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Identification of 2 Loci at chromosomes 9 and 14 in a multiplex family with frontotemporal lobar degeneration and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

BACKGROUND: Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that can be accompanied by signs of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

OBJECTIVE: To identify a novel gene for FTLD-ALS.

DESIGN: Genome-wide linkage study in a multiplex family with FTLD-ALS with subsequent fine mapping and mutation analyses.

SETTING: Memory Clinic of the Middelheim General Hospital.

PATIENTS: An extended Belgian family with autosomal dominant FTLD-ALS, DR14, with a mean age at onset of 58.1 years (range, 51-65 years [n = 9]) and mean disease duration of 6.4 years (range, 1-17 years [n = 9]). The proband with clinical FTLD showed typical FTLD pathology with neuronal ubiquitin-immunoreactive inclusions that were positive for the transactivation response DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Linkage to chromosome 9 and 14.

RESULTS: We found significant linkage to chromosome 9p23-q21 (multipoint logarithm of odds [LOD] score = 3.38) overlapping with a known FTLD-ALS locus (ALSFTD2) and nearly significant linkage to a second locus at chromosome 14q31-q32 (multipoint LOD score = 2.79). Obligate meiotic recombinants defined candidate regions of 74.7 megabase pairs (Mb) at chromosome 9 and 14.6 Mb near the telomere of chromosome 14q. In both loci, the disease haplotype segregated in all patients in the family. Mutation analysis of selected genes and copy number variation analysis in both loci did not reveal segregating pathogenic mutations.

CONCLUSIONS: Family DR14 provides additional significant evidence for the importance of the chromosome 9 gene to FTLD-ALS and reveals a possible novel locus for FTLD-ALS at chromosome 14. The identification of the underlying genetic defect(s) will significantly contribute to the understanding of neurodegenerative disease mechanisms in FTLD, ALS, and associated neurodegenerative disorders.

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