Premature termination codon mutations in ABCA7 contribute to Alzheimer's disease risk in Belgian patients

Neurobiol Aging. 2021 Oct:106:307.e1-307.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2021.04.023. Epub 2021 May 2.


The ATP-Binding Cassette Subfamily A Member 7 gene (ABCA7) was identified as a risk gene for Alzheimer's disease (AD) in genome-wide association studies of large cohorts of late-onset AD (LOAD) patients. Extended resequencing of the ABCA7 coding regions identified mutations that lead to premature termination codons (PTC) and loss of function of ABCA7. PTC mutations were enriched in LOAD patients and were frequently present in patients with early-onset AD (EOAD). We aimed at assessing the contribution of ABCA7 PTC mutations to AD in the Belgian population by screening the ABCA7 coding region in a Belgian AD cohort of 1376 patients, including LOAD and EOAD patients, and in a Belgian control cohort of 976 individuals. We identified a PTC mutation in 67 AD patients (4.9%) and in 18 control individuals (1.8%) confirming the enrichment of ABCA7 PTC mutations in Belgian AD patients. The patient carriers had a mean onset age of 69.7 ± 9.8 years with a wide onset age range of 42 years (48-90 years). In 77.3% of the families of ABCA7 carriers, there were AD patients present suggestive of a positive family history of disease, but a Mendelian co-segregation of ABCA7 PTC mutations with disease is not clear. Overall, our genetic data predict that PTC mutations in ABCA7 are common in the Belgian population and are present in LOAD and EOAD patients.

Keywords: ABCA7; Alzheimer's disease; Loss-of function; PTC mutations; Premature termination codon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics*
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Belgium
  • Codon / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Humans
  • Loss of Function Mutation / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk


  • ABCA7 protein, human
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Codon