Independent and epistatic effects of variants in VPS10-d receptors on Alzheimer disease risk and processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP)

Transl Psychiatry. 2013 May 14;3(5):e256. doi: 10.1038/tp.2013.13.

Abstract

Genetic variants in the sortilin-related receptor (SORL1) and the sortilin-related vacuolar protein sorting 10 (VPS10) domain-containing receptor 1 (SORCS1) are associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), declining cognitive function and altered amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing. We explored whether other members of the (VPS10) domain-containing receptor protein family (the sortilin-related VPS10 domain-containing receptors 2 and 3 (SORCS2 and SORCS3) and sortilin (SORT1)) would have similar effects either independently or together. We conducted the analyses in a large Caucasian case control data set (n=11,840 cases, 10,931 controls) to determine the associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in all the five homologous genes and AD risk. Evidence for interactions between SNPs in the five VPS10 domain receptor family genes was determined in epistatic statistical models. We also compared expression levels of SORCS2, SORCS3 and SORT1 in AD and control brains using microarray gene expression analyses and assessed the effects of these genes on γ-secretase processing of APP. Several SNPs in SORL1, SORCS1, SORCS2 and SORCS3 were associated with AD. In addition, four specific linkage disequilibrium blocks in SORCS1, SORCS2 and SORCS3 showed additive epistatic effects on the risk of AD (P≤0.0006). SORCS3, but not SORCS2 or SORT1, showed reduced expression in AD compared with control brains, but knockdown of all the three genes using short hairpin RNAs in HEK293 cells caused a significant threefold increase in APP processing (from P<0.001 to P<0.05). These findings indicate that in addition to SORL1 and SORCS1, variants in other members of the VPS10 domain receptor family (that is, SORCS1, SORCS2, SORCS3) are associated with AD risk and alter APP processing. More importantly, the results indicate that variants within these genes have epistatic effects on AD risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport / genetics
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Epistasis, Genetic / genetics
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Humans
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / genetics*
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide / genetics*
  • Risk Factors

Substances

  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport
  • Amyloid beta-Protein Precursor
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide
  • SORCS1 protein, human
  • SORCS2 protein, human
  • SorCS3 protein, human
  • sortilin

Grant support