Publications by authors named "Gerard D Schellenberg"

220 Publications

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

Gene-Environment Interactions in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.

Front Neurol 2021 9;12:664796. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

Parkinson's Disease Center and Movement Disorders Clinic, Department of Neurology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, United States.

Several genetic and environmental factors have been reported in progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), although none were identified as a definitive cause. We aimed to explore potential gene-environment interactions in PSP. Two hundred and ninety two PSP cases and 292 controls matched for age, sex, and race from the ENGENE-PSP were analyzed to determine the association between PSP and minor alleles of 5 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 4 genes (MAPT, MOBP, EIF2AK3, and STX6), which were previously associated with PSP risk. Interactions between these SNPs and environmental factors, including previously reported occupational and agricultural risk factors for PSP, were assessed for PSP odds and age of symptom onset. Minor alleles of MAPTrs242557 and EIF2AK3rs7571971 were individually associated with increased odds; MAPTrs8070723 minor alleles were associated with lower PSP odds. There were several gene-environment interactions for PSP odds and age of symptom onset, however, they did not remain significant after FDR-correction. Larger scale studies are required to determine potential interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2021.664796DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8062875PMC
April 2021

Latent trait modeling of tau neuropathology in progressive supranuclear palsy.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 05 26;141(5):667-680. Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Department of Neuroscience, Mayo Clinic, 4500 San Pablo Road, Jacksonville, FL, 32224, USA.

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is the second most common neurodegenerative Parkinsonian disorder after Parkinson's disease, and is characterized as a primary tauopathy. Leveraging the considerable clinical and neuropathologic heterogeneity associated with PSP, we measured tau neuropathology as quantitative traits to perform a genome-wide association study (GWAS) within PSP to identify genes and biological pathways that underlie the PSP disease process. In 882 PSP cases, semi-quantitative scores for phosphorylated tau-immunoreactive coiled bodies (CBs), neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs), tufted astrocytes (TAs), and tau threads were documented from 18 brain regions, and converted to latent trait (LT) variables using the R ltm package. LT analysis utilizes a multivariate regression model that links categorical responses to unobserved covariates allowing for a reduction of dimensionality, generating a single, continuous variable to account for the multiple lesions and brain regions assessed. We first tested for association with PSP LTs and the top PSP GWAS susceptibility loci. Significant SNP/LT associations were identified at rs242557 (MAPT H1c sub-haplotype) with hindbrain CBs and rs1768208 (MOBP) with forebrain tau threads. Digital microscopy was employed to quantify phosphorylated tau burden in midbrain tectum and red nucleus in 795 PSP cases and tau burdens were used as quantitative phenotypes in GWAS. Top associations were identified at rs1768208 with midbrain tectum and red nucleus tau burden. Additionally, we performed a PSP LT GWAS on an initial cohort, a follow-up SNP panel (37 SNPs, P < 10) in an extended cohort, and a combined analysis. Top SNP/LT associations were identified at SNPs in or near SPTBN5/EHD4, SEC13/ATP2B2, EPHB1/PPP2R3A, TBC1D8, IFNGR1/OLIG3, ST6GAL1, HK1, CALB1, and SGCZ. Finally, testing for SNP/transcript associations using whole transcriptome and whole genome data identified significant expression quantitative trait loci at rs3088159/SPTBN5/EHD4 and rs154239/GHRL. Modeling tau neuropathology heterogeneity using LTs as quantitative phenotypes in a GWAS may provide substantial insight into biological pathways involved in PSP by affecting regional tau burden.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-021-02289-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8043857PMC
May 2021

In vitro amplification of pathogenic tau conserves disease-specific bioactive characteristics.

Acta Neuropathol 2021 02 1;141(2):193-215. Epub 2021 Jan 1.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Institute On Aging and Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.

The microtubule-associated protein tau (tau) forms hyperphosphorylated aggregates in the brains of tauopathy patients that can be pathologically and biochemically defined as distinct tau strains. Recent studies show that these tau strains exhibit strain-specific biological activities, also referred to as pathogenicities, in the tau spreading models. Currently, the specific pathogenicity of human-derived tau strains cannot be fully recapitulated by synthetic tau preformed fibrils (pffs), which are generated from recombinant tau protein. Reproducing disease-relevant tau pathology in cell and animal models necessitates the use of human brain-derived tau seeds. However, the availability of human-derived tau is extremely limited. Generation of tau variants that can mimic the pathogenicity of human-derived tau seeds would significantly extend the scale of experimental design within the field of tauopathy research. Previous studies have demonstrated that in vitro seeding reactions can amplify the beta-sheet structure of tau protein from a minute quantity of human-derived tau. However, whether the strain-specific pathogenicities of the original, human-derived tau seeds are conserved in the amplified tau strains has yet to be experimentally validated. Here, we used biochemically enriched brain-derived tau seeds from Alzheimer's disease (AD), corticobasal degeneration (CBD) and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) patient brains with a modified seeding protocol to template the recruitment of recombinant 2N4R (T40) tau in vitro. We quantitatively interrogated efficacy of the amplification reactions and the pathogenic fidelity of the amplified material to the original tau seeds using recently developed sporadic tau spreading models. Our data suggest that different tau strains can be faithfully amplified in vitro from tau isolated from different tauopathy brains and that the amplified tau variants retain their strain-dependent pathogenic characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-020-02253-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7847465PMC
February 2021

Novel Alzheimer Disease Risk Loci and Pathways in African American Individuals Using the African Genome Resources Panel: A Meta-analysis.

JAMA Neurol 2021 Jan;78(1):102-113

Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, Columbia University, New York, New York.

Importance: Compared with non-Hispanic White individuals, African American individuals from the same community are approximately twice as likely to develop Alzheimer disease. Despite this disparity, the largest Alzheimer disease genome-wide association studies to date have been conducted in non-Hispanic White individuals. In the largest association analyses of Alzheimer disease in African American individuals, ABCA7, TREM2, and an intergenic locus at 5q35 were previously implicated.

Objective: To identify additional risk loci in African American individuals by increasing the sample size and using the African Genome Resource panel.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This genome-wide association meta-analysis used case-control and family-based data sets from the Alzheimer Disease Genetics Consortium. There were multiple recruitment sites throughout the United States that included individuals with Alzheimer disease and controls of African American ancestry. Analysis began October 2018 and ended September 2019.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Diagnosis of Alzheimer disease.

Results: A total of 2784 individuals with Alzheimer disease (1944 female [69.8%]) and 5222 controls (3743 female [71.7%]) were analyzed (mean [SD] age at last evaluation, 74.2 [13.6] years). Associations with 4 novel common loci centered near the intracellular glycoprotein trafficking gene EDEM1 (3p26; P = 8.9 × 10-7), near the immune response gene ALCAM (3q13; P = 9.3 × 10-7), within GPC6 (13q31; P = 4.1 × 10-7), a gene critical for recruitment of glutamatergic receptors to the neuronal membrane, and within VRK3 (19q13.33; P = 3.5 × 10-7), a gene involved in glutamate neurotoxicity, were identified. In addition, several loci associated with rare variants, including a genome-wide significant intergenic locus near IGF1R at 15q26 (P = 1.7 × 10-9) and 6 additional loci with suggestive significance (P ≤ 5 × 10-7) such as API5 at 11p12 (P = 8.8 × 10-8) and RBFOX1 at 16p13 (P = 5.4 × 10-7) were identified. Gene expression data from brain tissue demonstrate association of ALCAM, ARAP1, GPC6, and RBFOX1 with brain β-amyloid load. Of 25 known loci associated with Alzheimer disease in non-Hispanic White individuals, only APOE, ABCA7, TREM2, BIN1, CD2AP, FERMT2, and WWOX were implicated at a nominal significance level or stronger in African American individuals. Pathway analyses strongly support the notion that immunity, lipid processing, and intracellular trafficking pathways underlying Alzheimer disease in African American individuals overlap with those observed in non-Hispanic White individuals. A new pathway emerging from these analyses is the kidney system, suggesting a novel mechanism for Alzheimer disease that needs further exploration.

Conclusions And Relevance: While the major pathways involved in Alzheimer disease etiology in African American individuals are similar to those in non-Hispanic White individuals, the disease-associated loci within these pathways differ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.3536DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7573798PMC
January 2021

Fibrillation and molecular characteristics are coherent with clinical and pathological features of 4-repeat tauopathy caused by MAPT variant G273R.

Neurobiol Dis 2020 12 19;146:105079. Epub 2020 Sep 19.

UK Dementia Research Institute at UCL and Department of Neurodegenerative Disease, UCL Institute of Neurology, University College London, London, UK; Division of Life Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong, SAR, China. Electronic address:

Microtubule Associated Protein Tau (MAPT) forms proteopathic aggregates in several diseases. The G273R tau mutation, located in the first repeat region, was found by exome sequencing in a patient who presented with dementia and parkinsonism. We herein return to pathological examination which demonstrated tau immunoreactivity in neurons and glia consistent of mixed progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal degeneration (CBD) features. To rationalize the pathological findings, we used molecular biophysics to characterize the mutation in more detail in vitro and in Drosophila. The G273R mutation increases the aggregation propensity of 4-repeat (4R) tau and alters the tau binding affinity towards microtubules (MTs) and F-actin. Tau aggregates in PSP and CBD are predominantly 4R tau. Our data suggest that the G273R mutation induces a shift in pool of 4R tau by lower F-actin affinity, alters the conformation of MT bound 4R tau, while increasing chaperoning of 3R tau by binding stronger to F-actin. The mutation augmented fibrillation of 4R tau initiation in vitro and in glial cells in Drosophila and showed preferential seeding of 4R tau in vitro suggestively causing a late onset 4R tauopathy reminiscent of PSP and CBD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2020.105079DOI Listing
December 2020

Insoluble Tau From Human FTDP-17 Cases Exhibit Unique Transmission Properties In Vivo.

J Neuropathol Exp Neurol 2020 09;79(9):941-949

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Institute on Aging and Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

One hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases is the intracellular accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau protein, a neuronal microtubule-associated protein, into structures known as neurofibrillary tangles. Tauopathies are heterogeneous neurodegenerative diseases caused by the misfolding of the tau protein. It has been previously shown that the tau protein can spread from cell to cell in a prion-like manner. Tauopathies can be sporadic or familial, with the identification of pathogenic mutations in the microtubule-associated protein tau gene on chromosome 17 in the familial cases. Different frontotemporal dementia with parkinsonism-17 (FTDP-17) cases are associated with varying clinical presentations and types of neuropathology. We previously demonstrated that insoluble tau extracted from sporadic tauopathy human brains contain distinct tau strains, which underlie the heterogeneity of these diseases. Furthermore, these tau strains seeded tau aggregates that resemble human tau neuropathology in nontransgenic and 6hTau mice in vivo. Here, we show insoluble tau from human brains of FTDP-17 cases transmit different patterns of neuronal and glial tau pathology in vivo, similar to the sporadic tauopathies. This suggests that each of these tau mutations has unique properties that underlie the heterogeneity of FTDP-17 cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jnen/nlaa086DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7445034PMC
September 2020

Sex-dependent autosomal effects on clinical progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Brain 2020 07;143(7):2272-2280

Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego, USA.

Sex differences in the manifestations of Alzheimer's disease are under intense investigation. Despite the emerging importance of polygenic predictions for Alzheimer's disease, sex-dependent polygenic effects have not been demonstrated. Here, using a sex crossover analysis, we show that sex-dependent autosomal genetic effects on Alzheimer's disease can be revealed by characterizing disease progress via the hazard function. We first performed sex-stratified genome-wide associations, and then applied derived sex-dependent weights to two independent cohorts. Relative to sex-mismatched scores, sex-matched polygenic hazard scores showed significantly stronger associations with age-at-disease-onset, clinical progression, amyloid deposition, neurofibrillary tangles, and composite neuropathological scores, independent of apolipoprotein E. Models without using hazard weights, i.e. polygenic risk scores, showed lower predictive power than polygenic hazard scores with no evidence for sex differences. Our results indicate that revealing sex-dependent genetic architecture requires the consideration of temporal processes of Alzheimer's disease. This has strong implications not only for the genetic underpinning of Alzheimer's disease but also for how we estimate sex-dependent polygenic effects for clinical use.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awaa164DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7364740PMC
July 2020

LRP10 variants in progressive supranuclear palsy.

Neurobiol Aging 2020 10 30;94:311.e5-311.e10. Epub 2020 Apr 30.

Department of Neurology and Alzheimer Center, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address:

The aim of this study was to explore whether variants in LRP10, recently associated with Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies, are observed in 2 large cohorts (discovery and validation cohort) of patients with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). A total of 950 patients with PSP were enrolled: 246 patients with PSP (n = 85 possible (35%), n = 128 probable (52%), n = 33 definite (13%)) in the discovery cohort and 704 patients with definite PSP in the validation cohort. Sanger sequencing of all LRP10 exons and exon-intron boundaries was performed in the discovery cohort, and whole-exome sequencing was performed in the validation cohort. Two patients from the discovery cohort and 8 patients from the validation cohort carried a rare, heterozygous, and possibly pathogenic LRP10 variant (p.Gly326Asp, p.Asp389Asn, and p.Arg158His, p.Cys220Tyr, p.Thr278Ala, p.Gly306Asp, p.Glu486Asp, p.Arg554∗, p.Arg661Cys). In conclusion, possibly pathogenic LRP10 variants occur in a small fraction of patients with PSP and may be overrepresented in these patients compared with controls. This suggests that possibly pathogenic LRP10 variants may play a role in the development of PSP.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2020.04.016DOI Listing
October 2020

Exceptionally low likelihood of Alzheimer's dementia in APOE2 homozygotes from a 5,000-person neuropathological study.

Nat Commun 2020 02 3;11(1):667. Epub 2020 Feb 3.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA.

Each additional copy of the apolipoprotein E4 (APOE4) allele is associated with a higher risk of Alzheimer's dementia, while the APOE2 allele is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's dementia, it is not yet known whether APOE2 homozygotes have a particularly low risk. We generated Alzheimer's dementia odds ratios and other findings in more than 5,000 clinically characterized and neuropathologically characterized Alzheimer's dementia cases and controls. APOE2/2 was associated with a low Alzheimer's dementia odds ratios compared to APOE2/3 and 3/3, and an exceptionally low odds ratio compared to APOE4/4, and the impact of APOE2 and APOE4 gene dose was significantly greater in the neuropathologically confirmed group than in more than 24,000 neuropathologically unconfirmed cases and controls. Finding and targeting the factors by which APOE and its variants influence Alzheimer's disease could have a major impact on the understanding, treatment and prevention of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-14279-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6997393PMC
February 2020

Transmission of tauopathy strains is independent of their isoform composition.

Nat Commun 2020 01 7;11(1). Epub 2020 Jan 7.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Institute on Aging and Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.

The deposition of pathological tau is a common feature in several neurodegenerative tauopathies. Although equal ratios of tau isoforms with 3 (3R) and 4 (4R) microtubule-binding repeats are expressed in the adult human brain, the pathological tau from different tauopathies have distinct isoform compositions and cell type specificities. The underlying mechanisms of tauopathies are unknown, partially due to the lack of proper models. Here, we generate a new transgenic mouse line expressing equal ratios of 3R and 4R human tau isoforms (6hTau mice). Intracerebral injections of distinct human tauopathy brain-derived tau strains into 6hTau mice recapitulate the deposition of pathological tau with distinct tau isoform compositions and cell type specificities as in human tauopathies. Moreover, through in vivo propagation of these tau strains among different mouse lines, we demonstrate that the transmission of distinct tau strains is independent of strain isoform compositions, but instead intrinsic to unique pathological conformations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-13787-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6946697PMC
January 2020

Activity of the poly(A) binding protein MSUT2 determines susceptibility to pathological tau in the mammalian brain.

Sci Transl Med 2019 12;11(523)

Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA 98108, USA.

Brain lesions composed of pathological tau help to drive neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related tauopathies. Here, we identified the mammalian suppressor of tauopathy 2 () gene as a modifier of susceptibility to tau toxicity in two mouse models of tauopathy. Transgenic PS19 mice overexpressing tau, a model of AD, and lacking the gene exhibited decreased learning and memory deficits, reduced neurodegeneration, and reduced accumulation of pathological tau compared to PS19 tau transgenic mice expressing Conversely, overexpression in 4RTauTg2652 tau transgenic mice increased pathological tau deposition and promoted the neuroinflammatory response to pathological tau. MSUT2 is a poly(A) RNA binding protein that antagonizes the canonical nuclear poly(A) binding protein PABPN1. In individuals with AD, MSUT2 abundance in postmortem brain tissue predicted an earlier age of disease onset. Postmortem AD brain tissue samples with normal amounts of MSUT2 showed elevated neuroinflammation associated with tau pathology. We observed co-depletion of MSUT2 and PABPN1 in postmortem brain samples from a subset of AD cases with higher tau burden and increased neuronal loss. This suggested that MSUT2 and PABPN1 may act together in a macromolecular complex bound to poly(A) RNA. Although MSUT2 and PABPN1 had opposing effects on both tau aggregation and poly(A) RNA tail length, we found that increased poly(A) tail length did not ameliorate tauopathy, implicating other functions of the MSUT2/PABPN1 complex in tau proteostasis. Our findings implicate poly(A) RNA binding proteins both as modulators of pathological tau toxicity in AD and as potential molecular targets for interventions to slow neurodegeneration in tauopathies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aao6545DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7311111PMC
December 2019

Inferring the Molecular Mechanisms of Noncoding Alzheimer's Disease-Associated Genetic Variants.

J Alzheimers Dis 2019 ;72(1):301-318

Genomics and Computational Biology Graduate Group, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Most of the loci identified by genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) are in strong linkage disequilibrium (LD) with nearby variants all of which could be the actual functional variants, often in non-protein-coding regions and implicating underlying gene regulatory mechanisms. We set out to characterize the causal variants, regulatory mechanisms, tissue contexts, and target genes underlying these associations. We applied our INFERNO algorithm to the top 19 non-APOE loci from the IGAP GWAS study. INFERNO annotated all LD-expanded variants at each locus with tissue-specific regulatory activity. Bayesian co-localization analysis of summary statistics and eQTL data was performed to identify tissue-specific target genes. INFERNO identified enhancer dysregulation in all 19 tag regions analyzed, significant enrichments of enhancer overlaps in the immune-related blood category, and co-localized eQTL signals overlapping enhancers from the matching tissue class in ten regions (ABCA7, BIN1, CASS4, CD2AP, CD33, CELF1, CLU, EPHA1, FERMT2, ZCWPW1). In several cases, we identified dysregulation of long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) transcripts and applied the lncRNA target identification algorithm from INFERNO to characterize their downstream biological effects. We also validated the allele-specific effects of several variants on enhancer function using luciferase expression assays. By integrating functional genomics with GWAS signals, our analysis yielded insights into the regulatory mechanisms, tissue contexts, genes, and biological processes affected by noncoding genetic variation associated with LOAD risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/JAD-190568DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7316086PMC
November 2020

Sex differences in the genetic predictors of Alzheimer's pathology.

Brain 2019 09;142(9):2581-2589

Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, The Sahlgrenska Academy at University of Gothenburg, Mölndal, Sweden.

Autopsy measures of Alzheimer's disease neuropathology have been leveraged as endophenotypes in previous genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, despite evidence of sex differences in Alzheimer's disease risk, sex-stratified models have not been incorporated into previous GWAS analyses. We looked for sex-specific genetic associations with Alzheimer's disease endophenotypes from six brain bank data repositories. The pooled dataset included 2701 males and 3275 females, the majority of whom were diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease at autopsy (70%). Sex-stratified GWAS were performed within each dataset and then meta-analysed. Loci that reached genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10-8) in stratified models were further assessed for sex interactions. Additional analyses were performed in independent datasets leveraging cognitive, neuroimaging and CSF endophenotypes, along with age-at-onset data. Outside of the APOE region, one locus on chromosome 7 (rs34331204) showed a sex-specific association with neurofibrillary tangles among males (P = 2.5 × 10-8) but not females (P = 0.85, sex-interaction P = 2.9 × 10-4). In follow-up analyses, rs34331204 was also associated with hippocampal volume, executive function, and age-at-onset only among males. These results implicate a novel locus that confers male-specific protection from tau pathology and highlight the value of assessing genetic associations in a sex-specific manner.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awz206DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6736148PMC
September 2019

Promoter Polymorphism-219T/G is an Effect Modifier of the Influence of ε4 on Alzheimer's Disease Risk in a Multiracial Sample.

J Clin Med 2019 Aug 16;8(8). Epub 2019 Aug 16.

Department of Molecular Genetics, Brain Research Institute, Niigata University, Niigata 951-8585, Japan.

Variants in the gene region may explain ethnic differences in the association of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with ε4. Ethnic differences in allele frequencies for three region SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) were identified and tested for association in 19,398 East Asians (EastA), including Koreans and Japanese, 15,836 European ancestry (EuroA) individuals, and 4985 African Americans, and with brain imaging measures of cortical atrophy in sub-samples of Koreans and EuroAs. Among ε4/ε4 individuals, AD risk increased substantially in a dose-dependent manner with the number of promoter SNP rs405509 alleles in EastAs : OR (odds ratio) = 27.02, = 8.80 × 10; : OR = 15.87, = 2.62 × 10) and EuroAs (: OR = 18.13, = 2.69 × 10; : OR = 12.63, = 3.44 × 10), and rs405509- homozygotes had a younger onset and more severe cortical atrophy than those with -allele. Functional experiments using promoter fragments demonstrated that lowered expression in human brain and serum. The modifying effect of rs405509 genotype explained much of the ethnic variability in the AD/ε4 association, and increasing expression might lower AD risk among ε4 homozygotes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm8081236DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723529PMC
August 2019

C9orf72 intermediate repeats are associated with corticobasal degeneration, increased C9orf72 expression and disruption of autophagy.

Acta Neuropathol 2019 11 20;138(5):795-811. Epub 2019 Jul 20.

Translational Neuropathology Research Laboratory, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 613A Stellar Chance Laboratories, 422 Curie Blvd, Philadelphia, PA, 19104, USA.

Microsatellite repeat expansion disease loci can exhibit pleiotropic clinical and biological effects depending on repeat length. Large expansions in C9orf72 (100s-1000s of units) are the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal degeneration (FTD). However, whether intermediate expansions also contribute to neurodegenerative disease is not well understood. Several studies have identified intermediate repeats in Parkinson's disease patients, but the association was not found in autopsy-confirmed cases. We hypothesized that intermediate C9orf72 repeats are a genetic risk factor for corticobasal degeneration (CBD), a neurodegenerative disease that can be clinically similar to Parkinson's but has distinct tau protein pathology. Indeed, intermediate C9orf72 repeats were significantly enriched in autopsy-proven CBD (n = 354 cases, odds ratio = 3.59, p = 0.00024). While large C9orf72 repeat expansions are known to decrease C9orf72 expression, intermediate C9orf72 repeats result in increased C9orf72 expression in human brain tissue and CRISPR/cas9 knockin iPSC-derived neural progenitor cells. In contrast to cases of FTD/ALS with large C9orf72 expansions, CBD with intermediate C9orf72 repeats was not associated with pathologic RNA foci or dipeptide repeat protein aggregates. Knock-in cells with intermediate repeats exhibit numerous changes in gene expression pathways relating to vesicle trafficking and autophagy. Additionally, overexpression of C9orf72 without the repeat expansion leads to defects in autophagy under nutrient starvation conditions. These results raise the possibility that therapeutic strategies to reduce C9orf72 expression may be beneficial for the treatment of CBD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-019-02045-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6802287PMC
November 2019

Gene-based analysis in HRC imputed genome wide association data identifies three novel genes for Alzheimer's disease.

PLoS One 2019 8;14(7):e0218111. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

Medical Research Council Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics, Division of Psychological Medicine and Clinical Neurosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, United Kingdom.

Late onset Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia for which about 30 susceptibility loci have been reported. The aim of the current study is to identify novel genes associated with Alzheimer's disease using the largest up-to-date reference single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) panel, the most accurate imputation software and a novel gene-based analysis 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 million genotypes from 17,008 Alzheimer's cases and 37,154 controls. In addition to earlier reported genes, we detected three novel gene-wide significant loci PPARGC1A (p = 2.2 × 10-6), RORA (p = 7.4 × 10-7) and ZNF423 (p = 2.1 × 10-6). PPARGC1A and RORA are involved in circadian rhythm; circadian disturbances are one of the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. PPARGC1A is additionally linked to energy metabolism and the generation of amyloid beta plaques. RORA is involved in a variety of functions apart from circadian rhythm, such as cholesterol metabolism and inflammation. The ZNF423 gene resides in an Alzheimer's disease-specific protein network and is likely involved with centrosomes and DNA damage repair.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0218111PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6613773PMC
February 2020

Analysis of Whole-Exome Sequencing Data for Alzheimer Disease Stratified by APOE Genotype.

JAMA Neurol 2019 Sep;76(9):1099-1108

Department of Medicine (Biomedical Genetics), Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Previous genome-wide association studies of common variants identified associations for Alzheimer disease (AD) loci evident only among individuals with particular APOE alleles.

Objective: To identify APOE genotype-dependent associations with infrequent and rare variants using whole-exome sequencing.

Design, Setting, And Participants: The discovery stage included 10 441 non-Hispanic white participants in the Alzheimer Disease Sequencing Project. Replication was sought in 2 independent, whole-exome sequencing data sets (1766 patients with AD, 2906 without AD [controls]) and a chip-based genotype imputation data set (8728 patients with AD, 9808 controls). Bioinformatics and functional analyses were conducted using clinical, cognitive, neuropathologic, whole-exome sequencing, and gene expression data obtained from a longitudinal cohort sample including 402 patients with AD and 647 controls. Data were analyzed between March 2017 and September 2018.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Score, Firth, and sequence kernel association tests were used to test the association of AD risk with individual variants and genes in subgroups of APOE ε4 carriers and noncarriers. Results with P ≤ 1 × 10-5 were further evaluated in the replication data sets and combined by meta-analysis.

Results: Among 3145 patients with AD and 4213 controls lacking ε4 (mean [SD] age, 83.4 [7.6] years; 4363 [59.3.%] women), novel genome-wide significant associations were obtained in the discovery sample with rs536940594 in AC099552 (odds ratio [OR], 88.0; 95% CI, 9.08-852.0; P = 2.22 × 10-7) and rs138412600 in GPAA1 (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.44-2.2; meta-P = 7.81 × 10-8). GPAA1 was also associated with expression in the brain of GPAA1 (β = -0.08; P = .03) and its repressive transcription factor, FOXG1 (β = 0.13; P = .003), and global cognition function (β = -0.53; P = .009). Significant gene-wide associations (threshold P ≤ 6.35 × 10-7) were observed for OR8G5 (P = 4.67 × 10-7), IGHV3-7 (P = 9.75 × 10-16), and SLC24A3 (P = 2.67 × 10-12) in 2377 patients with AD and 706 controls with ε4 (mean [SD] age, 75.2 [9.6] years; 1668 [54.1%] women).

Conclusions And Relevance: The study identified multiple possible novel associations for AD with individual and aggregated rare variants in groups of individuals with and without APOE ε4 alleles that reinforce known and suggest additional pathways leading to AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.1456DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6563544PMC
September 2019

CpG-related SNPs in the MS4A region have a dose-dependent effect on risk of late-onset Alzheimer disease.

Aging Cell 2019 08 29;18(4):e12964. Epub 2019 May 29.

Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

CpG-related single nucleotide polymorphisms (CGS) have the potential to perturb DNA methylation; however, their effects on Alzheimer disease (AD) risk have not been evaluated systematically. We conducted a genome-wide association study using a sliding-window approach to measure the combined effects of CGSes on AD risk in a discovery sample of 24 European ancestry cohorts (12,181 cases, 12,601 controls) from the Alzheimer's Disease Genetics Consortium (ADGC) and replication sample of seven European ancestry cohorts (7,554 cases, 27,382 controls) from the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP). The potential functional relevance of significant associations was evaluated by analysis of methylation and expression levels in brain tissue of the Religious Orders Study and the Rush Memory and Aging Project (ROSMAP), and in whole blood of Framingham Heart Study participants (FHS). Genome-wide significant (p < 5 × 10 ) associations were identified with 171 1.0 kb-length windows spanning 932 kb in the APOE region (top p < 2.2 × 10 ), five windows at BIN1 (top p = 1.3 × 10 ), two windows at MS4A6A (top p = 2.7 × 10 ), two windows near MS4A4A (top p = 6.4 × 10 ), and one window at PICALM (p = 6.3 × 10 ). The total number of CGS-derived CpG dinucleotides in the window near MS4A4A was associated with AD risk (p = 2.67 × 10 ), brain DNA methylation (p = 2.15 × 10 ), and gene expression in brain (p = 0.03) and blood (p = 2.53 × 10 ). Pathway analysis of the genes responsive to changes in the methylation quantitative trait locus signal at MS4A4A (cg14750746) showed an enrichment of methyltransferase functions. We confirm the importance of CGS in AD and the potential for creating a functional CpG dosage-derived genetic score to predict AD risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.12964DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6612647PMC
August 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

Polygenic hazard score, amyloid deposition and Alzheimer's neurodegeneration.

Brain 2019 02;142(2):460-470

Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, 500 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Mounting evidence indicates that the polygenic basis of late-onset Alzheimer's disease can be harnessed to identify individuals at greatest risk for cognitive decline. We have previously developed and validated a polygenic hazard score comprising of 31 single nucleotide polymorphisms for predicting Alzheimer's disease dementia age of onset. In this study, we examined whether polygenic hazard scores are associated with: (i) regional tracer uptake using amyloid PET; (ii) regional volume loss using longitudinal MRI; (iii) post-mortem regional amyloid-β protein and tau associated neurofibrillary tangles; and (iv) four common non-Alzheimer's pathologies. Even after accounting for APOE, we found a strong association between polygenic hazard scores and amyloid PET standard uptake volume ratio with the largest effects within frontal cortical regions in 980 older individuals across the disease spectrum, and longitudinal MRI volume loss within the entorhinal cortex in 607 older individuals across the disease spectrum. We also found that higher polygenic hazard scores were associated with greater rates of cognitive and clinical decline in 632 non-demented older individuals, even after controlling for APOE status, frontal amyloid PET and entorhinal cortex volume. In addition, the combined model that included polygenic hazard scores, frontal amyloid PET and entorhinal cortex volume resulted in a better fit compared to a model with only imaging markers. Neuropathologically, we found that polygenic hazard scores were associated with regional post-mortem amyloid load and neuronal neurofibrillary tangles, even after accounting for APOE, validating our imaging findings. Lastly, polygenic hazard scores were associated with Lewy body and cerebrovascular pathology. Beyond APOE, we show that in living subjects, polygenic hazard scores were associated with amyloid deposition and neurodegeneration in susceptible brain regions. Polygenic hazard scores may also be useful for the identification of individuals at the highest risk for developing multi-aetiological dementia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awy327DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6351776PMC
February 2019

Genetic and lifestyle risk factors for MRI-defined brain infarcts in a population-based setting.

Neurology 2019 Jan 16. Epub 2019 Jan 16.

Objective: To explore genetic and lifestyle risk factors of MRI-defined brain infarcts (BI) in large population-based cohorts.

Methods: We performed meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and examined associations of vascular risk factors and their genetic risk scores (GRS) with MRI-defined BI and a subset of BI, namely, small subcortical BI (SSBI), in 18 population-based cohorts (n = 20,949) from 5 ethnicities (3,726 with BI, 2,021 with SSBI). Top loci were followed up in 7 population-based cohorts (n = 6,862; 1,483 with BI, 630 with SBBI), and we tested associations with related phenotypes including ischemic stroke and pathologically defined BI.

Results: The mean prevalence was 17.7% for BI and 10.5% for SSBI, steeply rising after age 65. Two loci showed genome-wide significant association with BI: FBN2, = 1.77 × 10; and LINC00539/ZDHHC20, = 5.82 × 10. Both have been associated with blood pressure (BP)-related phenotypes, but did not replicate in the smaller follow-up sample or show associations with related phenotypes. Age- and sex-adjusted associations with BI and SSBI were observed for BP traits ( value for BI, = 9.38 × 10; = 5.23 × 10 for hypertension), smoking ( = 4.4 × 10; = 1.2 × 10), diabetes ( = 1.7 × 10; = 2.8 × 10), previous cardiovascular disease ( = 1.0 × 10; = 2.3 × 10), stroke ( = 3.9 × 10; = 3.2 × 10), and MRI-defined white matter hyperintensity burden ( = 1.43 × 10; = 3.16 × 10), but not with body mass index or cholesterol. GRS of BP traits were associated with BI and SSBI ( ≤ 0.0022), without indication of directional pleiotropy.

Conclusion: In this multiethnic GWAS meta-analysis, including over 20,000 population-based participants, we identified genetic risk loci for BI requiring validation once additional large datasets become available. High BP, including genetically determined, was the most significant modifiable, causal risk factor for BI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0000000000006851DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6369905PMC
January 2019

A rare missense variant of CASP7 is associated with familial late-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers Dement 2019 03 3;15(3):441-452. Epub 2019 Jan 3.

Department of Medicine (Biomedical Genetics), Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA; Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA; Department of Ophthalmology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA; Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:

Introduction: The genetic architecture of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is only partially understood.

Methods: We conducted an association study for AD using whole sequence data from 507 genetically enriched AD cases (i.e., cases having close relatives affected by AD) and 4917 cognitively healthy controls of European ancestry (EA) and 172 enriched cases and 179 controls of Caribbean Hispanic ancestry. Confirmation of top findings from stage 1 was sought in two family-based genome-wide association study data sets and in a whole genome-sequencing data set comprising members from 42 EA and 115 Caribbean Hispanic families.

Results: We identified associations in EAs with variants in 12 novel loci. The most robust finding is a rare CASP7 missense variant (rs116437863; P = 2.44 × 10) which improved when combined with results from stage 2 data sets (P = 1.92 × 10).

Discussion: Our study demonstrated that an enriched case design can strengthen genetic signals, thus allowing detection of associations that would otherwise be missed in a traditional case-control study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2018.10.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6408965PMC
March 2019

Ancestral origin of ApoE ε4 Alzheimer disease risk in Puerto Rican and African American populations.

PLoS Genet 2018 12 5;14(12):e1007791. Epub 2018 Dec 5.

John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, Florida, United States of America.

The ApoE ε4 allele is the most significant genetic risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer disease. The risk conferred by ε4, however, differs across populations, with populations of African ancestry showing lower ε4 risk compared to those of European or Asian ancestry. The cause of this heterogeneity in risk effect is currently unknown; it may be due to environmental or cultural factors correlated with ancestry, or it may be due to genetic variation local to the ApoE region that differs among populations. Exploring these hypotheses may lead to novel, population-specific therapeutics and risk predictions. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed ApoE genotypes and genome-wide array data in individuals from African American and Puerto Rican populations. A total of 1,766 African American and 220 Puerto Rican individuals with late-onset Alzheimer disease, and 3,730 African American and 169 Puerto Rican cognitively healthy individuals (> 65 years) participated in the study. We first assessed average ancestry across the genome ("global" ancestry) and then tested it for interaction with ApoE genotypes. Next, we assessed the ancestral background of ApoE alleles ("local" ancestry) and tested if ancestry local to ApoE influenced Alzheimer disease risk while controlling for global ancestry. Measures of global ancestry showed no interaction with ApoE risk (Puerto Rican: p-value = 0.49; African American: p-value = 0.65). Conversely, ancestry local to the ApoE region showed an interaction with the ApoE ε4 allele in both populations (Puerto Rican: p-value = 0.019; African American: p-value = 0.005). ApoE ε4 alleles on an African background conferred a lower risk than those with a European ancestral background, regardless of population (Puerto Rican: OR = 1.26 on African background, OR = 4.49 on European; African American: OR = 2.34 on African background, OR = 3.05 on European background). Factors contributing to the lower risk effect in the ApoE gene ε4 allele are likely due to ancestry-specific genetic factors near ApoE rather than non-genetic ethnic, cultural, and environmental factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1007791DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6281216PMC
December 2018

Dissecting the genetic relationship between cardiovascular risk factors and Alzheimer's disease.

Acta Neuropathol 2019 02 9;137(2):209-226. Epub 2018 Nov 9.

Department of Cognitive Sciences, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.

Cardiovascular (CV)- and lifestyle-associated risk factors (RFs) are increasingly recognized as important for Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis. Beyond the ε4 allele of apolipoprotein E (APOE), comparatively little is known about whether CV-associated genes also increase risk for AD. Using large genome-wide association studies and validated tools to quantify genetic overlap, we systematically identified single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) jointly associated with AD and one or more CV-associated RFs, namely body mass index (BMI), type 2 diabetes (T2D), coronary artery disease (CAD), waist hip ratio (WHR), total cholesterol (TC), triglycerides (TG), low-density (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). In fold enrichment plots, we observed robust genetic enrichment in AD as a function of plasma lipids (TG, TC, LDL, and HDL); we found minimal AD genetic enrichment conditional on BMI, T2D, CAD, and WHR. Beyond APOE, at conjunction FDR < 0.05 we identified 90 SNPs on 19 different chromosomes that were jointly associated with AD and CV-associated outcomes. In meta-analyses across three independent cohorts, we found four novel loci within MBLAC1 (chromosome 7, meta-p = 1.44 × 10), MINK1 (chromosome 17, meta-p = 1.98 × 10) and two chromosome 11 SNPs within the MTCH2/SPI1 region (closest gene = DDB2, meta-p = 7.01 × 10 and closest gene = MYBPC3, meta-p = 5.62 × 10). In a large 'AD-by-proxy' cohort from the UK Biobank, we replicated three of the four novel AD/CV pleiotropic SNPs, namely variants within MINK1, MBLAC1, and DDB2. Expression of MBLAC1, SPI1, MINK1 and DDB2 was differentially altered within postmortem AD brains. Beyond APOE, we show that the polygenic component of AD is enriched for lipid-associated RFs. We pinpoint a subset of cardiovascular-associated genes that strongly increase the risk for AD. Our collective findings support a disease model in which cardiovascular biology is integral to the development of clinical AD in a subset of individuals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-018-1928-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6358498PMC
February 2019

VCPA: genomic variant calling pipeline and data management tool for Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project.

Bioinformatics 2019 05;35(10):1768-1770

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn Neurodegeneration Genomics Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Summary: We report VCPA, our SNP/Indel Variant Calling Pipeline and data management tool used for the analysis of whole genome and exome sequencing (WGS/WES) for the Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project. VCPA consists of two independent but linkable components: pipeline and tracking database. The pipeline, implemented using the Workflow Description Language and fully optimized for the Amazon elastic compute cloud environment, includes steps from aligning raw sequence reads to variant calling using GATK. The tracking database allows users to view job running status in real time and visualize >100 quality metrics per genome. VCPA is functionally equivalent to the CCDG/TOPMed pipeline. Users can use the pipeline and the dockerized database to process large WGS/WES datasets on Amazon cloud with minimal configuration.

Availability And Implementation: VCPA is released under the MIT license and is available for academic and nonprofit use for free. The pipeline source code and step-by-step instructions are available from the National Institute on Aging Genetics of Alzheimer's Disease Data Storage Site (http://www.niagads.org/VCPA).

Supplementary Information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/bty894DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6513159PMC
May 2019

Male-specific epistasis between WWC1 and TLN2 genes is associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Neurobiol Aging 2018 12 9;72:188.e3-188.e12. Epub 2018 Aug 9.

Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases group, Center for Molecular Neurology, VIB, Antwerp, Belgium; Institute Born-Bunge, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.

Systematic epistasis analyses in multifactorial disorders are an important step to better characterize complex genetic risk structures. We conducted a hypothesis-free sex-stratified genome-wide screening for epistasis contributing to Alzheimer's disease (AD) susceptibility. We identified a statistical epistasis signal between the single nucleotide polymorphisms rs3733980 and rs7175766 that was associated with AD in males (genome-wide significant p=0.0165). This signal pointed toward the genes WW and C2 domain containing 1, aka KIBRA; 5q34 and TLN2 (talin 2; 15q22.2). Gene-based meta-analysis in 3 independent consortium data sets confirmed the identified interaction: the most significant (p=9.02*10) was for the single nucleotide polymorphism pair rs1477307 and rs4077746. In functional studies, WW and C2 domain containing 1, aka KIBRA and TLN2 coexpressed in the temporal cortex brain tissue of AD subjects (β=0.17, 95% CI 0.04 to 0.30, p=0.01); modulated Tau toxicity in Drosophila eye experiments; colocalized in brain tissue cells, N2a neuroblastoma, and HeLa cell lines; and coimmunoprecipitated both in brain tissue and HEK293 cells. Our finding points toward new AD-related pathways and provides clues toward novel medical targets for the cure of AD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2018.08.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6769421PMC
December 2018