Integrative genomics identifies APOE ε4 effectors in Alzheimer's disease

Herve Rhinn, Ryousuke Fujita, Liang Qiang, Rong Cheng, Joseph H Lee, Asa Abeliovich
Nature 2013 August 1, 500 (7460): 45-50
Late-onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) risk is strongly influenced by genetic factors such as the presence of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele (referred to here as APOE4), as well as non-genetic determinants including ageing. To pursue mechanisms by which these affect human brain physiology and modify LOAD risk, we initially analysed whole-transcriptome cerebral cortex gene expression data in unaffected APOE4 carriers and LOAD patients. APOE4 carrier status was associated with a consistent transcriptomic shift that broadly resembled the LOAD profile. Differential co-expression correlation network analysis of the APOE4 and LOAD transcriptomic changes identified a set of candidate core regulatory mediators. Several of these--including APBA2, FYN, RNF219 and SV2A--encode known or novel modulators of LOAD associated amyloid beta A4 precursor protein (APP) endocytosis and metabolism. Furthermore, a genetic variant within RNF219 was found to affect amyloid deposition in human brain and LOAD age-of-onset. These data implicate an APOE4 associated molecular pathway that promotes LOAD.

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