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Open AccessArticle

The Missing Heritability of Sporadic Frontotemporal Dementia: New Insights from Rare Variants in Neurodegenerative Candidate Genes

1
Molecular Markers Laboratory, IRCCS Istituto Centro San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli, 25125 Brescia, Italy
2
Service of Statistics, IRCCS Istituto Centro San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli, 25125 Brescia, Italy
3
Institute of Genomic Statistics and Bioinformatics, University of Bonn, 53127 Bonn, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have contributed equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(16), 3903; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20163903
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 2 August 2019 / Accepted: 8 August 2019 / Published: 10 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genomics of Brain Disorders 2.0)
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PDF [258 KB, uploaded 10 August 2019]

Abstract

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a common form of dementia among early-onset cases. Several genetic factors for FTD have been revealed, but a large proportion of FTD cases still have an unidentified genetic origin. Recent studies highlighted common pathobiological mechanisms among neurodegenerative diseases. In the present study, we investigated a panel of candidate genes, previously described to be associated with FTD and/or other neurodegenerative diseases by targeted next generation sequencing (NGS). We focused our study on sporadic FTD (sFTD), devoid of disease-causing mutations in GRN, MAPT and C9orf72. Since genetic factors have a substantially higher pathogenetic contribution in early onset patients than in late onset dementia, we selected patients with early onset (<65 years). Our study revealed that, in 50% of patients, rare missense potentially pathogenetic variants in genes previously associated with Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Lewy body dementia (GBA, ABCA7, PARK7, FUS, SORL1, LRRK2, ALS2), confirming genetic pleiotropy in neurodegeneration. In parallel, a synergic genetic effect on FTD is suggested by the presence of variants in five different genes in one single patient. Further studies employing genome-wide approaches might highlight pathogenic variants in novel genes that explain the still missing heritability of FTD. View Full-Text
Keywords: frontotemporal dementia; sporadic cases; early onset; next generation sequencing; genetic rare variants; neurodegenerative disease frontotemporal dementia; sporadic cases; early onset; next generation sequencing; genetic rare variants; neurodegenerative disease
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Ciani, M.; Bonvicini, C.; Scassellati, C.; Carrara, M.; Maj, C.; Fostinelli, S.; Binetti, G.; Ghidoni, R.; Benussi, L. The Missing Heritability of Sporadic Frontotemporal Dementia: New Insights from Rare Variants in Neurodegenerative Candidate Genes. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 3903.

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