A recent study reported that rare variants in NUS1 were associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). We aimed to assess the relative contribution of rare and common coding/non-coding variants of NUS1 to late-onset PD patients (LOPD).
Whole genome sequencing data were analyzed for target NUS1 regions, derived from a cohort of 1962 cases and 1279 controls. The genetic association analyses were performed using logistic regression analysis and Sequence Kernel association test. Expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis was conducted to further explore the association of variants with NUS1 expression based on the data from GTEx database.
We identified 18 rare coding variants. p.Y131C was first identified in LOPD. However, no significant burden of rare NUS1 coding variants in LOPD was found. The rare variant sets of two regulatory elements (GH06J117605 and GH06J117674) were significantly enriched in LOPD even after Bonferroni correction (adjusted P = 0.013; adjusted P = 0.010). Considering the joint effect of rare and common variants, all variant sets within GH06J117605 and GH06J117674 showed association with LOPD but were no longer significant after Bonferroni correction. None of the common variants within coding/non-coding regions were significant after Bonferroni correction. The eQTL results suggested these variants in GH06J117605 and GH06J117674 could potentially have eQTL effects on the brain tissues.
These findings provide novel insight into the role of NUS1 regulatory regions in the development of LOPD and indicate that the variants in regulatory elements of NUS1 may be associated with LOPD by influencing the gene expression level.