Expression of SORL1 and a novel SORL1 splice variant in normal and Alzheimers disease brain.
ABSTRACT: Variations in sortilin-related receptor (SORL1) expression and function have been implicated in Alzheimers Disease (AD). Here, to gain insights into SORL1, we evaluated SORL1 expression and splicing as a function of AD and AD neuropathology, neural gene expression and a candidate single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP).To identify SORL1 splice variants, we scanned each of the 46 internal SORL1 exons in human brain RNA samples and readily found SORL1 isoforms that lack exon 2 or exon 19. Quantification in a case-control series of the more abundant isoform lacking exon 2 (delta-2-SORL1), as well as the "full-length" SORL1 (FL-SORL1) isoform containing exon 2 showed that expression of FL-SORL1 was reduced in AD individuals. Moreover, FL-SORL1 was reduced in cognitively intact individuals with significant AD-like neuropathology. In contrast, the expression of the delta-2-SORL1 isoform was similar in AD and non-AD brains. The expression of FL-SORL1 was significantly associated with synaptophysin expression while delta-2-SORL1 was modestly enriched in white matter. Lastly, FL-SORL1 expression was associated with rs661057, a SORL1 intron one SNP that has been associated with AD risk. A linear regression analysis found that rs661057, synaptophysin expression and AD neuropathology were each associated with FL-SORL1 expression.These results confirm that FL-SORL1 expression declines in AD and with AD-associated neuropathology, suggest that FL-SORL1 declines in cognitively-intact individuals with AD-associated neuropathology, identify a novel SORL1 splice variant that is expressed similarly in AD and non-AD individuals, and provide evidence that an AD-associated SNP is associated with SORL1 expression. Overall, these results contribute to our understanding of SORL1 expression in the human brain.
Project description:SORL1 encodes a 250-kDa protein named sorLA, a functional sorting receptor for the amyloid precursor protein (APP). Several single nucleotide polymorphisms of the gene SORL1, encoding sorLA, are genetically associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). In the existing literature, SORL1 is insufficiently described at the transcriptional level, and there is very limited amount of functional data defining different transcripts. We have characterized a SORL1 transcript containing a novel exon 30B. The transcript is expressed in most brain regions with highest expression in the temporal lobe and hippocampus. Exon 30B is spliced to exon 31, leading to a mature transcript that encodes an 829 amino acid sorLA receptor. This receptor variant lacks the binding site for APP and is unlikely to function in APP sorting. This transcript is expressed in equal amounts in the cerebellum from AD and non-AD individuals. Our data describe a transcript that encodes a truncated sorLA receptor, suggesting novel neuronal functions for sorLA and that alternative transcription provides a mechanism for SORL1 activity regulation.
Project description:Polymorphisms in the gene encoding SORL1, involved in cellular trafficking of APP, have been implicated in late-onset Alzheimer's disease, by a mechanism thought to affect mRNA expression. To search for regulatory polymorphisms, we have measured allele-specific mRNA expression of SORL1 in human autopsy tissues from the prefrontal cortex of 26 Alzheimer's patients, and 51 controls, using two synonymous marker SNPs (rs3824968 in exon 34 (11 heterozygous AD subjects and 16 controls), and rs12364988 in exon 6 (8 heterozygous AD subjects)). Significant allelic expression imbalance (AEI), indicative of the presence of cis-acting regulatory factors, was detected in a single control subject, while allelic ratios were near unity for all other subjects. We genotyped 7 SNPs in two haplotype blocks that had previously been implicated in Alzheimer's disease. Since each of these SNPs was heterozygous in several subjects lacking AEI, this study fails to support a regulatory role for SORL1 polymorphisms in mRNA expression.
Project description:SORL1 has been identified as a major contributor to late onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD). We test whether genetic variability in the 5' of SORL1 gene modulates the risk to develop LOAD via regulation of SORL1-messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression and splicing. Two brain structures, differentially vulnerable to LOAD pathology, were examined in 144 brain samples from 92 neurologically normal individuals. The temporal cortex, which is more susceptible to Alzheimer's pathology, demonstrated ?2-fold increase in SORL1-mRNA levels in carriers of the minor alleles at single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs7945931 and rs2298525, compared with noncarriers. No genetic effect on total-SORL1-mRNA levels was detected in the frontal cortex. However, rs11600875 minor allele was associated with significantly increased levels of exon-2 skipping, but only in frontal cortex. No correlation of SORL1-mRNAs expression was found between frontal and temporal cortexes. Collectively, these indicate the brain region specificity of the genetic regulation of SORL1 expression. Our results suggest that genetic regulation of SORL1 expression plays a role in disease risk and may be responsible for the reported LOAD associations. Further studies to detect the actual pathogenic variant/s are necessary.
Project description:Recent studies indicate that two clusters of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the neuronal sortilin-related receptor gene (SORL1) are causally associated with late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). At the cellular level, SORL1 is thought to be involved in intracellular trafficking of amyloid precursor protein. When this gene is suppressed, toxic amyloid beta production is increased, and high levels of amyloid betaare associated with a higher AD risk. Extending the cellular findings, gene expression studies show that SORL1 is differentially expressed in AD patients compared with controls. Furthermore, several genetic studies have identified allelic and haplotypic SORL1 variants associated with late-onset AD, and these variants confer small to modest risk of AD. Taken together, the evidence for SORL1 as a causative gene is compelling. However, putative variants have not yet been identified. Further research is necessary to determine its utility as a diagnostic marker of AD or as a target for new therapeutic approaches.
Project description:Alzheimer disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder and the most common form of dementia. The majority of AD cases are sporadic, while up to 5% are families with an early onset AD (EOAD). Mutations in one of the three genes: amyloid beta precursor protein (APP), presenilin 1 (PSEN1) or presenilin 2 (PSEN2) can be disease causing. However, most EOAD families do not carry mutations in any of these three genes, and candidate genes, such as the sortilin-related receptor 1 (SORL1), have been suggested to be potentially causative. To identify AD causative variants, we performed whole-exome sequencing on five individuals from a family with EOAD and a missense variant, p.Arg1303Cys (c.3907C?>?T) was identified in SORL1 which segregated with disease and was further characterized with immunohistochemistry on two post mortem autopsy cases from the same family. In a targeted re-sequencing effort on independent index patients from 35 EOAD-families, a second SORL1 variant, c.3050-2A?>?G, was found which segregated with the disease in 3 affected and was absent in one unaffected family member. The c.3050-2A?>?G variant is located two nucleotides upstream of exon 22 and was shown to cause exon 22 skipping, resulting in a deletion of amino acids Gly1017- Glu1074 of SORL1. Furthermore, a third SORL1 variant, c.5195G?>?C, recently identified in a Swedish case control cohort included in the European Early-Onset Dementia (EU EOD) consortium study, was detected in two affected siblings in a third family with familial EOAD. The finding of three SORL1-variants that segregate with disease in three separate families with EOAD supports the involvement of SORL1 in AD pathology. The cause of these rare monogenic forms of EOAD has proven difficult to find and the use of exome and genome sequencing may be a successful route to target them.
Project description:To characterize the clinical and molecular effect of mutations in the sortilin-related receptor (SORL1) gene.We performed whole-exome sequencing in early-onset Alzheimer disease (EOAD) and late-onset Alzheimer disease (LOAD) families followed by functional studies of select variants. The phenotypic consequences associated with SORL1 mutations were characterized based on clinical reviews of medical records. Functional studies were completed to evaluate β-amyloid (Aβ) production and amyloid precursor protein (APP) trafficking associated with SORL1 mutations.SORL1 alterations were present in 2 EOAD families. In one, a SORL1 T588I change was identified in 4 individuals with AD, 2 of whom had parkinsonian features. In the second, an SORL1 T2134 alteration was found in 3 of 4 AD cases, one of whom had postmortem Lewy bodies. Among LOAD cases, 4 individuals with either SORL1 A528T or T947M alterations had parkinsonian features. Functionally, the variants weaken the interaction of the SORL1 protein with full-length APP, altering levels of Aβ and interfering with APP trafficking.The findings from this study support an important role for SORL1 mutations in AD pathogenesis by way of altering Aβ levels and interfering with APP trafficking. In addition, the presence of parkinsonian features among select individuals with AD and SORL1 mutations merits further investigation.
Project description:Several studies have reported an association of Alzheimer's disease (AD) with polymorphic markers in SORL1. Data from a recently published genome-wide association study in AD have been made publicly available. We tested the association of AD with SORL1 in this dataset (Translational Genomics Research Institute; TGEN), which included 31 SORL1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), eight of which overlapped the original study. Six SNPs, near the 3' region of SORL1 containing SNPs which were strongly associated with AD in previous studies, showed significant association in the TGEN dataset. These results provide an independent replication of the association between AD and SORL1.
Project description:Prior to intervention trials in individuals genetically at-risk for late-onset Alzheimer's disease, critical first steps are identifying where (neuroanatomic effects), when (timepoint in the lifespan) and how (gene expression and neuropathology) Alzheimer's risk genes impact the brain. We hypothesized that variants in the sortilin-like receptor (SORL1) gene would affect multiple Alzheimer's phenotypes before the clinical onset of symptoms. Four independent samples were analyzed to determine effects of SORL1 genetic risk variants across the lifespan at multiple phenotypic levels: (1) microstructural integrity of white matter using diffusion tensor imaging in two healthy control samples (n=118, age 18-86; n=68, age 8-40); (2) gene expression using the Braincloud postmortem healthy control sample (n=269, age 0-92) and (3) Alzheimer's neuropathology (amyloid plaques and tau tangles) using a postmortem sample of healthy, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's individuals (n=710, age 66-108). SORL1 risk variants predicted lower white matter fractional anisotropy in an age-independent manner in fronto-temporal white matter tracts in both samples at 5% family-wise error-corrected thresholds. SORL1 risk variants also predicted decreased SORL1 mRNA expression, most prominently during childhood and adolescence, and significantly predicted increases in amyloid pathology in postmortem brain. Importantly, the effects of SORL1 variation on both white matter microstructure and gene expression were observed during neurodevelopmental phases of the human lifespan. Further, the neuropathological mechanism of risk appears to primarily involve amyloidogenic pathways. Interventions targeted toward the SORL1 amyloid risk pathway may be of greatest value during early phases of the lifespan.
Project description:The gene encoding the neuronal sortilin-related receptor SORL1 has been claimed to be associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) by independent groups and across various human populations. We evaluated six genetic markers in SORL1 in a sample of 1,558 Swedish dementia cases (including 1,270 AD cases) and 2,179 controls. For both single-marker-based and haplotype-based analyses, we found no strong support for SORL1 as a dementia or AD risk-modifying gene in our sample in isolation nor did we observe association with AD/dementia-related traits, including cerebrospinal fluid beta-amyloid(1-42), tau levels, or age at onset. However, meta-analyses of markers in this study together with previously published studies on SORL1 encompassing in excess of 13,000 individuals does suggest significant association with AD (best odds ratio = 1.097; 95% confidence interval = 1.038-1.158, p = 0.001). All six markers were significant in meta-analyses and it is notable that they occur in two distinct linkage disequilibrium blocks. These data are consistent with either allelic heterogeneity or the existence of as yet untested functional variants and these will be important considerations in further attempts to evaluate the importance of sequence variation in SORL1 with AD risk.
Project description:Accumulating evidence suggests that genetic variants in the SORL1 gene are associated with Alzheimer disease (AD), but a strategy to identify which variants are pathogenic is lacking. In a discovery sample of 115 SORL1 variants detected in 1908 Dutch AD cases and controls, we identified the variant characteristics associated with SORL1 variant pathogenicity. Findings were replicated in an independent sample of 103 SORL1 variants detected in 3193 AD cases and controls. In a combined sample of the discovery and replication samples, comprising 181 unique SORL1 variants, we developed a strategy to classify SORL1 variants into five subtypes ranging from pathogenic to benign. We tested this pathogenicity screen in SORL1 variants reported in two independent published studies. SORL1 variant pathogenicity is defined by the Combined Annotation Dependent Depletion (CADD) score and the minor allele frequency (MAF) reported by the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC) database. Variants predicted strongly damaging (CADD score >30), which are extremely rare (ExAC-MAF <1 × 10-5) increased AD risk by 12-fold (95% CI 4.2-34.3; P=5 × 10-9). Protein-truncating SORL1 mutations were all unknown to ExAC and occurred exclusively in AD cases. More common SORL1 variants (ExAC-MAF?1 × 10-5) were not associated with increased AD risk, even when predicted strongly damaging. Findings were independent of gender and the APOE-?4 allele. High-risk SORL1 variants were observed in a substantial proportion of the AD cases analyzed (2%). Based on their effect size, we propose to consider high-risk SORL1 variants next to variants in APOE, PSEN1, PSEN2 and APP for personalized risk assessments in clinical practice.