Haplotype-specific MAPT exon 3 expression regulated by common intronic polymorphisms associated with Parkinsonian disorders.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Genome wide association studies have identified microtubule associated protein tau (MAPT) H1 haplotype single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) as leading common risk variants for Parkinson's disease, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration. The MAPT risk variants fall within a large 1.8 Mb region of high linkage disequilibrium, making it difficult to discern the functionally important risk variants. Here, we leverage the strong haplotype-specific expression of MAPT exon 3 to investigate the functionality of SNPs that fall within this H1 haplotype region of linkage disequilibrium. METHODS:In this study, we dissect the molecular mechanisms by which haplotype-specific SNPs confer allele-specific effects on the alternative splicing of MAPT exon 3. Firstly, we use haplotype-hybrid whole-locus genomic MAPT vectors studies to identify functional SNPs. Next, we characterise the RNA-protein interactions at two loci by mass spectrometry. Lastly, we knockdown candidate splice factors to determine their effect on MAPT exon 3 using a novel allele-specific qPCR assay. RESULTS:Using whole-locus genomic DNA expression vectors to express MAPT haplotype variants, we demonstrate that rs17651213 regulates exon 3 inclusion in a haplotype-specific manner. We further investigated the functionality of this region using RNA-electrophoretic mobility shift assays to show differential RNA-protein complex formation at the H1 and H2 sequence variants of SNP rs17651213 and rs1800547 and subsequently identified candidate trans-acting splicing factors interacting with these functional SNPs sequences by RNA-protein pull-down experiment and mass spectrometry. Finally, gene knockdown of candidate splice factors identified by mass spectrometry demonstrate a role for hnRNP F and hnRNP Q in the haplotype-specific regulation of exon 3 inclusion. CONCLUSIONS:We identified common splice factors hnRNP F and hnRNP Q regulating the haplotype-specific splicing of MAPT exon 3 through intronic variants rs1800547 and rs17651213. This work demonstrates an integrated approach to characterise the functionality of risk variants in large regions of linkage disequilibrium.
Project description:The haplotype H1 of the tau gene, MAPT, is highly associated with progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) and corticobasal degeneration (CBD).To investigate the pathogenic basis of this association.Detailed linkage disequilibrium and common haplotype structure of MAPT were examined in 27 CEPH trios using validated HapMap genotype data for 24 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning MAPT.Multiple variants of the H1 haplotype were resolved, reflecting a far greater diversity of MAPT than can be explained by the H1 and H2 clades alone. Based on this, six haplotype tagging SNPs (htSNPs) that capture 95% of the common haplotype diversity were used to genotype well characterised PSP and CBD case-control cohorts. In addition to strong association with PSP and CBD of individual SNPs, two common haplotypes derived from these htSNPs were identified that are highly associated with PSP: the sole H2 derived haplotype was underrepresented and one of the common H1 derived haplotypes was highly associated, with a similar trend observed in CBD. There were powerful and highly significant associations with PSP and CBD of haplotypes formed by three H1 specific SNPs. This made it possible to define a candidate region of at least approximately 56 kb, spanning sequences from upstream of MAPT exon 1 to intron 9. On the H1 haplotype background, these could harbour the pathogenic variants.The findings support the pathological evidence that underlying variations in MAPT could contribute to disease pathogenesis by subtle effects on gene expression and/or splicing. They also form the basis for the investigation of the possible genetic role of MAPT in Parkinson's disease and other tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease.
Project description:Significant efforts have been focused on investigating the contribution of common variants to Parkinson disease (PD) risk. Several independent GWAS and metanalysis studies have shown a genome-wide significant association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the ?-synuclein (SNCA) and microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) regions. Here we investigated the role of SNCA and MAPT as PD susceptibility genes in a large Italian population of 904 patients and 891 controls. An evaluation of gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in association with PD was also attempted.The SNCA Rep1 microsatellite was genotyped by a fluorescent PCR assay, whereas the SNPlex genotyping system was used to genotype 12 additional markers across the SNCA gene, and 2 SNPs tagging the risk MAPT H1 haplotype.Single-marker analysis demonstrated nominal evidence of association for: i) the 261-bp-long allele of Rep1; ii) 7 SNPs in the SNCA region (top SNP: rs356186, P = 3.08 × 10(-04), intron 4); iii) both SNPs identifying the MAPT H1 haplotype (P = 4.63 × 10(-04) and P = 4.23 × 10(-04) for rs1800547 and rs9468, respectively). Moreover, we found a highly significant protective haplotype spanning ?83 kb from intron 4 to the 3' end of SNCA (P = 1.29 × 10(-05)).Our findings strongly confirm SNCA and MAPT as major PD susceptibility genes for idiopathic PD in the Italian population. Interaction analyses did not evidence either epistatic effects between the two loci or gene-environment interactions.
Project description:Microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) has been associated with several neurodegenerative disorders including forms of parkinsonism and Parkinson disease (PD). We evaluated the association of the MAPT region with PD in a large cohort of familial PD cases recruited by the GenePD Study. In addition, postmortem brain samples from patients with PD and neurologically normal controls were used to evaluate whether the expression of the 3-repeat and 4-repeat isoforms of MAPT, and neighboring genes Saitohin (STH) and KIAA1267, are altered in PD cerebellum.Twenty-one single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the region of MAPT on chromosome 17q21 were genotyped in the GenePD Study. Single SNPs and haplotypes, including the H1 haplotype, were evaluated for association to PD. Relative quantification of gene expression was performed using real-time RT-PCR.After adjusting for multiple comparisons, SNP rs1800547 was significantly associated with PD affection. While the H1 haplotype was associated with a significantly increased risk for PD, a novel H1 subhaplotype was identified that predicted a greater increased risk for PD. The expression of 4-repeat MAPT, STH, and KIAA1267 was significantly increased in PD brains relative to controls. No difference in expression was observed for 3-repeat MAPT.This study supports a role for MAPT in the pathogenesis of familial and idiopathic Parkinson disease (PD). Interestingly, the results of the gene expression studies suggest that other genes in the vicinity of MAPT, specifically STH and KIAA1267, may also have a role in PD and suggest complex effects for the genes in this region on PD risk.
Project description:An ancestral inversion of 900 kb on chromosome 17q21, which includes the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) gene, defines two haplotype clades in Caucasians (H1 and H2). The H1 haplotype has been linked inconsistently with AD. In a previous study, we showed that an SNP tagging this haplotype (rs1800547) was associated with AD risk in a large population from the Dementia Genetics Spanish Consortium (DEGESCO) including 4435 cases and 6147 controls. The association was mainly driven by individuals that were non-carriers of the APOE ?4 allele. Our aim was to replicate our previous findings in an independent sample of 4124 AD cases and 3290 controls from Spain (GR@ACE project) and to analyze the effect of the H1 sub-haplotype structure on the risk of AD. The H1 haplotype was associated with AD risk (OR = 1.12; p = 0.0025). Stratification analysis showed that this association was mainly driven by the APOE ?4 non-carriers (OR = 1.15; p = 0.0022). Pooled analysis of both Spanish datasets (n = 17,996) showed that the highest AD risk related to the MAPT H1/H2 haplotype was in those individuals that were the oldest [third tertile (>77 years)] and did not carry APOE ?4 allele (p = 0.001). We did not find a significant association between H1 sub-haplotypes and AD. H1c was nominally associated but lost statistical significance after adjusting by population sub-structure. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that genetic variants linked to the MAPT H1/H2 are tracking a genuine risk allele for AD. The fact that this association is stronger in APOE ?4 non-carriers partially explains previous controversial results and might be related to a slower alternative causal pathway less dependent on brain amyloid load.
Project description:The H1 haplotype of the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) locus is genetically associated with neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson's disease (PD), and affects gene expression and splicing. However, the functional impact on neurons of such expression differences has yet to be fully elucidated. Here, we employ extended maturation phases during differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into mature dopaminergic neuronal cultures to obtain cultures expressing all six adult tau protein isoforms. After 6 months of maturation, levels of exon 3+ and exon 10+ transcripts approach those of adult brain. Mature dopaminergic neuronal cultures display haplotype differences in expression, with H1 expressing 22% higher levels of MAPT transcripts than H2 and H2 expressing 2-fold greater exon 3+ transcripts than H1. Furthermore, knocking down adult tau protein variants alters axonal transport velocities in mature iPSC-derived dopaminergic neuronal cultures. This work links haplotype-specific MAPT expression with a biologically functional outcome relevant for PD.
Project description:The MAPT H1 haplotype has been associated with four-repeat (4R) tauopathies, including progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, and argyrophilic grain disease. More controversial is that the same haplotype has been associated with Parkinson disease (PD). Using H1-specific single-nucleotide polymorphisms, we demonstrate that MAPT H1 is a misnomer and consists of a family of recombining H1 alleles. Population genetics, linkage disequilibrium, and association analyses have shown that specific MAPT H1 subhaplotypes are preferentially associated with Parkinson disease. Using a sliding scale of MAPT H1-specific haplotypes--in age/sex-matched PD cases and controls from central Norway--we have refined the disease association to within an approximately 90-kb interval of the 5' end of the MAPT locus.
Project description:The microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) H1 haplotype shows a strong association to the sporadic neurodegenerative diseases, progressive supranuclear palsy and corticobasal degeneration. The functional biological mechanisms behind the genetic association have started to emerge with differences recently shown in haplotype splicing of the neuropathologically relevant exon 10. Here we investigate the hypothesis that expression of the alternatively spliced N-terminal exons also differs between the two MAPT haplotypes. We performed allele-specific gene expression analysis on a H1/H2 heterozygous human neuronal cell line model and 14 H1/H2 heterozygous human post-mortem brain tissues from two brain regions. In both cell culture and post-mortem brain tissue, we show that the protective MAPT H2 haplotype significantly expresses two-fold more 2N (exons 2+3+) MAPT transcripts than the disease-associated H1 haplotype. We suggest that inclusion of exon 3 in MAPT transcripts may contribute to protecting H2 carries from neurodegeneration.
Project description:Whilst an association between the tau gene (MAPT)-containing H1 haplotype and supranuclear gaze palsy (PSP) has long been recognized, the effect of H1 on risk for Parkinson's disease (PD) has remained more contentious.Herein, we examined the association of H1 and PD in three Caucasian PD patient-control series from Ireland, Norway, and the US (combined: n = 2619), by genotyping two H1/H2 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in MAPT (rs1052553) and in the Saitohin gene (rs62063857) and one H1-specific SNP (rs242557).We identified a significant association between H1/H2 and risk of PD (rs1052553 OR: 1.43, CI: 1.23-1.64; rs62063857 OR: 1.45, CI: 1.27-1.67), but no effect of the H1-specific SNP rs242557 (OR: 0.92, CI: 0.82-1.03).Our findings show that the H1 haplotype is a significant risk factor for PD. However, one H1-specific SNP (rs242557) previously implicated in PSP did not alter the risk of PD, indicating that distinct H1 sub-haplotypes probably drive the associations with PD and PSP.
Project description:An inversion polymorphism of approximately 900 kb on chromosome 17q21, which includes the microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) gene defines two haplotype clades, H1 and H2. Several small case-control studies have observed a marginally significant excess of the H1/H1 diplotype among patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), and one reported refining the association to a region spanning exons 1 to 4 of MAPT. We sought to replicate these findings.We genotyped 1,762 PD patients and 2,010 control subjects for a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) that differentiates the H1 and H2 clades. We also analyzed four SNPs that define subhaplotypes within H1 previously reported to associate with PD or other neurodegenerative disorders.After adjusting for age, sex, and site, we observed a robust association between the H1/H1 diplotype and PD risk (odds ratio for H1/H1 vs H1/H2 and H2/H2, 1.46; 95% confidence interval, 1.25-1.69; p = 8 x 10(-7)). The effect was evident in both familial and sporadic subgroups, men and women, and early- and late-onset disease. Within H1/H1 individuals, there was no significant difference between cases and control subjects in the overall frequency distribution of H1 subhaplotypes.Our data provide strong evidence that the H1 clade, which contains MAPT and several other genes, is a risk factor for PD. However, attributing this finding to variants within a specific region of MAPT is premature. Thorough fine-mapping of the H1 clade in large numbers of individuals is now needed to identify the underlying functional variant(s) that alter susceptibility for PD.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:We studied the independent and joint effects of the genes encoding alpha-synuclein (SNCA) and microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) in Parkinson disease (PD) as part of a large meta-analysis of individual data from case-control studies participating in the Genetic Epidemiology of Parkinson's Disease (GEO-PD) consortium. METHODS:Participants of Caucasian ancestry were genotyped for a total of 4 SNCA (rs2583988, rs181489, rs356219, rs11931074) and 2 MAPT (rs1052553, rs242557) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs). Individual and joint effects of SNCA and MAPT SNPs were investigated using fixed- and random-effects logistic regression models. Interactions were studied on both a multiplicative and an additive scale, and using a case-control and case-only approach. RESULTS:Fifteen GEO-PD sites contributed a total of 5,302 cases and 4,161 controls. All 4 SNCA SNPs and the MAPT H1-haplotype-defining SNP (rs1052553) displayed a highly significant marginal association with PD at the significance level adjusted for multiple comparisons. For SNCA, the strongest associations were observed for SNPs located at the 3' end of the gene. There was no evidence of statistical interaction between any of the 4 SNCA SNPs and rs1052553 or rs242557, neither on the multiplicative nor on the additive scale. INTERPRETATION:This study confirms the association between PD and both SNCA SNPs and the H1 MAPT haplotype. It shows, based on a variety of approaches, that the joint action of variants in these 2 loci is consistent with independent effects of the genes without additional interacting effects.