C9ORF72 repeat expansions and other FTD gene mutations in a clinical AD patient series from Mayo Clinic

Aleksandra Wojtas, Kristin A. Heggeli, Ni Cole Finch, Matt Baker, Mariely DeJesus-Hernandez, Steven G Younkin, Dennis W Dickson, Neill R Graff Radford, Rosa V Rademakers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alzheimer disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are two frequent forms of primary neurodegenerative dementias with overlapping clinical symptoms. Pathogenic mutations of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilins 1 and 2 (PSEN1, PSEN2) genes have been linked to familial early-onset forms of AD; however, more recently mutations in the common FTD genes encoding the microtubule associated protein tau (MAPT), progranulin (GRN) and C9ORF72, have also been reported in clinically diagnosed AD patients. To access the contribution of mutations in a well-characterized series of patients, we systematically performed genetic analyses of these EOAD and FTD genes in a novel cohort of 227 unrelated probands clinically diagnosed as probable AD which were ascertained at Mayo Clinic Florida between 1997 and 2011. All patients showed first symptoms of dementia before 70 years. We identified 9 different pathogenic mutations in the EOAD genes in a total of 11 patients explaining 4.8% of the patient population. Two mutations were novel: PSEN1 p.Pro218Leu and PSEN2 p.Phe183Ser. Importantly, mutations were also identified in all FTD genes: one patient carried a MAPT p.R406W mutation, one patient carried the p.Arg198Glyfs19X loss-of-function mutation in GRN and two patients were found to carry expanded GGGGCC repeats in the non-coding region of C9ORF72. Together the FTD genes explained the disease in 1.8% of our probable AD population. The identification of mutations in all major FTD genes in this novel cohort of clinically diagnosed AD patients underlines the challenges associated with the differential diagnosis of AD and FTD resulting from overlapping symptomatology and has important implications for molecular diagnostic testing and genetic counseling of clinically diagnosed AD patients. Our findings suggest that in clinically diagnosed AD patients, genetic analyses should include not only the well-established EOAD genes APP, PSEN1 and PSEN2 but also genes that are usually associated with FTD. Finally, the overall low frequency of mutation carriers observed in our study (6.6%) suggests the involvement of other as yet unknown genetic factors associated with AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-118
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Volume1
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2012

Keywords

  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid precursor protein
  • C9ORF72
  • Diagnosis
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Microtubule associated protein tau
  • Mutation
  • Presenilin 1
  • Presenilin 2
  • Progranulin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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