Meta-analysis of Alzheimer’s disease on 9,751 samples from Norway and IGAP study identifies four risk loci
Witoelar, Aree; Rongve, Arvid; Almdahl, Ina Selseth; Ulstein, Ingun; Engvig, Andreas; White, Linda Rosemary; Selbæk, Geir; Stordal, Eystein; Andersen, Fredrik; Brækhus, Anne; Saltvedt, Ingvild; Engedal, Knut; Hughes, Timothy; Bergh, Sverre; Bråthen, Geir; Bogdanovic, Nenad; Bettella, Francesco; Wang, Yunpeng; Athanasiu, Lavinia; Bahrami, Shahram; Le Hellard, Stephanie; Giddaluru, Sudheer; Dale, Anders M; Sando, Sigrid Botne; Steinberg, Stacy; Stefansson, Hreinn; Snaedal, Jon; Desikan, Rahul S; Stefansson, Kari; Aarsland, Dag; Djurovic, Srdjan; Fladby, Tormod; Andreassen, Ole Andreas
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionScientific Reports. 2018, . 10.1038/s41598-018-36429-6
A large fraction of genetic risk factors for Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is still not identified, limiting the understanding of AD pathology and study of therapeutic targets. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of AD cases and controls of European descent from the multi-center DemGene network across Norway and two independent European cohorts. In a two-stage process, we first performed a meta-analysis using GWAS results from 2,893 AD cases and 6,858 cognitively normal controls from Norway and 25,580 cases and 48,466 controls from the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP), denoted the discovery sample. Second, we selected the top hits (p < 1 × 10-6) from the discovery analysis for replication in an Icelandic cohort consisting of 5,341 cases and 110,008 controls. We identified a novel genomic region with genome-wide significant association with AD on chromosome 4 (combined analysis OR = 1.07, p = 2.48 x 10-8). This finding implicated HS3ST1, a gene expressed throughout the brain particularly in the cerebellar cortex. In addition, we identified IGHV1-68 in the discovery sample, previously not associated with AD. We also associated USP6NL/ECHDC3 and BZRAP1-AS1 to AD, confirming findings from a follow-up transethnic study. These new gene loci provide further evidence for AD as a polygenic disorder, and suggest new mechanistic pathways that warrant further investigation.