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Article

TOMM40 RNA Transcription in Alzheimer’s Disease Brain and Its Implication in Mitochondrial Dysfunction

1
Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA 98108, USA
2
Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Laura Ibanez and Justin Miller
Genes 2021, 12(6), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12060871
Received: 14 May 2021 / Revised: 1 June 2021 / Accepted: 4 June 2021 / Published: 6 June 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetics of Alzheimer’s Disease)
Increasing evidence suggests that the Translocase of Outer Mitochondria Membrane 40 (TOMM40) gene may contribute to the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Currently, there is no consensus as to whether TOMM40 expression is up- or down-regulated in AD brains, hindering a clear interpretation of TOMM40’s role in this disease. The aim of this study was to determine if TOMM40 RNA levels differ between AD and control brains. We applied RT-qPCR to study TOMM40 transcription in human postmortem brain (PMB) and assessed associations of these RNA levels with genetic variants in APOE and TOMM40. We also compared TOMM40 RNA levels with mitochondrial functions in human cell lines. Initially, we found that the human genome carries multiple TOMM40 pseudogenes capable of producing highly homologous RNAs that can obscure precise TOMM40 RNA measurements. To circumvent this obstacle, we developed a novel RNA expression assay targeting the primary transcript of TOMM40. Using this assay, we showed that TOMM40 RNA was upregulated in AD PMB. Additionally, elevated TOMM40 RNA levels were associated with decreases in mitochondrial DNA copy number and mitochondrial membrane potential in oxidative stress-challenged cells. Overall, differential transcription of TOMM40 RNA in the brain is associated with AD and could be an indicator of mitochondrial dysfunction. View Full-Text
Keywords: TOMM40 gene; Alzheimer’s disease; RNA transcription; pseudogene; mitochondrial dysfunction TOMM40 gene; Alzheimer’s disease; RNA transcription; pseudogene; mitochondrial dysfunction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, E.-G.; Chen, S.; Leong, L.; Tulloch, J.; Yu, C.-E. TOMM40 RNA Transcription in Alzheimer’s Disease Brain and Its Implication in Mitochondrial Dysfunction. Genes 2021, 12, 871. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12060871

AMA Style

Lee E-G, Chen S, Leong L, Tulloch J, Yu C-E. TOMM40 RNA Transcription in Alzheimer’s Disease Brain and Its Implication in Mitochondrial Dysfunction. Genes. 2021; 12(6):871. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12060871

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lee, Eun-Gyung, Sunny Chen, Lesley Leong, Jessica Tulloch, and Chang-En Yu. 2021. "TOMM40 RNA Transcription in Alzheimer’s Disease Brain and Its Implication in Mitochondrial Dysfunction" Genes 12, no. 6: 871. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12060871

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