Whole-exome sequencing of the BDR cohort: evidence to support the role of the PILRA gene in Alzheimer's disease.
ABSTRACT: AIM:Late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) accounts for 95% of all Alzheimer's cases and is genetically complex in nature. Overlapping clinical and neuropathological features between AD, FTD and Parkinson's disease highlight the potential role of genetic pleiotropy across diseases. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have uncovered 20 new loci for AD risk; however, these exhibit small effect sizes. Using NGS, here we perform association analyses using exome-wide and candidate-gene-driven approaches. METHODS:Whole-exome sequencing was performed on 132 AD cases and 53 control samples. Exome-wide single-variant association and gene burden tests were performed for 76 640 nonsingleton variants. Samples were also screened for known causative mutations in familial genes in AD and other dementias. Single-variant association and burden analysis was also carried out on variants in known AD and other neurological dementia genes. RESULTS:Tentative single-variant and burden associations were seen in several genes with kinase and protease activity. Exome-wide burden analysis also revealed significant burden of variants in PILRA (P = 3.4 × 10-5 ), which has previously been linked to AD via GWAS, hit ZCWPW1. Screening for causative mutations in familial AD and other dementia genes revealed no pathogenic variants. Variants identified in ABCA7, SLC24A4, CD33 and LRRK2 were nominally associated with disease (P < 0.05) but did not withstand correction for multiple testing. APOE (P = 0.02) and CLU (P = 0.04) variants showed significant burden on AD. CONCLUSIONS:In addition, polygenic risk scores (PRS) were able to distinguish between cases and controls with 83.8% accuracy using 3268 variants, sex, age at death and APOE ?4 and ?2 status as predictors.
Project description:The primary constituents of plaques (A?42/A?40) and neurofibrillary tangles (tau and phosphorylated forms of tau [ptau]) are the current leading diagnostic and prognostic cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers for AD. In this study, we performed deep sequencing of APP, PSEN1, PSEN2, GRN, APOE and MAPT genes in individuals with extreme CSF A?42, tau, or ptau levels. One known pathogenic mutation (PSEN1 p.A426P), four high-risk variants for AD (APOE p.L46P, MAPT p.A152T, PSEN2 p.R62H and p.R71W) and nine novel variants were identified. Surprisingly, a coding variant in PSEN1, p.E318G (rs17125721-G) exhibited a significant association with high CSF tau (p = 9.2 × 10(-4)) and ptau (p = 1.8 × 10(-3)) levels. The association of the p.E318G variant with A? deposition was observed in APOE-?4 allele carriers. Furthermore, we found that in a large case-control series (n = 5,161) individuals who are APOE-?4 carriers and carry the p.E318G variant are at a risk of developing AD (OR = 10.7, 95% CI = 4.7-24.6) that is similar to APOE-?4 homozygous (OR = 9.9, 95% CI = 7.2.9-13.6), and double the risk for APOE-?4 carriers that do not carry p.E318G (OR = 3.9, 95% CI = 3.4-4.4). The p.E318G variant is present in 5.3% (n = 30) of the families from a large clinical series of LOAD families (n = 565) and exhibited a higher frequency in familial LOAD (MAF = 2.5%) than in sporadic LOAD (MAF = 1.6%) (p = 0.02). Additionally, we found that in the presence of at least one APOE-?4 allele, p.E318G is associated with more A? plaques and faster cognitive decline. We demonstrate that the effect of PSEN1, p.E318G on AD susceptibility is largely dependent on an interaction with APOE-?4 and mediated by an increased burden of A? deposition.
Project description:C-reactive protein (CRP) concentration is a heritable systemic marker of inflammation that is associated with cardiovascular disease risk. Genome-wide association studies have identified CRP-associated common variants associated in ∼25 genes. Our aims were to apply exome sequencing to (1) assess whether the candidate loci contain rare coding variants associated with CRP levels and (2) perform an exome-wide search for rare variants in novel genes associated with CRP levels. We exome-sequenced 6050 European-Americans (EAs) and 3109 African-Americans (AAs) from the NHLBI-ESP and the CHARGE consortia, and performed association tests of sequence data with measured CRP levels. In single-variant tests across candidate loci, a novel rare (minor allele frequency = 0.16%) CRP-coding variant (rs77832441-A; p.Thr59Met) was associated with 53% lower mean CRP levels (P = 2.9 × 10(-6)). We replicated the association of rs77832441 in an exome array analysis of 11 414 EAs (P = 3.0 × 10(-15)). Despite a strong effect on CRP levels, rs77832441 was not associated with inflammation-related phenotypes including coronary heart disease. We also found evidence for an AA-specific association of APOE-ε2 rs7214 with higher CRP levels. At the exome-wide significance level (P < 5.0 × 10(-8)), we confirmed associations for reported common variants of HNF1A, CRP, IL6R and TOMM40-APOE. In gene-based tests, a burden of rare/lower frequency variation in CRP in EAs (P ≤ 6.8 × 10(-4)) and in retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor α (RORA) in AAs (P = 1.7 × 10(-3)) were associated with CRP levels at the candidate gene level (P < 2.0 × 10(-3)). This inquiry did not elucidate novel genes, but instead demonstrated that variants distributed across the allele frequency spectrum within candidate genes contribute to CRP levels.
Project description:Importance:Previous genome-wide association studies of common variants identified associations for Alzheimer disease (AD) loci evident only among individuals with particular APOE alleles. Objective:To identify APOE genotype-dependent associations with infrequent and rare variants using whole-exome sequencing. Design, Setting, and Participants:The discovery stage included 10?441 non-Hispanic white participants in the Alzheimer Disease Sequencing Project. Replication was sought in 2 independent, whole-exome sequencing data sets (1766 patients with AD, 2906 without AD [controls]) and a chip-based genotype imputation data set (8728 patients with AD, 9808 controls). Bioinformatics and functional analyses were conducted using clinical, cognitive, neuropathologic, whole-exome sequencing, and gene expression data obtained from a longitudinal cohort sample including 402 patients with AD and 647 controls. Data were analyzed between March 2017 and September 2018. Main Outcomes and Measures:Score, Firth, and sequence kernel association tests were used to test the association of AD risk with individual variants and genes in subgroups of APOE ?4 carriers and noncarriers. Results with P???1?×?10-5 were further evaluated in the replication data sets and combined by meta-analysis. Results:Among 3145 patients with AD and 4213 controls lacking ?4 (mean [SD] age, 83.4 [7.6] years; 4363 [59.3.%] women), novel genome-wide significant associations were obtained in the discovery sample with rs536940594 in AC099552 (odds ratio [OR], 88.0; 95% CI, 9.08-852.0; P?=?2.22?×?10-7) and rs138412600 in GPAA1 (OR, 1.78; 95% CI, 1.44-2.2; meta-P?=?7.81?×?10-8). GPAA1 was also associated with expression in the brain of GPAA1 (??=?-0.08; P?=?.03) and its repressive transcription factor, FOXG1 (??=?0.13; P?=?.003), and global cognition function (??=?-0.53; P?=?.009). Significant gene-wide associations (threshold P???6.35?×?10-7) were observed for OR8G5 (P?=?4.67?×?10-7), IGHV3-7 (P?=?9.75?×?10-16), and SLC24A3 (P?=?2.67?×?10-12) in 2377 patients with AD and 706 controls with ?4 (mean [SD] age, 75.2 [9.6] years; 1668 [54.1%] women). Conclusions and Relevance:The study identified multiple possible novel associations for AD with individual and aggregated rare variants in groups of individuals with and without APOE ?4 alleles that reinforce known and suggest additional pathways leading to AD.
Project description:The genetics of late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) is complex due to the heterogeneous nature of the disorder. APOE*4 is the strongest genetic risk factor for AD. Genome-wide association studies have identified more than 30 additional loci, each having relatively small effect size. Known AD loci explain only about 30% of the genetic variance, and thus much of the genetic variance remains unexplained. To identify some of the missing heritability of AD, we analyzed whole-exome sequencing (WES) data focusing on non-APOE*4 carriers from two WES datasets: 720 cases and controls from the University of Pittsburgh and 7,252 cases and controls from the Alzheimer's Disease Sequencing Project. Following separate WES analyses in each dataset, we performed meta-analysis for overlapping markers present in both datasets. Among the four variants reaching the exome-wide significance threshold, three were from known AD loci: APOE/rs7412 (odds ratio (OR)?=?0.40; p?=?5.46E-24), TOMM40/rs157581 (OR?=?1.49; p?=?4.04E-07), and TREM2/rs75932628 (OR?=?4.00; p?=?1.15E-07). The fourth significant variant, rs199533, was from a novel locus on chromosome 17 in the NSF gene (OR?=?0.78; p?=?2.88E-07). NSF was also significant in the gene-based analysis (p?=?1.20E-05). In the GTEx data, NSF/rs199533 is a cis-eQTL for multiple genes in the brain and blood, including NSF that is highly expressed across all brain tissues, including regions that typically show amyloid-? accumulation. Further characterization of genes that are affected by NSF/rs199533 may help to shed light on the roles of these genes in AD etiology.
Project description:Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects 1 in ~350 individuals. Genetic association studies have established ALS as a multifactorial disease with heritability estimated at ~61%, and recent studies show a prominent role for rare variation in its genetic architecture. To identify rare variants associated with disease onset we performed exome array genotyping in 4,244 cases and 3,106 controls from European cohorts. In this largest exome-wide study of rare variants in ALS to date, we performed single-variant association testing, gene-based burden, and exome-wide individual set-unique burden (ISUB) testing to identify single or aggregated rare variation that modifies disease risk. In single-variant testing no variants reached exome-wide significance, likely due to limited statistical power. Gene-based burden testing of rare non-synonymous and loss-of-function variants showed NEK1 as the top associated gene. ISUB analysis did not show an increased exome-wide burden of deleterious variants in patients, possibly suggesting a more region-specific role for rare variation. Complete summary statistics are released publicly. This study did not implicate new risk loci, emphasizing the immediate need for future large-scale collaborations in ALS that will expand available sample sizes, increase genome coverage, and improve our ability to detect rare variants associated to ALS.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To investigate the impact of rare variants underlying neurodegenerative-related genes to familial Alzheimer's disease (AD). METHODS:We performed targeted sequencing of 277 neurodegenerative-related genes on probands from 75 Chinese AD families non-carrying causative mutation of dementia genes. Rare coding variants segregated in families were tested for association in an independent cohort of 506 patients with sporadic AD and 498 cognitively normal controls. East Asians data from the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC) were used as a reference control. RESULTS:A novel rare variant, P410S of PLD3 was found in an early-onset AD family. LRRK2 I2012T, a causative mutation of Parkinson's disease, was identified in another early-onset AD family. Missense variants in ABCA7 (P143S and A1507T) and CR1(T239M) were significantly associated with familial AD (P = 0.005437, 0.001383, 0.000549), a missense variant in TREM2(S183C) was significantly associated with AD (P = 0.000396) when compared with the East Asian controls in ExAC database. A non-frameshift variant in FUS (G223del) was frequent in AD cases and significantly associated with familial AD (P = 0.008). INTERPRETATION:Multiple rare coding variants of causal and risk neurodegenerative genes were presented in clinically diagnosed AD families that may confer risk of AD. Our data supported that the clinical, pathological, and genetic architectures of AD, PD, and FTD/ALS may overlapping. We propose that targeted sequencing on neurodegenerative-related genes is necessary for genetically unclear AD families.
Project description:The apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype is the major genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have access to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma APOE protein levels from 641 individuals and genome-wide genotyped data from 570 of these samples. The aim of this study was to test whether CSF or plasma APOE levels could be a useful endophenotype for AD and to identify genetic variants associated with APOE levels. We found that CSF (P = 8.15 × 10(-4)) but not plasma (P = 0.071) APOE protein levels are significantly associated with CSF A?(42) levels. We used Mendelian randomization and genetic variants as instrumental variables to confirm that the association of CSF APOE with CSF A?(42) levels and clinical dementia rating (CDR) is not because of a reverse causation or confounding effect. In addition the association of CSF APOE with A?(42) levels was independent of the APOE ?4 genotype, suggesting that APOE levels in CSF may be a useful endophenotype for AD. We performed a genome-wide association study to identify genetic variants associated with CSF APOE levels: the APOE ?4 genotype was the strongest single-genetic factor associated with CSF APOE protein levels (P = 6.9 × 10(-13)). In aggregate, the Illumina chip single nucleotide polymorphisms explain 72% of the variability in CSF APOE protein levels, whereas the APOE ?4 genotype alone explains 8% of the variability. No other genetic variant reached the genome-wide significance threshold, but nine additional variants exhibited a P-value <10(-6). Pathway mining analysis indicated that these nine additional loci are involved in lipid metabolism (P = 4.49 × 10(-9)).
Project description:The genetic architecture of late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD) in African Americans (AAs) differs from that in persons of European ancestry. In addition to APOE, genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of AD in AA samples have implicated ABCA7, COBL, and SLC10A2 as AA-AD risk genes. Previously, we identified by whole exome sequencing a small number of AA AD cases and subsequent genotyping in a large AA sample of AD cases and controls association of AD risk with a pair of rare missense variants in AKAP9. In this study, we performed targeted deep sequencing (including both introns and exons) of approximately 100 genes previously linked to AD or AD-related traits in an AA cohort of 489 AD cases and 472 controls to find novel AD risk variants. We observed association with an 11 base-pair frame-shift loss-of-function (LOF) variant in ABCA7 (rs567222111) for which the evidence was bolstered when combined with data from a replication AA cohort of 484 cases and 484 controls (OR = 2.42, p = 0.022). We also found association of AD with a rare 9 bp deletion (rs371245265) located very close to the AKAP9 transcription start site (rs371245265, OR = 10.75, p = 0.0053). The most significant findings were obtained with a rare protective variant in F5 (OR = 0.053, p = 6.40 × 10-5), a gene that was previously associated with a brain MRI measure of hippocampal atrophy, and two common variants in KIAA0196 (OR = 1.51, p<8.6 × 10-5). Gene-based tests of aggregated rare variants yielded several nominally significant associations with KANSL1, CNN2, and TRIM35. Although no associations passed multiple test correction, our study adds to a body of literature demonstrating the utility of examining sequence data from multiple ethnic populations for discovery of new and impactful risk variants. Larger sample sizes will be needed to generate well-powered epidemiological investigations of rare variation, and functional studies are essential for establishing the pathogenicity of variants identified by sequencing.
Project description:Whether novel risk variants of Alzheimer's disease (AD) identified through genome-wide association studies also influence magnetic resonance imaging-based intermediate phenotypes of AD in the general population is unclear. We studied association of 24 AD risk loci with intracranial volume, total brain volume, hippocampal volume (HV), white matter hyperintensity burden, and brain infarcts in a meta-analysis of genetic association studies from large population-based samples (N = 8175-11,550). In single-SNP based tests, AD risk allele of APOE (rs2075650) was associated with smaller HV (p = 0.0054) and CD33 (rs3865444) with smaller intracranial volume (p = 0.0058). In gene-based tests, there was associations of HLA-DRB1 with total brain volume (p = 0.0006) and BIN1 with HV (p = 0.00089). A weighted AD genetic risk score was associated with smaller HV (beta ± SE = -0.047 ± 0.013, p = 0.00041), even after excluding the APOE locus (p = 0.029). However, only association of AD genetic risk score with HV, including APOE, was significant after multiple testing correction (including number of independent phenotypes tested). These results suggest that novel AD genetic risk variants may contribute to structural brain aging in nondemented older community persons.
Project description:The detection of genetic loci associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) requires large numbers of cases and controls because variant effect sizes are mostly small. We hypothesized that variant effect sizes should increase when individuals who represent the extreme ends of a disease spectrum are considered, as their genomes are assumed to be maximally enriched or depleted with disease-associated genetic variants. We used 1,073 extensively phenotyped AD cases with relatively young age at onset as extreme cases (66.3?±?7.9 years), 1,664 age-matched controls (66.0?±?6.5 years) and 255 cognitively healthy centenarians as extreme controls (101.4?±?1.3 years). We estimated the effect size of 29 variants that were previously associated with AD in genome-wide association studies. Comparing extreme AD cases with centenarian controls increased the variant effect size relative to published effect sizes by on average 1.90-fold (SE?=?0.29, p?=?9.0?×?10-4). The effect size increase was largest for the rare high-impact TREM2 (R74H) variant (6.5-fold), and significant for variants in/near ECHDC3 (4.6-fold), SLC24A4-RIN3 (4.5-fold), NME8 (3.8-fold), PLCG2 (3.3-fold), APOE-?2 (2.2-fold), and APOE-?4 (twofold). Comparing extreme phenotypes enabled us to replicate the AD association for 10 variants (p?<?0.05) in relatively small samples. The increase in effect sizes depended mainly on using centenarians as extreme controls: the average variant effect size was not increased in a comparison of extreme AD cases and age-matched controls (0.94-fold, p?=?6.8?×?10-1), suggesting that on average the tested genetic variants did not explain the extremity of the AD cases. Concluding, using centenarians as extreme controls in AD case-control studies boosts the variant effect size by on average twofold, allowing the replication of disease-association in relatively small samples.