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PubMed | University of Leuven and University Hospitals Leuven Gasthuisberg, University of Groningen and University of Antwerp
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association | Year: 2015

The ability to identify individuals at increased genetic risk for Alzheimers disease (AD) may streamline biomarker and drug trials and aid clinical and personal decision making.We evaluated the discriminative ability of a genetic risk score (GRS) covering 22 published genetic risk loci for AD in 1162 Flanders-Belgian AD patients and 1019 controls and assessed correlations with family history, onset age, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers (A1-42, T-Tau, P-Tau181P).A GRS including all single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and age-specific APOE 4 weights reached area under the curve (AUC) 0.70, which increased to AUC 0.78 for patients with familial predisposition. Risk of AD increased with GRS (odds ratio, 2.32 (95% confidence interval 2.08-2.58 per unit; P < 1.0e(-15)). Onset age and CSF A1-42 decreased with increasing GRS (Ponset_age = 9.0e(-11); PA = 8.9e(-7)).The discriminative ability of this 22-SNP GRS is still limited, but these data illustrate that incorporation of age-specific weights improves discriminative ability. GRS-phenotype correlations highlight the feasibility of identifying individuals at highest susceptibility.


PubMed | Karolinska Institutet, Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Coimbra, University of Leuven and University Hospitals Leuven Gasthuisberg and 12 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Neurobiology of aging | Year: 2015

Meta-analysis of existing genome-wide association studies on Alzheimers disease (AD) showed subgenome-wide association of an intronic variant in the sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) gene with AD. We performed targeted resequencing of SQSTM1 in Flanders-Belgian AD patients selected to be enriched for a genetic background (n= 435) and geographically matched nonaffected individuals (n= 872) to investigate the role of both common and rare SQSTM1 variants. Results were extended to the European early-onset dementia cohorts (926 early-onset Alzheimers disease [EOAD] patients and 1476 nonaffected individuals). Of the 61 detected exonic variants in SQSTM1, the majority were rare (n= 57). Rare variant (minor allele frequency <0.01) burden analysis did not reveal an increased frequency of rare variants in EOAD patients in any of the separate study populations nor when meta-analyzing all cohorts. Common variants p.D292= and p.R312= showed nominal association with AD (odds ratiop.D292== 1.11 [95% confidence interval= 1-1.22], p= 0.04), only when including the Flanders-Belgian cohort in the meta-analysis. We cannot exclude a role of SQSTM1 genetic variability in late-onset AD, but our data indicate that SQSTM1 does not play a major role in the etiology of EOAD.


Cacace R.,Vlaams Institute for Biotechnology | Cacace R.,University of Antwerp | Van Cauwenberghe C.,Vlaams Institute for Biotechnology | Van Cauwenberghe C.,University of Antwerp | And 27 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2013

C9orf72 G4C2 repeat expansion is a major cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Its role in Alzheimer's disease (AD) is less clear. We assessed the prevalence of G4C2 pathogenic repeat expansions in Flanders-Belgian patients with clinical AD or mild cognitive impairment (MCI). In addition, we studied the effect of non-pathogenic G4C2 repeat length variability on susceptibility to AD, and on AD cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker levels. A pathogenic repeat expansion was identified in 5 of 1217 AD patients (frequency <1%). No pathogenic expansions were observed in patients with MCI (n = 200) or control individuals (n = 1119). Nonpathogenic repeat length variability was not associated with AD, risk of conversion to AD in MCI individuals, or CSF biomarker levels. We conclude that pathogenic C9orf72 G4C2 repeat expansions can be detected in clinical AD patients and could act as a contributor to AD pathogenesis. Non-pathogenic repeat length variability did not affect risk of AD or MCI, nor AD biomarker levels in CSF, indicating that C9orf72 is not a direct AD risk factor. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


van der Zee J.,Vlaams Institute for Biotechnology | van der Zee J.,University of Antwerp | Gijselinck I.,Vlaams Institute for Biotechnology | Gijselinck I.,University of Antwerp | And 97 more authors.
Human Mutation | Year: 2013

We assessed the geographical distribution of C9orf72 G4C2 expansions in a pan-European frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) cohort (n = 1,205), ascertained by the European Early-Onset Dementia (EOD) consortium. Next, we performed a meta-analysis of our data and that of other European studies, together 2,668 patients from 15 Western European countries. The frequency of the C9orf72 expansions in Western Europe was 9.98% in overall FTLD, with 18.52% in familial, and 6.26% in sporadic FTLD patients. Outliers were Finland and Sweden with overall frequencies of respectively 29.33% and 20.73%, but also Spain with 25.49%. In contrast, prevalence in Germany was limited to 4.82%. In addition, we studied the role of intermediate repeats (7-24 repeat units), which are strongly correlated with the risk haplotype, on disease and C9orf72 expression. In vitro reporter gene expression studies demonstrated significantly decreased transcriptional activity of C9orf72 with increasing number of normal repeat units, indicating that intermediate repeats might act as predisposing alleles and in favor of the loss-of-function disease mechanism. Further, we observed a significantly increased frequency of short indels in the GC-rich low complexity sequence adjacent to the G4C2 repeat in C9orf72 expansion carriers (P < 0.001) with the most common indel creating one long contiguous imperfect G4C2 repeat, which is likely more prone to replication slippage and pathological expansion. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


van der Zee J.,University of Antwerp | Bettens K.,University of Antwerp | Engelborghs S.,University of Antwerp | Engelborghs S.,University of Leuven and University Hospitals Leuven Gasthuisberg | And 49 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2015

Meta-analysis of existing genome-wide association studies on Alzheimer's disease (AD) showed subgenome-wide association of an intronic variant in the sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) gene with AD. We performed targeted resequencing of SQSTM1 in Flanders-Belgian AD patients selected to be enriched for a genetic background (n = 435) and geographically matched nonaffected individuals (n = 872) to investigate the role of both common and rare SQSTM1 variants. Results were extended to the European early-onset dementia cohorts (926 early-onset Alzheimer's disease [EOAD] patients and 1476 nonaffected individuals). Of the 61 detected exonic variants in SQSTM1, the majority were rare (n = 57). Rare variant (minor allele frequency <0.01) burden analysis did not reveal an increased frequency of rare variants in EOAD patients in any of the separate study populations nor when meta-analyzing all cohorts. Common variants p.D292= and p.R312= showed nominal association with AD (odds ratiop.D292== 1.11 [95% confidence interval= 1-1.22], p= 0.04), only when including the Flanders-Belgian cohort in the meta-analysis. We cannot exclude a role of SQSTM1 genetic variability in late-onset AD, but our data indicate that SQSTM1 does not play a major role in the etiology of EOAD. © 2015 The Authors.


Cuyvers E.,Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases Group | Cuyvers E.,University of Antwerp | De Roeck A.,Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases Group | De Roeck A.,University of Antwerp | And 20 more authors.
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2015

Background: ABCA7 was identified as a risk gene for Alzheimer's disease in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). It was one of the genes most strongly associated with risk of Alzheimer's disease in a Belgian cohort. Using targeted resequencing, we investigated ABCA7 in this cohort with the aim to directly detect rare and common variations in this gene associated with Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. Methods: We did massive parallel resequencing of ABCA7 after HaloPlex target enrichment of the exons, introns, and regulatory regions in 772 unrelated patients with Alzheimer's disease (mean age at onset 74·6 years [SD 8·9]) recruited at two memory clinics in Flanders, Belgium, and 757 geographically matched community-dwelling controls (mean age at inclusion 73·9 years [8·0]). After bioinformatic processing, common variants were analysed with conditional logistic regression and rare variant association analysis was done in Variant Association Tools. To explore an observed founder effect, additional unrelated patients with Alzheimer's disease (n=183, mean age at onset 78·8 years [SD 6·0]) and control individuals (n=265, mean age at inclusion 56·9 years [10·8]) from the same cohort who had not been included in massive parallel resequencing because of insufficient biosamples were screened for the ABCA7 frameshift mutation Glu709fs with Sanger sequencing. The effect of loss-of-function mutations on ABCA7 expression was investigated with quantitative real-time PCR in post-mortem brains of patients (n=3) and control individuals (n=4); nonsense mediated mRNA decay was investigated in lymphoblast cell lines from three predicted loss-of-function mutation carriers from the cohort of 772 patients with Alzheimer's disease. Findings: An intronic low-frequency variant rs78117248 (minor allele frequency 3·8% in 58 patients with Alzheimer's disease and in controls 1·8% in 28 controls) showed strongest association with Alzheimer's disease (odds ratio 2·07, 95% CI 1·31-3·27; p=0·0016), and remained significant after conditioning for the GWAS top single nucleotide polymorphisms rs3764650, rs4147929, and rs3752246 (2·00, 1·22-3·26; p=0·006). We identified an increased frequency of predicted loss-of-function mutations in the patients compared with the controls (relative risk 4·03, 95% CI 1·75-9·29; p=0·0002). One frameshift mutation (Glu709fs) showed a founder effect in the study population, and was found to segregate with disease in a family with autosomal dominant inheritance of Alzheimer's disease. Expression of ABCA7 was reduced in the two carriers of loss-of-function mutations found only in patients with Alzheimer's disease (Glu709fs and Trp1214*) compared with four non-carrier controls (relative expression 0·45, 95% CI 0·25-0·84; p=0·002) and in lymphoblast cell lines from three carriers of Glu709fs compared with those from two non-carrier controls. Interpretation: We propose that a low-frequency variant can explain the association between ABCA7 and Alzheimer's disease, and the evidence of loss-of-function mutations in this risk gene suggests that partial loss-of-function of ABCA7 could be a potential pathogenetic mechanism of Alzheimer's disease. Funding: Belgian Science Policy Office Interuniversity Attraction Poles program P7/16, Alzheimer Research Foundation, King Baudouin Foundation AB Fund, Methusalem Excellence Program initiative of the Flemish Government, Flanders Impulse Program on Networks for Dementia Research, Research Foundation Flanders, Agency for Innovation by Science and Technology Flanders, University of Antwerp Research Fund, and European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for Research, Technological development and Demonstration (AgedBrainSYSBIO). © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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