A rare coding variant in TREM2 increases risk for Alzheimer's disease in Han Chinese

Neurobiol Aging. 2016 Jun:42:217.e1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2016.02.023. Epub 2016 Mar 3.


Two recent studies have identified that a rare coding variant (p.R47H) in exon 2 of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) gene is associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) susceptibility in Caucasians. This association was not successfully replicated in Han Chinese, where this variant was rare or even absent. Previously, we resequenced TREM2 exon 2 to investigate whether additional rare variants conferred risk to AD in our cohort. Although several new variants had been identified, none of them was significantly associated with disease susceptibility. Here, to test whether TREM2 is truly a susceptibility gene of AD in Han Chinese, we extend our previous study by sequencing the other four exons of TREM2 in 988 AD patients and 1,354 healthy controls. We provided the first evidence that a rare coding variant (p.H157Y) in TREM2 exon 3 conferred a considerable risk of AD in our cohort (Pcorrected = 0.02, odds ratio = 11.01, 95% confidence interval: 1.38-88.05). This finding indicates that rare coding variants of TREM2 may play an important role in AD in Han Chinese.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; Han Chinese; Rare coding variants; TREM2.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Asian People / genetics
  • Cohort Studies
  • Exons / genetics
  • Genetic Association Studies*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Humans
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / genetics*
  • Risk


  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • TREM2 protein, human