Multiple system atrophy (MSA) is a rare, late-onset, and devastating neurodegenerative disease characterized by autonomic failure, alongside with various combination of parkinsonism, cerebellar ataxia, and pyramidal dysfunction. Since we first identified biallelic mutations in the COQ2 gene in two multiplex MSA families and further reported that heterozygous COQ2 V393A variant confers a susceptibility to sporadic MSA, the results of nearly a decade of investigating this association globally were quite remarkable. COQ2 V393A was virtually absent in the American and European populations but was shown to have varying associations with sporadic MSA in the East Asian populations. In our attempt to clarify the latter and provide a coherent regional conclusion, we conducted two independent case-control series which showed clear association of the V393A variant with sporadic MSA in the Japanese population. We then pooled the results with other studies from the East Asian population and conducted a meta-analysis which broadened and established the association regionally (pooled OR 2.12, 95% CI: 1.35-3.31, PI: 0.63-7.15, p = 0.0047). The subgroup analysis identified a strong association of V393A with MSA-C (pooled OR 2.57, 95% CI: 1.98-3.35; p = 2.56 × 10-12) but not with MSA-P (pooled OR 1.41, 95% CI: 0.88-2.26; p = 0.16). Our results highlighted the importance of investigating region-specific and pan-regional genetic variants that may potentially underlie the pathomechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases. COQ2 V393A variant remains a susceptibility variant rather than causative for MSA particularly, MSA-C subtype, in the East Asian population.
Keywords: Asian continental ancestry group; Case-control studies; Multiple system atrophy; Mutation.
Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.