Apolipoprotein E region molecular signatures of Alzheimer's disease.
Although the APOE region is the strongest genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's diseases (ADs), its pathogenic role remains poorly understood. Elucidating genetic predisposition to ADs, a subset of age-related diseases characteristic for postreproductive period, is hampered by the undefined role of evolution in establishing molecular mechanisms of such diseases. This uncertainty is inevitable source of natural-selection-free genetic heterogeneity in predisposition to ADs. We performed first large-scale analysis of linkage disequilibrium (LD) structures characterized by 30 polymorphisms from five genes in the APOE 19q13.3 region (BCAM, NECTIN2, TOMM40, APOE, and APOC1) in 2,673 AD-affected and 16,246 unaffected individuals from five cohorts. Consistent with the undefined role of evolution in age-related diseases, we found that these structures, being highly heterogeneous, are significantly different in subjects with and without ADs. The pattern of the difference represents molecular signature of AD comprised of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from all five genes in the APOE region. Significant differences in LD in subjects with and without ADs indicate SNPs from different genes likely involved in AD pathogenesis. Significant and highly heterogeneous molecular signatures of ADs provide unprecedented insight into complex polygenetic predisposition to ADs in the APOE region. These findings are more consistent with a complex haplotype than with a single genetic variant origin of ADs in this region.
Kulminski, AM; Huang, J; Wang, J; He, L; Loika, Y; Culminskaya, I
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