Publications by authors named "Nathalie Geerts"

4 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Loss of DPP6 in neurodegenerative dementia: a genetic player in the dysfunction of neuronal excitability.

Acta Neuropathol 2019 06 14;137(6):901-918. Epub 2019 Mar 14.

Center for Molecular Neurology, VIB, Antwerp, Belgium.

Emerging evidence suggested a converging mechanism in neurodegenerative brain diseases (NBD) involving early neuronal network dysfunctions and alterations in the homeostasis of neuronal firing as culprits of neurodegeneration. In this study, we used paired-end short-read and direct long-read whole genome sequencing to investigate an unresolved autosomal dominant dementia family significantly linked to 7q36. We identified and validated a chromosomal inversion of ca. 4 Mb, segregating on the disease haplotype and disrupting the coding sequence of dipeptidyl-peptidase 6 gene (DPP6). DPP6 resequencing identified significantly more rare variants-nonsense, frameshift, and missense-in early-onset Alzheimer's disease (EOAD, p value = 0.03, OR = 2.21 95% CI 1.05-4.82) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD, p = 0.006, OR = 2.59, 95% CI 1.28-5.49) patient cohorts. DPP6 is a type II transmembrane protein with a highly structured extracellular domain and is mainly expressed in brain, where it binds to the potassium channel K4.2 enhancing its expression, regulating its gating properties and controlling the dendritic excitability of hippocampal neurons. Using in vitro modeling, we showed that the missense variants found in patients destabilize DPP6 and reduce its membrane expression (p < 0.001 and p < 0.0001) leading to a loss of protein. Reduced DPP6 and/or K4.2 expression was also detected in brain tissue of missense variant carriers. Loss of DPP6 is known to cause neuronal hyperexcitability and behavioral alterations in Dpp6-KO mice. Taken together, the results of our genomic, genetic, expression and modeling analyses, provided direct evidence supporting the involvement of DPP6 loss in dementia. We propose that loss of function variants have a higher penetrance and disease impact, whereas the missense variants have a variable risk contribution to disease that can vary from high to low penetrance. Our findings of DPP6, as novel gene in dementia, strengthen the involvement of neuronal hyperexcitability and alteration in the homeostasis of neuronal firing as a disease mechanism to further investigate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00401-019-01976-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6531610PMC
June 2019

Rare Variants in PLD3 Do Not Affect Risk for Early-Onset Alzheimer Disease in a European Consortium Cohort.

Hum Mutat 2015 Dec 14;36(12):1226-35. Epub 2015 Oct 14.

Faculty of Medicine and Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal.

Rare variants in the phospholipase D3 gene (PLD3) were associated with increased risk for late-onset Alzheimer disease (LOAD). We identified a missense mutation in PLD3 in whole-genome sequence data of a patient with autopsy confirmed Alzheimer disease (AD) and onset age of 50 years. Subsequently, we sequenced PLD3 in a Belgian early-onset Alzheimer disease (EOAD) patient (N = 261) and control (N = 319) cohort, as well as in European EOAD patients (N = 946) and control individuals (N = 1,209) ascertained in different European countries. Overall, we identified 22 rare variants with a minor allele frequency <1%, 20 missense and two splicing mutations. Burden analysis did not provide significant evidence for an enrichment of rare PLD3 variants in EOAD patients in any of the patient/control cohorts. Also, meta-analysis of the PLD3 data, including a published dataset of a German EOAD cohort, was not significant (P = 0.43; OR = 1.53, 95% CI 0.60-3.31). Consequently, our data do not support a role for PLD3 rare variants in the genetic etiology of EOAD in European EOAD patients. Our data corroborate the negative replication data obtained in LOAD studies and therefore a genetic role of PLD3 in AD remains to be demonstrated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.22908DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5057316PMC
December 2015

Genetic variability in SQSTM1 and risk of early-onset Alzheimer dementia: a European early-onset dementia consortium study.

Neurobiol Aging 2015 May 19;36(5):2005.e15-22. Epub 2015 Feb 19.

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Neurodegenerativas (CIBERNED), Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Madrid, Spain; Department of Neurology, IIB Sant Pau, Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

Meta-analysis of existing genome-wide association studies on Alzheimer's disease (AD) showed subgenome-wide association of an intronic variant in the sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) gene with AD. We performed targeted resequencing of SQSTM1 in Flanders-Belgian AD patients selected to be enriched for a genetic background (n = 435) and geographically matched nonaffected individuals (n = 872) to investigate the role of both common and rare SQSTM1 variants. Results were extended to the European early-onset dementia cohorts (926 early-onset Alzheimer's disease [EOAD] patients and 1476 nonaffected individuals). Of the 61 detected exonic variants in SQSTM1, the majority were rare (n = 57). Rare variant (minor allele frequency <0.01) burden analysis did not reveal an increased frequency of rare variants in EOAD patients in any of the separate study populations nor when meta-analyzing all cohorts. Common variants p.D292= and p.R312= showed nominal association with AD (odds ratiop.D292= = 1.11 [95% confidence interval = 1-1.22], p = 0.04), only when including the Flanders-Belgian cohort in the meta-analysis. We cannot exclude a role of SQSTM1 genetic variability in late-onset AD, but our data indicate that SQSTM1 does not play a major role in the etiology of EOAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2015.02.014DOI Listing
May 2015

Investigating the role of rare heterozygous TREM2 variants in Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementia.

Neurobiol Aging 2014 Mar 9;35(3):726.e11-9. Epub 2013 Oct 9.

Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases group, Department of Molecular Genetics, VIB, Antwerp, Belgium; Institute Born-Bunge, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.

Homozygous mutations in exon 2 of TREM2, a gene involved in Nasu-Hakola disease, can cause frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Moreover, a rare TREM2 exon 2 variant (p.R47H) was reported to increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with an odds ratio as strong as that for APOEε4. We systematically screened the TREM2 coding region within a Belgian study on neurodegenerative brain diseases (1216 AD patients, 357 FTD patients, and 1094 controls). We observed an enrichment of rare variants across TREM2 in both AD and FTD patients compared to controls, most notably in the extracellular IgV-set domain (relative risk = 3.84 [95% confidence interval = 1.29-11.44]; p = 0.009 for AD; relative risk = 6.19 [95% confidence interval = 1.86-20.61]; p = 0.0007 for FTD). None of the rare variants individually reached significant association, but the frequency of p.R47H was increased ~ 3-fold in both AD and FTD patients compared to controls, in line with previous reports. Meta-analysis including 11 previously screened AD cohorts confirmed the association of p.R47H with AD (p = 2.93×10(-17)). Our data corroborate and extend previous findings to include an increased frequency of rare heterozygous TREM2 variations in AD and FTD, and show that TREM2 variants may play a role in neurodegenerative diseases in general.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2013.09.009DOI Listing
March 2014
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