Novel Alzheimer’s disease risk variants identified based on whole-genome sequencing of APOE ε4 carriers

Jong Ho Park, Inho Park, Emilia Moonkyung Youm, Sejoon Lee, June Hee Park, Jongan Lee, Dong Young Lee, Min Soo Byun, Jun Ho Lee, Dahyun Yi, Sun Ju Chung, Kye Won Park, Nari Choi, Seong Yoon Kim, Woon Yoon, Hoyoung An, Ki woong Kim, Seong Hye Choi, Jee Hyang Jeong, Eun Joo KimHyojin Kang, Junehawk Lee, Younghoon Kim, Eunjung Alice Lee, Sang Won Seo, Duk L. Na, Jong Won Kim

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Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease associated with a complex genetic etiology. Besides the apolipoprotein E ε4 (APOE ε4) allele, a few dozen other genetic loci associated with AD have been identified through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) conducted mainly in individuals of European ancestry. Recently, several GWAS performed in other ethnic groups have shown the importance of replicating studies that identify previously established risk loci and searching for novel risk loci. APOE-stratified GWAS have yielded novel AD risk loci that might be masked by, or be dependent on, APOE alleles. We performed whole-genome sequencing (WGS) on DNA from blood samples of 331 AD patients and 169 elderly controls of Korean ethnicity who were APOE ε4 carriers. Based on WGS data, we designed a customized AD chip (cAD chip) for further analysis on an independent set of 543 AD patients and 894 elderly controls of the same ethnicity, regardless of their APOE ε4 allele status. Combined analysis of WGS and cAD chip data revealed that SNPs rs1890078 (P = 6.64E−07) and rs12594991 (P = 2.03E−07) in SORCS1 and CHD2 genes, respectively, are novel genetic variants among APOE ε4 carriers in the Korean population. In addition, nine possible novel variants that were rare in individuals of European ancestry but common in East Asia were identified. This study demonstrates that APOE-stratified analysis is important for understanding the genetic background of AD in different populations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number296
JournalTranslational Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2021

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