TMEM106B is a genetic modifier of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansions.
ABSTRACT: Hexanucleotide repeat expansions in chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) have recently been linked to frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and may be the most common genetic cause of both neurodegenerative diseases. Genetic variants at TMEM106B influence risk for the most common neuropathological subtype of FTLD, characterized by inclusions of TAR DNA-binding protein of 43 kDa (FTLD-TDP). Previous reports have shown that TMEM106B is a genetic modifier of FTLD-TDP caused by progranulin (GRN) mutations, with the major (risk) allele of rs1990622 associating with earlier age at onset of disease. Here, we report that rs1990622 genotype affects age at death in a single-site discovery cohort of FTLD patients with C9orf72 expansions (n = 14), with the major allele correlated with later age at death (p = 0.024). We replicate this modifier effect in a 30-site international neuropathological cohort of FTLD-TDP patients with C9orf72 expansions (n = 75), again finding that the major allele associates with later age at death (p = 0.016), as well as later age at onset (p = 0.019). In contrast, TMEM106B genotype does not affect age at onset or death in 241 FTLD-TDP cases negative for GRN mutations or C9orf72 expansions. Thus, TMEM106B is a genetic modifier of FTLD with C9orf72 expansions. Intriguingly, the genotype that confers increased risk for developing FTLD-TDP (major, or T, allele of rs1990622) is associated with later age at onset and death in C9orf72 expansion carriers, providing an example of sign epistasis in human neurodegenerative disease.
Project description:Frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43 inclusions (FTLD-TDP) is an important cause of dementia in individuals under age 65. Common variants in the TMEM106B gene were previously discovered by genome-wide association to confer genetic risk for FTLD-TDP (p = 1 × 10-11, OR = 1.6). Furthermore, TMEM106B may act as a genetic modifier affecting age at onset and age at death in the Mendelian subgoup of FTLD-TDP due to expansions of the C9orf72 gene. Evidence suggests that TMEM106B variants increase risk for developing FTLD-TDP by increasing expression of Transmembrane Protein 106B (TMEM106B), a lysosomal protein. To further understand the functional role of TMEM106B in disease pathogenesis, we investigated the cell biological effects of increased TMEM106B expression. Here, we report that increased TMEM106B expression results in the appearance of a vacuolar phenotype in multiple cell types, including neurons. Concomitant with the development of this vacuolar phenotype, cells over-expressing TMEM106B exhibit impaired lysosomal acidification and degradative function, as well as increased cytotoxicity. We further identify a potential lysosomal sorting motif for TMEM106B and demonstrate that abrogation of sorting to lysosomes rescues TMEM106B-induced defects. Finally, we show that TMEM106B-induced defects are dependent on the presence of C9orf72, as knockdown of C9orf72 also rescues these defects. In sum, our results suggest that TMEM106B exerts its effects on FTLD-TDP disease risk through alterations in lysosomal pathways. Furthermore, TMEM106B and C9orf72 may interact in FTLD-TDP pathophysiology.
Project description:Variants in transmembrane protein 106 B (TMEM106B) modify the disease penetrance of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) in carriers of progranulin (GRN) mutations. We investigated whether TMEM106B is also a genetic modifier of disease in carriers of chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9ORF72) expansions. We assessed the genotype of 325 C9ORF72 expansion carriers (cohort 1), 586 FTD patients lacking C9ORF72 expansions [with or without motor neuron disease (MND); cohort 2], and a total of 1,302 controls for TMEM106B variants (rs3173615 and rs1990622) using MassArray iPLEX and Taqman genotyping assays. For our primary analysis, we focused on functional variant rs3173615, and employed a recessive genotypic model. In cohort 1, patients with C9ORF72 expansions showed a significantly reduced frequency of carriers homozygous for the minor allele as compared to controls [11.9 vs. 19.1 %, odds ratio (OR) 0.57, p = 0.014; same direction as carriers of GRN mutations]. The strongest evidence was provided by FTD patients (OR 0.33, p = 0.009) followed by FTD/MND patients (OR 0.38, p = 0.017), whereas no significant difference was observed in MND patients (OR 0.85, p = 0.55). In cohort 2, the frequency of carriers homozygous for the minor allele was not significantly reduced in patients as compared to controls (OR 0.77, p = 0.079); however, a significant reduction was observed when focusing on those patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration and TAR DNA-binding protein 43 inclusions (FTLD-TDP; OR 0.26, p < 0.001). Our study identifies TMEM106B as the first genetic factor modifying disease presentation in C9ORF72 expansion carriers. Homozygosity for the minor allele protects carriers from developing FTD, but not from developing MND; similar effects are seen in FTLD-TDP patients with yet unknown genetic causes. These new findings show that the protective effects of TMEM106B are not confined to carriers of GRN mutations and might be relevant for prognostic testing, and as a promising therapeutic target for the entire spectrum of FTLD-TDP.
Project description:Polymorphisms in TMEM106B, a gene on chromosome 7p21.3 involved in lysosomal trafficking, correlates to worse neuropathological, and clinical outcomes in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with TDP-43 inclusions. In a small cohort of C9orf72 expansion carriers, we previously found an atypical, neuroglial tauopathy in cases harboring a TMEM106B rs1990622 A/A genotype. To test whether TMEM106B genotype affects the risk of developing atypical tauopathy under a recessive genotype model (presence versus absence of two major alleles: A/A vs. A/G and G/G). We characterized the atypical tauopathy neuropathologically and determined its frequency by TMEM106B rs1990622 genotypes in 90 postmortem cases with a primary diagnosis of FTLD/ALS-TDP [mean age at death 65.5 years (±8.1), 40% female]. We investigated the effect of this new atypical tauopathy on demographics and clinical and neuropsychological metrics. We also genotyped TMEM106B in an independent series with phenotypically similar cases. Sixteen cases (16/90, 17.7 %) showed the temporal-predominant neuro-astroglial tauopathy, and 93.7% of them carried an A/A genotype (vs. ~35% in a population cohort). The odds ratio of FTLD/ALS-TDP individuals with the A/A genotype showing neuro-astroglial tauopathy was 13.9. Individuals with this tauopathy were older at onset (p = 0.01). The validation cohort had a similarly high proportion of rs1990622 A/A genotype. TDP-43 and tau changes co-occur in a subset of neurons. Our data add to the growing body of evidence that TMEM106B polymorphisms may modulate neurodegeneration. A distinctive medial temporal predominant, 4-repeat, neuro-astroglial tauopathy strongly correlates to TMEM106B A/A genotype in FTLD/ALS-TDP cases.
Project description:Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is the second most common cause of presenile dementia. The predominant neuropathology is FTLD with TAR DNA-binding protein (TDP-43) inclusions (FTLD-TDP). FTLD-TDP is frequently familial, resulting from mutations in GRN (which encodes progranulin). We assembled an international collaboration to identify susceptibility loci for FTLD-TDP through a genome-wide association study of 515 individuals with FTLD-TDP. We found that FTLD-TDP associates with multiple SNPs mapping to a single linkage disequilibrium block on 7p21 that contains TMEM106B. Three SNPs retained genome-wide significance following Bonferroni correction (top SNP rs1990622, P = 1.08 x 10(-11); odds ratio, minor allele (C) 0.61, 95% CI 0.53-0.71). The association replicated in 89 FTLD-TDP cases (rs1990622; P = 2 x 10(-4)). TMEM106B variants may confer risk of FTLD-TDP by increasing TMEM106B expression. TMEM106B variants also contribute to genetic risk for FTLD-TDP in individuals with mutations in GRN. Our data implicate variants in TMEM106B as a strong risk factor for FTLD-TDP, suggesting an underlying pathogenic mechanism.
Project description:Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is the second leading cause of dementia in individuals under age 65. In many patients, the predominant pathology includes neuronal cytoplasmic or intranuclear inclusions of ubiquitinated TAR DNA binding protein 43 (FTLD-TDP). Recently, a genome-wide association study identified the first FTLD-TDP genetic risk factor, in which variants in and around the TMEM106B gene (top SNP rs1990622) were significantly associated with FTLD-TDP risk. Intriguingly, the most significant association was in FTLD-TDP patients carrying progranulin (GRN) mutations. Here, we investigated to what extent the coding variant, rs3173615 (p.T185S) in linkage disequilibrium with rs1990622, affects progranulin protein (PGRN) biology and transmembrane protein 106 B (TMEM106B) regulation. First, we confirmed the association of TMEM106B variants with FTLD-TDP in a new cohort of GRN mutation carriers. We next generated and characterized a TMEM106B-specific antibody for investigation of this protein. Enzyme-linked immunoassay analysis of progranulin protein levels showed similar effects upon T185 and S185 TMEM106B over-expression. However, over-expression of T185 consistently led to higher TMEM106B protein levels than S185. Cycloheximide treatment experiments revealed that S185 degrades faster than T185 TMEM106B, potentially due to differences in N-glycosylation at residue N183. Together, our results provide a potential mechanism by which TMEM106B variants lead to differences in FTLD-TDP risk. We studied the p.T185S TMEM106B genetic variant previously implicated in frontotemporal dementia with TAR DNA binding protein 43 pathology caused by progranulin mutations. Our cell culture studies provide evidence that the protective S185 isoform is degraded more rapidly than T185 TMEM106B, potentially due to differences in glycosylation. These findings suggest that low TMEM106B levels might protect against FTLD-TDP in these patients.
Project description:To test whether rs1990622 (TMEM106B) is associated with age at onset (AAO) in granulin (GRN) mutation carriers and with plasma GRN levels in mutation carriers and healthy, elderly individuals. Rs1990622 (TMEM106B) was identified as a risk factor for frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TAR DNA-binding protein inclusions (FTLD-TDP) in a recent genome-wide association.Rs1990622 was genotyped in GRN mutation carriers and tested for association with AAO using the Kaplan-Meier method and a Cox proportional hazards model.Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. Subjects We analyzed 50 affected and unaffected GRN mutation carriers from 4 previously reported FTLD-TDP families (HDDD1, FD1, HDDD2, and the Karolinska family). The GRN plasma levels were also measured in 73 healthy, elderly individuals.Age at onset and GRN plasma levels.The risk allele of rs1990622 was associated with a mean decrease of the AAO of 13 years (P = 9.9 × 10(-7)) and with lower plasma GRN levels in both healthy older adults (P = 4 × 10(-4)) and GRN mutation carriers (P = .0027). Analysis of the HapMap database identified a nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphism rs3173615 (T185S) in perfect linkage disequilibrium with rs1990622.The association of rs1990622 with AAO explains, in part, the wide range in the AAO of disease among GRN mutation carriers. We hypothesize that rs1990622 or another variant in linkage disequilibrium could act in a manner similar to APOE in Alzheimer disease, increasing risk for disease in the general population and modifying AAO in mutation carriers. Our results also suggest that genetic variation in TMEM106B may influence risk for FTLD-TDP by modulating secreted levels of GRN.
Project description:C9ORF72-hexanucleotide repeat expansions and ubiquilin-2 (UBQLN2) mutations are recently identified genetic markers in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). We investigate the relationship between C9ORF72 expansions and the clinical phenotype and neuropathology of ALS and FTLD. Genetic analysis and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were performed on autopsy-confirmed ALS (N = 75), FTLD-TDP (N = 30), AD (N = 14), and controls (N = 11). IHC for neurodegenerative disease pathology consisted of C9ORF72, UBQLN, p62, and TDP-43. A C9ORF72 expansion was identified in 19.4 % of ALS and 31 % of FTLD-TDP cases. ALS cases with C9ORF72 expansions frequently showed a bulbar onset of disease (57 %) and more rapid disease progression to death compared to non-expansion cases. Staining with C9ORF72 antibodies did not yield specific pathology. UBQLN pathology showed a highly distinct pattern in ALS and FTLD-TDP cases with the C9ORF72 expansion, with UBQLN-positive cytoplasmic inclusions in the cerebellar granular layer and extensive UBQLN-positive aggregates and dystrophic neurites in the hippocampal molecular layer and CA regions. These UBQLN pathologies were sufficiently unique to allow correct prediction of cases that were later confirmed to have C9ORF72 expansions by genetic analysis. UBQLN pathology partially co-localized with p62, and to a minor extent with TDP-43 positive dystrophic neurites and spinal cord skein-like inclusions. Our data indicate a pathophysiological link between C9ORF72 expansions and UBQLN proteins in ALS and FTLD-TDP that is associated with a highly characteristic pattern of UBQLN pathology. Our study indicates that this pathology is associated with alterations in clinical phenotype, and suggests that the presence of C9ORF72 repeat expansions may indicate a worse prognosis in ALS.
Project description:Loss-of-function mutations in progranulin (GRN) and a non-coding (GGGGCC)n hexanucleotide repeat expansions in C9ORF72 are the two most common genetic causes of frontotemporal lobar degeneration with aggregates of TAR DNA binding protein 43 (FTLD-TDP). TMEM106B encodes a type II transmembrane protein with unknown function. Genetic variants in TMEM106B associated with reduced TMEM106B levels have been identified as disease modifiers in individuals with GRN mutations and C9ORF72 expansions. Recently, loss of Tmem106b has been reported to protect the FTLD-like phenotypes in Grn-/- mice. Here, we generated Tmem106b-/- mice and examined whether loss of Tmem106b could rescue FTLD-like phenotypes in an AAV mouse model of C9ORF72-repeat induced toxicity. Our results showed that neither partial nor complete loss of Tmem106b was able to rescue behavioral deficits induced by the expression of (GGGGCC)66 repeats (66R). Loss of Tmem106b also failed to ameliorate 66R-induced RNA foci, dipeptide repeat protein formation and pTDP-43 pathological burden. We further found that complete loss of Tmem106b increased astrogliosis, even in the absence of 66R, and failed to rescue 66R-induced neuronal cell loss, whereas partial loss of Tmem106b significantly rescued the neuronal cell loss but not neuroinflammation induced by 66R. Finally, we showed that overexpression of 66R did not alter expression of Tmem106b and other lysosomal genes in vivo, and subsequent analyses in vitro found that transiently knocking down C9ORF72, but not overexpression of 66R, significantly increased TMEM106B and other lysosomal proteins. In summary, reducing Tmem106b levels failed to rescue FTLD-like phenotypes in a mouse model mimicking the toxic gain-of-functions associated with overexpression of 66R. Combined with the observation that loss of C9ORF72 and not 66R overexpression was associated with increased levels of TMEM106B, this work suggests that the protective TMEM106B haplotype may exert its effect in expansion carriers by counteracting lysosomal dysfunction resulting from a loss of C9ORF72.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To determine the independent association of the TMEM106B variants with transactive response DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) pathology in older persons without frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) and to explore functional pathways that link the risk variants to the pathology, including a GRN mRNA pathway. METHODS:Data came from 544 autopsied participants without FTLD in 2 community-based studies of aging. Participants underwent uniform neuropathologic evaluations, including TDP-43 cytoplasmic inclusions. We examined the association of TMEM106B variants with a semiquantitative measure of TDP-43 pathology in a series of regression analysis. We explored potential pathways by leveraging genetic, brain DNA methylation, miRNA, and transcriptomic data collected from this same group of participants. RESULTS:TDP-43 pathology was identified in 51.7% of the participants. The index single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs1990622(A), was associated with more advanced TDP-43 pathology. Top hits from fine mapping of the locus were in linkage disequilibrium of the index SNP. The association remained significant after adjustment for other neuropathologies including Alzheimer disease and hippocampal sclerosis (odds ratio = 1.351, 95% confidence interval = 1.068-1.709, p = 0.012). GRN expression was upregulated in rs1990622(AA/AG) carriers, and was associated with more advanced TDP-43 pathology. The TMEM106B variants were associated with lower level of DNA methylation in an active enhancer in GRN. CONCLUSIONS:Common variants in TMEM106B serve as a distinct risk factor for TDP-43 pathology in older persons without FTLD. The role of GRN expression and epigenetic mechanisms associating TMEM106B in the accumulation of TDP-43 in older persons require further study.
Project description:A hexanucleotide (GGGGCC) expansion in C9ORF72 gene is the most common genetic change seen in familial Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD) and familial Motor Neurone Disease (MND). Pathologically, expansion bearers show characteristic p62 positive, TDP-43 negative inclusion bodies within cerebellar and hippocampal neurons which also contain dipeptide repeat proteins (DPR) formed from sense and antisense RAN (repeat associated non ATG-initiated) translation of the expanded repeat region itself. 'Inappropriate' formation, and aggregation, of DPR might therefore confer neurotoxicity and influence clinical phenotype. Consequently, we compared the topographic brain distribution of DPR in 8 patients with Frontotemporal dementia (FTD), 6 with FTD?+?MND and 7 with MND alone (all 21 patients bearing expansions in C9ORF72) using a polyclonal antibody to poly-GA, and related this to the extent of TDP-43 pathology in key regions of cerebral cortex and hippocampus. There were no significant differences in either the pattern or severity of brain distribution of DPR between FTD, FTD?+?MND and MND groups, nor was there any relationship between the distribution of DPR and TDP-43 pathologies in expansion bearers. Likewise, there were no significant differences in the extent of TDP-43 pathology between FTLD patients bearing an expansion in C9ORF72 and non-bearers of the expansion. There were no association between the extent of DPR pathology and TMEM106B or APOE genotypes. However, there was a negative correlation between the extent of DPR pathology and age at onset. Present findings therefore suggest that although the presence and topographic distribution of DPR may be of diagnostic relevance in patients bearing expansion in C9ORF72 this has no bearing on the determination of clinical phenotype. Because TDP-43 pathologies are similar in bearers and non-bearers of the expansion, the expansion may act as a major genetic risk factor for FTLD and MND by rendering the brain highly vulnerable to those very same factors which generate FTLD and MND in sporadic disease.