for Genomic Medicine and Personalized Medicine (K.L.G., G.N., O.Q., C.C., D.W., S.R., A.-C.R., A.R.-L., T.F., D.H., D.C.), Rouen; Department of Genetics (G.N., T.F., D.H.), CNR-MAJ (G.N., O.Q., C.C., D.W., S.R., A.-C.R., F.P., A.R.-S., D.H., D.C.), and Department of Neurology (D.W., D.H.), Rouen University Hospital; INSERM (C.B., B.G.-B., P.A., J.-C.L.), U1167, Lille; Institut Pasteur de Lille (C.B., B.G.-B., P.A., J.-C.L.); Université Lille-Nord de France (C.B., B.G.-B., P.A., J.-C.L.); Centre National de Génotypage (D.B., J.-G.G., R.O., A.B., V.M., J.-F.Deleuze.), Institut de Génomique, CEA, Evry; Fondation Jean Dausset (J.-F.Deleuze.), Centre d'Etudes du Polymorphisme Humain, Paris, France; McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre (H.M.M., G.B., M.L.), Montréal, Canada; INSERM (R.R.), UMR 1087, l'Institut du Thorax, CHU Nantes; CNRS (R.R.), UMR 6291, Université de Nantes; INSERM (L.L., J.-F.Dartigues.), U897, Bordeaux; University of Bordeaux (L.L., J.-F.Dartigues.); Department of Neurology (F.P., A.R.S.), Lille University Hospital; INSERM (E.G.), UMR1078, CHU Brest, Université Bretagne Occidentale, Brest; and Department of Research (D.C.), Rouvray Psychiatric Hospital, Sotteville-lès-Rouen, France.

Objective: To study the association between ABCA7 rare coding variants and Alzheimer disease (AD) in a case-control setting.

Methods: We conducted a whole exome analysis among 484 French patients with early-onset AD and 590 ethnically matched controls.

Results: After collapsing rare variants (minor allele frequency ≤1%), we detected an enrichment of ABCA7 loss of function (LOF) and predicted damaging missense variants in cases (odds ratio [OR] 3.40, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.68-7.35, p = 0.0002). Performing a meta-analysis with previously published data, we found that in a combined sample of 1,256 patients and 1,347 controls from France and Belgium, the OR was 2.81 (95% CI 1.89-4.20, p = 3.60 × 10(-7)).

Conclusions: These results confirm that ABCA7 LOF variants are enriched in patients with AD and extend this finding to predicted damaging missense variants.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000002627DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4898320PMC
June 2016

Examination of the brain natriuretic peptide rs198389 single-nucleotide polymorphism on type 2 diabetes mellitus and related phenotypes in an Algerian population.

Gene 2015 Aug 28;567(2):159-63. Epub 2015 Apr 28.

INSERM, U1167, Institut Pasteur de Lille, Université de Lille, 1 rue du Pr. Calmette, BP 245, F-59019 Lille cedex, France. Electronic address:

Background: In European populations, the NPPB rs198389 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We investigated the putative associations between NPPB rs198389, the T2DM risk and quantitative metabolic traits in an Algerian population.

Methods: The association analysis was performed as a T2DM case-control study (with 78 cases and 645 controls) nested into the ISOR population-based study.

Results: The NPPB rs198389 SNP was not associated with T2DM (odds ratio (OR) [95% confidence interval (CI)]=0.73 [0.51-1.04], p=0.08). However, the C allele was associated with lower fasting plasma insulin levels (p=0.05) and a lower homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance index (p=0.05) in non-diabetic individuals.

Conclusion: The NPPB rs198389 SNP might modulate fasting insulin levels in an Algerian population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2015.04.073DOI Listing
August 2015

MicroRNAs targeting Nicastrin regulate Aβ production and are affected by target site polymorphisms.

Front Mol Neurosci 2014 18;7:67. Epub 2014 Jul 18.

Axe Neurosciences, Centre de Recherche du CHU de Québec, Université Laval, Québec QC, Canada ; Département de Psychiatrie et de Neurosciences, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Québec QC, Canada.

Despite the growing number of genome-wide association studies, the involvement of polymorphisms in microRNA target sites (polymiRTS) in Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains poorly investigated. Recently, we have shown that AD-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) present in the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR) of amyloid precursor protein (APP) could directly affect miRNA function. In theory, loss of microRNA (miRNA) function could lead to risk for AD by increasing APP expression and Aβ peptide production. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that Nicastrin, a γ-secretase subunit involved in Aβ generation, could be regulated by miRNAs, and consequently affected by 3'UTR polymorphisms. Bioinformatic analysis identified 22 putative miRNA binding sites located in or near Nicastrin 3'UTR polymorphisms. From these miRNA candidates, six were previously shown to be expressed in human brain. We identified miR-24, miR-186, and miR-455 as regulators of Nicastrin expression, both in vitro and under physiological conditions in human cells, which resulted in altered Aβ secretion. Using luciferase-based assays, we further demonstrated that rs113810300 and rs141849450 SNPs affected miRNA-mediated repression of Nicastrin. Notably, rs141849450 completely abolished the miR-455-mediated repression of Nicastrin. Finally, the rs141849450 variant was identified in 1 out of 511 AD cases but not in 631 controls. These observations set the stage for future studies exploring the role of miRNAs and 3'UTR polymorphisms in AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnmol.2014.00067DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103510PMC
August 2014

Gene-wide analysis detects two new susceptibility genes for Alzheimer's disease.

PLoS One 2014 12;9(6):e94661. Epub 2014 Jun 12.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

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.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0094661PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4055488PMC
October 2015

Impact of APOE gene polymorphisms on the lipid profile in an Algerian population.

Lipids Health Dis 2013 Oct 25;12:155. Epub 2013 Oct 25.

INSERM, U744; Institut Pasteur de Lille, Université Lille Nord de France, Lille, France.

Background: The importance of apolipoprotein E (APOE) in lipid and lipoprotein metabolism is well established. However, the impact of APOE polymorphisms has never been investigated in an Algerian population. This study assessed, for the fist time, the relationships between three APOE polymorphisms (epsilon, rs439401, rs4420638) and plasma lipid concentrations in a general population sample from Algeria.

Methods: The association analysis was performed in the ISOR study, a representative sample of the population living in Oran (787 subjects aged between 30 and 64). Polymorphisms were considered both individually and as haplotypes.

Results: In the ISOR sample, APOE ε4 allele carriers had higher plasma triglyceride (p=0.0002), total cholesterol (p=0.009) and LDL-cholesterol (p=0.003) levels than ε3 allele carriers. No significant associations were detected for the rs4420638 and rs439401 SNPs. Linkage disequilibrium and haplotype analyses confirmed the respectively deleterious and protective impacts of the ε4 and ε2 alleles on LDL-cholesterol levels and showed that the G allele of the rs4420638 polymorphism may exert a protective effect on LDL-cholesterol levels in subjects bearing the APOE epsilon 4 allele.

Conclusion: Our results showed that (i) the APOE epsilon polymorphism has the expected impact on the plasma lipid profile and (ii) the rs4420638 G allele may counterbalance the deleterious effect of the ε4 allele on LDL-cholesterol levels in an Algerian population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1476-511X-12-155DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4231468PMC
October 2013

Genetic and molecular insights into the role of PROX1 in glucose metabolism.

Diabetes 2013 May 28;62(5):1738-45. Epub 2012 Dec 28.

INSERM U744, Institut Pasteur de Lille, Université Lille Nord de France, UDSL, Lille, France.

Genome-wide association studies have shown that the rs340874 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in PROX1 is a genetic susceptibility factor for type 2 diabetes. We conducted genetic and molecular studies to better understand the role of PROX1 in type 2 diabetes. We assessed the impact of the whole common genetic variability of PROX1 (80 SNPs) on type 2 diabetes-related biochemical traits in the HELENA (Healthy Lifestyle in Europe by Nutrition in Adolescence) study (n = 1,155). Three SNPs (rs340838, rs340837, and rs340836) were significantly associated with fasting plasma insulin levels (P ≤ 0.00295). We evaluated the impact of nine PROX1 SNPs (the three insulin-associated SNPs plus six SNPs in strong linkage disequilibrium) on luciferase reporter gene expression. The insulin-lowering alleles of rs340874, rs340873, and rs340835 were associated with lower luciferase activity in MIN6 and HepG2 cells (except for rs340874, which was in HepG2 cells only). Electrophoretic mobility shift assays indicated that specific nuclear protein bindings occur at the three SNPs in HepG2 cells, with allele-binding differences for rs340874. We also showed that the knockdown of Prox1 expression by small interfering RNAs in INS-1E cells resulted in a 1.7-fold reduction in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. All together, we propose that reduced expression of PROX1 by cis-regulatory variants results in altered β-cell insulin secretion and thereby confers susceptibility to type 2 diabetes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db12-0864DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3636631PMC
May 2013

RNAspace.org: An integrated environment for the prediction, annotation, and analysis of ncRNA.

RNA 2011 Nov 23;17(11):1947-56. Epub 2011 Sep 23.

INRA, UBIA, UR 875, F-31320 Castanet-Tolosan, France.

The annotation of noncoding RNA genes remains a major bottleneck in genome sequencing projects. Most genome sequences released today still come with sets of tRNAs and rRNAs as the only annotated RNA elements, ignoring hundreds of other RNA families. We have developed a web environment that is dedicated to noncoding RNA (ncRNA) prediction, annotation, and analysis and allows users to run a variety of tools in an integrated and flexible manner. This environment offers complementary ncRNA gene finders and a set of tools for the comparison, visualization, editing, and export of ncRNA candidates. Predictions can be filtered according to a large set of characteristics. Based on this environment, we created a public website located at http://RNAspace.org. It accepts genomic sequences up to 5 Mb, which permits for an online annotation of a complete bacterial genome or a small eukaryotic chromosome. The project is hosted as a Source Forge project (http://rnaspace.sourceforge.net/).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1261/rna.2844911DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3198588PMC
November 2011
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