Influence of coding variability in APP-Aβ metabolism genes in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease
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The cerebral deposition of Aβ42, a neurotoxic proteolytic derivate of amyloid precursor protein (APP), is a central event in Alzheimer's disease (AD)(Amyloid hypothesis). Given the key role of APP-Aβ metabolism in AD pathogenesis, we selected 29 genes involved in APP processing, Aβ degradation and clearance. We then used exome and genome sequencing to investigate the single independent (single-variant association test) and cumulative (gene-based association test) effect of coding variants in these genes as potential susceptibility factors for AD, in a cohort composed of 332 sporadic and mainly late-onset AD cases and 676 elderly controls from North America and the UK. Our study shows that common coding variability in these genes does not play a major role for the disease development. In the single-variant association analysis, the main hits, none of which statistically significant after multiple testing correction (1.9e-4<p-value<0.05), were found to be rare coding variants (0.009%<MAF<1.4%) with moderate to strong effect size (1.84<OR<Inf) that map to genes mainly involved in Aβ extracellular degradation (TTR, ACE), clearance (LRP1) and APP trafficking and recycling (SORL1). These results were partially replicated in the gene-based analysis (c-alpha and SKAT tests), that reports ECE1, LYZ and TTR as nominally associated to AD (1.7e-3 <p-value <0.05). In concert with previous studies, we suggest that 1) common coding variability in APP-Aβ genes is not a critical factor for AD development and 2) Aβ degradation and clearance, rather than Aβ production, may play a key role in the etiology of sporadic AD.
This study was supported by the Alzheimer's Research UK, the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust/MRC Joint Call in Neurodegeneration Award (WT089698) to the UK Parkinson's Disease Consortium (whose members are from the University College London Institute of Neurology, the University of Sheffield, and the MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit at the University of Dundee), grants (P50 AG016574, U01 AG006786, and R01 AG18023), the National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Unit in Dementia at University College London Hospitals, University College London; the Big Lottery (to Dr. Morgan); a fellowship from Alzheimer's Research UK (to Dr. Guerreiro); and the Intramural Research Programs of the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Neurological Disease and Stroke, National Institutes of Health (Department of Health and Human Services Project number, ZO1 AG000950-10). The MRC London Neurodegenerative Diseases Brain Bank and the Manchester Brain Bank from Brains for Dementia Research are jointly funded from ARUK and AS. Tissue samples were supplied by The London Neurodegenerative Diseases Brain Bank, which receives funding from the MRC and as part of the Brains for Dementia Research programme, jointly funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK and Alzheimer’s Society.
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Vol. 11, e0150079
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