PLoS medicine 2017 03 2814(3) e1002270 doi 10.1371/journal.pmed.1002270
Amyloid protein precursor (APP), presenilin-1 (PSEN1), and presenilin-2 (PSEN2) mutations cause autosomal dominant forms of early-onset Alzheimer disease (AD-EOAD). Although these genes were identified in the 1990s, variant classification remains a challenge, highlighting the need to colligate mutations from large series.
METHODS AND FINDINGS
We report here a novel update (2012-2016) of the genetic screening of the large AD-EOAD series ascertained across 28 French hospitals from 1993 onwards, bringing the total number of families with identified mutations to n = 170. Families were included when at least two first-degree relatives suffered from early-onset Alzheimer disease (EOAD) with an age of onset (AOO) ≤65 y in two generations. Furthermore, we also screened 129 sporadic cases of Alzheimer disease with an AOO below age 51 (44% males, mean AOO = 45 ± 2 y). APP, PSEN1, or PSEN2 mutations were identified in 53 novel AD-EOAD families. Of the 129 sporadic cases screened, 17 carried a PSEN1 mutation and 1 carried an APP duplication (13%). Parental DNA was available for 10 sporadic mutation carriers, allowing us to show that the mutation had occurred de novo in each case. Thirteen mutations (12 in PSEN1 and 1 in PSEN2) identified either in familial or in sporadic cases were previously unreported. Of the 53 mutation carriers with available cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarkers, 46 (87%) had all three CSF biomarkers-total tau protein (Tau), phospho-tau protein (P-Tau), and amyloid β (Aβ)42-in abnormal ranges. No mutation carrier had the three biomarkers in normal ranges. One limitation of this study is the absence of functional assessment of the possibly and probably pathogenic variants, which should help their classification.
Our findings suggest that a nonnegligible fraction of PSEN1 mutations occurs de novo, which is of high importance for genetic counseling, as PSEN1 mutational screening is currently performed in familial cases only. Among the 90 distinct mutations found in the whole sample of families and isolated cases, definite pathogenicity is currently established for only 77%, emphasizing the need to pursue the effort to classify variants.