Estimating Alzheimer's disease causative genes by an evolutionary medicine approach

June 27, 2017, Oxford University Press

Alzheimer's disease patients are increasing with the aging of the world's population, becoming a huge health care and social burden. To find the cause of various diseases, in recent years, scientists have focused within the human genome on copy number variations (CNVs), which are changes in the number of genes within a population.

Likewise, a group of genes responsible for a gene number change has also been reported for Alzheimer's disease, but to date, it has not been easy to identify a causative gene from within the pathogenic CNV region.

Now, a new approach to finding Alzheimer's disease (AD) causative genes was estimated by paying attention to special duplicated genes called "ohnologs" included in the genomic region specific to AD patients. Human ohnologs, which are vulnerable to change in number, were generated by whole 500 million years ago.

In a new study published in the advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, Mizuka Sekine and Takashi Makino investigated the and knockout mouse phenotype for ohnologs, and succeeded in narrowing down the genetic culprits. The narrowed gene group had a function related to the nervous system and a high expression level in the brain which were similar to characteristics of known AD causative genes.

Their findings suggest that the identification of causative genes using ohnologs is a promising and effective approach in diseases caused by dosage change.

Explore further: Characterizing the mouse genome reveals new gene functions and their role in human disease

More information: Molecular Biology And Evolution (2017). DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msx183

Related Stories

Characterizing the mouse genome reveals new gene functions and their role in human disease

June 26, 2017
The first results from a functional genetic catalogue of the laboratory mouse has been shared with the biomedical research community, revealing new insights into a range of rare diseases and the possibility of accelerating ...

New tool uses genetic and clinical information to find the root cause of unexplained illnesses

April 26, 2017
An algorithm developed by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) scientists has the potential to help patients with mysterious ailments find genetic causes for their undiagnosed diseases.

'Goldilocks' genes that tell the tale of human evolution hold clues to variety of diseases

February 8, 2017
Geneticists from Trinity College Dublin have used our evolutionary history to shine light on a plethora of neurodevelopmental disorders and diseases. Their findings isolate a relatively short list of genes as candidates for ...

Rare genomic mutations found in 10 families with early-onset, familial Alzheimer's disease

June 17, 2013
Although a family history of Alzheimer's disease is a primary risk factor for the devastating neurological disorder, mutations in only three genes – the amyloid precursor protein and presenilins 1 and 2 – have been established ...

Mapping genes: Study finds new risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases

June 7, 2012
Using a new and powerful approach to understand the origins of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida are building the case that these diseases are primarily caused ...

Study reveals new link between Alzheimer's disease and healthy aging

August 15, 2011
Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) are two of the most prevalent forms of neurodegenerative disorders. In a study published online today in Genome Research, researchers have analyzed changes ...

Recommended for you

Scientists identify method to study resilience to pain

December 14, 2018
Scientists at the Yale School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System have successfully demonstrated that it is possible to pinpoint genes that contribute to inter-individual differences in pain.

CRISPR joins battle of the bulge, fights obesity without edits to genome

December 13, 2018
A weighty new study shows that CRISPR therapies can cut fat without cutting DNA. In a paper published Dec. 13, 2018, in the journal Science, UC San Francisco researchers describe how a modified version of CRISPR was used ...

Noncoding mutations contribute to autism risk

December 13, 2018
A whole-genome sequencing study of nearly 2,000 families has implicated mutations in 'promoter regions' of the genome—regions that precede the start of a gene—in autism. The study, which appears in the December 14 issue ...

New method for studying ALS more effectively

December 13, 2018
The neurodegenerative disease ALS causes motor neuron death and paralysis. However, long before the cells die, they lose contact with muscles as their axons atrophy. Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have now ...

Paternal grandfather's high access to food may indicate higher mortality risk in grandsons

December 12, 2018
A paternal grandfather's access to food during his childhood is associated with mortality risk, especially cancer mortality, in his grandson, shows a large three-generational study from Stockholm University. The reason might ...

New genetic study could lead to better treatment of severe asthma

December 12, 2018
The largest-ever genetic study of people with moderate-to-severe asthma has revealed new insights into the underlying causes of the disease which could help improve its diagnosis and treatment.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.