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Whole-Transcriptome Analysis of Dermal Fibroblasts, Derived from Three Pairs of Monozygotic Twins, Discordant for Parkinson’s Disease


Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases. In most cases, the development of the disease is sporadic and is not associated with any currently known mutations associated with PD. It is believed that changes associated with the epigenetic regulation of gene expression may play an important role in the pathogenesis of this disease. The study of individuals with an almost identical genetic background, such as monozygotic twins, is one of the best approaches to the analysis of such changes. A whole-transcriptome analysis of dermal fibroblasts obtained from three pairs of monozygotic twins discordant for PD was carried out in this work. Twenty-nine differentially expressed genes were identified in the three pairs of twins. These genes were included in seven processes within two clusters, according to the results of an enrichment analysis. The cluster with the greatest statistical significance included processes associated with the regulation of the differentiation of fat cells, the action potential, and the regulation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission. The most significant genes, which occupied a central position in this cluster, were PTGS2, SCN9A, and GRIK2. These genes can be considered as potential candidate genes for PD.

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The work was carried out using equipment of the Center of Cellular and Gene Technology of the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.


This work was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research (project no. 18-315-20009).

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Correspondence to Margarita M. Rudenok.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Statement of Informed Consent

Written informed consent for the use of biological material was obtained from all study participants.

The study was conducted in accordance with the World Medical Assembly Declaration of Helsinki – Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects. This work was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Institute of Molecular Genetics of Russian Academy of Sciences.

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Parkinson’s disease (PD) is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases.

A highly rare phenomenon is described: i.e., monozygotic twins discordant for PD.

Processes directly related with the functioning of the nervous system were revealed.

PTGS2, SCN9A, and GRIK2 can be considered as potential candidate genes for PD.

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Alieva, A.K., Rudenok, M.M., Novosadova, E.V. et al. Whole-Transcriptome Analysis of Dermal Fibroblasts, Derived from Three Pairs of Monozygotic Twins, Discordant for Parkinson’s Disease. J Mol Neurosci 70, 284–293 (2020).

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  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Whole-transcriptome analysis
  • Twins
  • Fibroblasts
  • Gene expression