Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Region of DNA strongly associated with Alzheimer’s disease

11.01.2006


An international team of researchers, led by investigators at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, are zeroing in on a gene that increases risk for Alzheimer’s disease. They have identified a region of chromosome 10 that appears to be involved in risk for the disease that currently affects an estimated 4.5 million Americans.



"There are a few genes that have been implicated in the development of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, but other than APOE, no genes have been found that increase risk for the more common, late-onset form of the disease," says principal investigator Alison M. Goate, D. Phil., the Samuel and Mae S. Ludwig Professor of Genetics in Psychiatry at Washington University. "The region of DNA identified in our study showed evidence of replication in four independent series of experiments. I haven’t seen a putative risk factor show such consistent results since the e4 variant of the APOE gene was identified as a risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease more than 10 years ago."

In the January issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, Goate’s team of researchers reports results of a scan of more than 1,400 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on chromosome 10 to home in on susceptibility genes for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.


A SNP is an area of DNA where a change has occurred. A strand of DNA consists of four chemical bases, or nucleotides, represented by the letters A, C, G and T. When several regions of DNA from a population are compared, sites where variations exist may be found. Some individuals will have the original base, and others will have a variant. That site where a difference can be identified is called a single nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP.

Since most DNA does not make proteins, the majority of SNPs have no effect on DNA function or on health and disease. However, some SNP variants can cause major health problems. An example is APOE4, a common SNP in the apolipoprotein E gene that increases risk for Alzheimer’s disease.

Goate and colleagues have not yet isolated a gene on chromosome 10, but in studying the 1,400 SNPs on chromosome 10 in DNA from three series, each with approximately 400 people with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease and 400 healthy, age-matched controls, her team found only one SNP that consistently showed evidence of risk for Alzheimer’s disease in all three series.

"The region of DNA implicated in our study contains six genes," Goate says. "We don’t know which of those genes is most likely to harbor this particular risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, but we’re getting closer. We’re now trying to nail down which one of these six genes is the most likely to be involved."

Goate expects between five and 10 genes eventually will be implicated as possible risk factors for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and she says it’s possible that more than one of those genes is located on chromosome 10.

"One thing we’re trying to do at a functional level is to see whether any of the six genes that we’ve identified might be involved in pathways that we already know are related to Alzheimer’s disease," she says. "For example, we know amyloid-beta peptide plays a role, so we want to see whether any of these genes might have a role in amyloid-beta metabolism.

"We don’t really know the nature of this risk factor yet. What we can say is that we believe we know where it’s located, and we know there are six genes in that region. But there also could be other regulatory elements within that strand of DNA that don’t directly produce a protein but may somehow affect proteins produced elsewhere in the genome. At this point, we can say that there is a variant in this region of DNA that is increasing risk for Alzheimer’s disease, but we can’t yet say how," Goate says.

Jim Dryden | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wustl.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The irresistible fragrance of dying vinegar flies
16.08.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht How protein islands form
15.08.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>