, Volume 252, Issue 9, pp 1033-1036
Date: 16 Mar 2005

PEN–2 gene mutation in a familial Alzheimer’s disease case

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Genetic evidence indicates a central role of cerebral accumulation of β–amyloid (Aβ) in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Beside presenilin 1 and 2, three other recently discovered proteins (Aph 1, PEN 2 and nicastrin) are associated with γ–secretase activity, the enzymatic complex generating Aβ. Alterations in genes encoding these proteins were candidates for a role in AD. The PEN 2 gene was examined for unknown mutations and polymorphisms in sporadic and familial Alzheimer patients. Samples from age–matched controls (n = 253), sporadic AD (SAD, n = 256) and familial AD (FAD, n = 140) were screened with DHPLC methodology followed by sequencing. Scanning the gene identified for the first time a missense mutation (D90N) in a patient with FAD. Three intronic polymorphisms were also identified, one of which had a higher presence of the mutated allele in AD subjects carrying the allele ε4 of apolipoprotein E than controls. The pathogenic role of the PEN–2 D90N mutation in AD is not clear, but the findings might lead to new studies on its functional and genetic role.

*These two authors contributed equally to the paper.