Association between the ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal esterase L1 gene (UCHL1) S18Y variant and Parkinson's Disease: a HuGE review and meta-analysis

Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Dec 1;170(11):1344-57. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwp288. Epub 2009 Oct 28.


The ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal esterase L1 gene, UCHL1, located on chromosome 4p14, has been studied as a potential candidate gene for Parkinson's disease risk. The authors conducted a Human Genome Epidemiology review and meta-analysis of published case-control studies of the UCHL1 S18Y variant and Parkinson's disease in Asian and Caucasian samples. The meta-analysis of studies in populations of Asian ancestry showed a statistically significant association between the Y allele and reduced risk of Parkinson's disease under a recessive model (odds ratio (OR) for YY vs. SY + SS = 0.79, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.67, 0.94; P = 0.006). For a dominant model, the association was not significant in Asian populations (OR for YY + SY vs. SS = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.68, 1.14; P = 0.33). For populations of European ancestry, the meta-analysis showed a significant association between the Y allele and decreased risk of Parkinson's disease under a dominant model (OR = 0.89, 95% CI: 0.81, 0.98; P = 0.02) but not under a recessive model (OR = 0.92, 95% CI: 0.66, 1.30; P = 0.65). Using the Venice criteria, developed by the Human Genome Epidemiology Network Working Group on the assessment of cumulative evidence, the authors concluded that moderate evidence exists for an association between the S18Y variant and Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / genetics
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Humans
  • Models, Genetic
  • Parkinson Disease / epidemiology
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase / genetics*


  • UCHL1 protein, human
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase