Large-scale genome-wide association studies have reported EPHA1 rs11767557 variant to be associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk in the European population. However, it is still unclear how this variant functionally contributes to the underlying disease pathogenesis. The rs11767557 variant is located approximately 3 kb upstream of EPHA1 gene. We think that rs11767557 may modify the expression of nearby genes such as EPHA1 and further cause AD risk. Until now, the potential association between rs11767557 and the expression of nearby genes has not been reported in previous studies. Here, we evaluate the potential expression association between rs11767557 and EPHA1 using multiple large-scale eQTLs datasets in human brain tissues and the whole blood. The results show that rs11767557 variant could significantly regulate EPHA1 gene expression specifically in human whole blood. These findings may further provide important supplementary information about the regulating mechanisms of rs11767557 variant in AD risk.
It has been well established that the TMEM106B gene rs1990622 variant was a frontotemporal dementia (FTD) risk factor. Until recently, growing evidence highlights the role of TMEM106B in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, it remains largely unclear about the role of rs1990622 variant in AD.
Here, we conducted comprehensive analyses including genetic association study, gene expression analysis, eQTLs analysis, and colocalization analysis. In stage 1, we conducted a genetic association analysis of rs1990622 using large-scale genome-wide association study (GWAS) datasets from International Genomics of Alzheimer’s Project (21,982 AD and 41,944 cognitively normal controls) and UK Biobank (314,278 participants). In stage 2, we performed a gene expression analysis of TMEM106B in 49 different human tissues using the gene expression data in GTEx. In stage 3, we performed an expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) analysis using multiple datasets from UKBEC, GTEx, and Mayo RNAseq Study. In stage 4, we performed a colocalization analysis to provide evidence of the AD GWAS and eQTLs pair influencing both AD and the TMEM106B expression at a particular region.
We found (1) rs1990622 variant T allele contributed to AD risk. A sex-specific analysis in UK Biobank further indicated that rs1990622 T allele only contributed to increased AD risk in females, but not in males; (2) TMEM106B showed different expression in different human brain tissues especially high expression in cerebellum; (3) rs1990622 variant could regulate the expression of TMEM106B in human brain tissues, which vary considerably in different disease statuses, the mean ages at death, the percents of females, and the different descents of the selected donors; (4) colocalization analysis provided suggestive evidence that the same variant contributed to AD risk and TMEM106B expression in cerebellum.
Our comprehensive analyses highlighted the role of FTD rs1990622 variant in AD risk. This cross-disease approach may delineate disease-specific and common features, which will be important for both diagnostic and therapeutic development purposes. Meanwhile, these findings highlight the importance to better understand TMEM106B function and dysfunction in the context of normal aging and neurodegenerative diseases.
Until now, epidemiological evidence regarding the association between vitamin C intake (both diet and supplements) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) remains inconsistent. Hence, it is necessary to establish the causal link between vitamin C levels and PD, and further develop effective therapies or prevention.
We selected 11 newly identified plasma vitamin C genetic variants from a large-scale plasma vitamin C GWAS dataset (n = 52,018) as the effective instrumental variables, and extracted their corresponding GWAS summary statistics from PD (33,674 PD cases and 449,056 controls) and PD age at onset (AAO) (n = 28,568). We then performed a Mendelian randomization (MR) study to evaluate the causal association of plasma vitamin C levels with PD and PD AAO using inverse-variance weighted (IVW), the weighted median, MR-Egger, and MR-PRESSO test.
We did not observe any significant association between genetically increased vitamin C levels and PD. Interestingly, we found a reduced trend of PD AAO (1.134 years) with 1 SD genetically increased vitamin C levels using IVW (beta = − 1.134, 95% CI: [− 2.515, 0.248], P = 0.108). Importantly, this trend was further successfully verified using both weighted median and MR-Egger. Each 1 SD genetically increased vitamin C levels could reduce PD AAO 1.75 and 2.592 years using weighted median (beta = − 1.750, 95% CI: [− 3.396, − 0.105], P = 0.037) and MR-Egger (beta = − 2.592, 95% CI: [− 4.623, − 0.560], P = 0.012).
We demonstrated the causal association between genetically increased plasma vitamin C levels and reduced PD AAO in people of European descent. Randomized controlled trials are required to clarify whether diet intake or supplement, or both could reduce the AAO of PD.
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