Large-scale screening in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis identifies genetic modifiers in C9orf72 repeat carriers

Annelot M. Dekker, Meinie Seelen, Perry T. C. van Doormaal, Wouter van Rheenen, Reinoud J. P. Bothof, Tim van Riessen, William J. Brands, Anneke J. van der Kooi, Marianne de Visser, Nicol C. Voermans, R. Jeroen Pasterkamp, Jan H. Veldink, Leonard H. van den Berg, Michael A. van Es

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Sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is considered to be a complex disease with multiple genetic risk factors contributing to the pathogenesis. Identification of genetic risk factors that co-occur frequently could provide relevant insight into underlying mechanisms of motor neuron degeneration. To dissect the genetic architecture of sporadic ALS, we undertook a large sequencing study in 755 apparently sporadic ALS cases and 959 controls, analyzing 10 ALS genes: SOD1, C9orf72, TARDBP, FUS, ANG, CHMP2B, ATXN2, NIPA1, SMN1, and UNC13A. We observed sporadic cases with multiple genetic risk variants in 4.1% compared with 1.3% in controls. The overall difference was not in excess of what is to be expected by chance (binomial test, p = 0.59). We did, however, observe a higher frequency than expected of C9orf72 repeat carriers with co-occurring susceptibility variants (ATXN2, NIPA1, and SMN1; p = 0.001), which is mainly because of the co-occurrence of NIPA1 repeats in 15% of C9orf72 repeat carriers (p = 0.006)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220.e9-220.15
JournalNeurobiology of aging
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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