By analyzing whole-exome data from the Alzheimer’s disease sequencing project (ADSP), we identify a set of 4 genes that show highly significant association with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). These genes were identified within a human TREM2 co-expression network using a novel approach wherein prioritized polygenic score analyses were performed sequentially to identify significant polygenic components. Two of the 4 genes (TREM2, RIN3) have previously been linked to AD and two (ATP8B4, IL17RA) are novel. Like TREM2, the 2 novel AD genes are selectively expressed in human microglial cells. The most significant variants in ATP8B4 and IL17RA are non-synonymous variants with strong effects comparable to the APOE ε4 and ε2 alleles. These protein-altering variants will provide unique opportunities to further explore the biological role of microglial cells in AD and help inform future immune modulatory therapeutic development for AD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)