MAPT Locus in Parkinson’s Disease Patients of Ashkenazi Origin: A Stratified Analysis

Shachar Shani, Mali Gana-Weisz, Anat Bar-Shira, Avner Thaler, Tanya Gurevich, Anat Mirelman, Nir Giladi, Roy N. Alcalay, Orly Goldstein*, Avi Orr-Urtreger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: MAPT locus is associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD), which is located within a large inversion region of high linkage disequilibrium (LD). We aimed to determine whether the H2-haplotype protective effect and its effect size depends on the GBA1 or LRRK2 risk allele carrier status, and to further characterize genetic alterations that might contribute to its effect. Methods: LD analysis was performed using whole-genome sequencing data of 202 unrelated Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) PDs. A haplotype-divergent variant was genotyped in a cohort of 1200 consecutively recruited AJ-PDs. The odd ratios were calculated using AJ-non-neuro cases from the gnomAD database as the controls in an un-stratified and a stratified manner according to the mutation carrier status, and the effect on the Age at Motor Symptom Onset (AMSO) was examined. Expression and splicing quantitative trait locus (eQTL and sQTL) analyses were carried out using brain tissues from a database. Results: The H2 haplotype exhibited significant association with PD protection, with a similar effect size in GBA1 carriers, LRRK2-G2019S carriers, and non-carriers (OR = 0.77, 0.69, and 0.82, respectively), and there was no effect on AMSO. The LD interval was narrowed to approximately 1.2 Mb. The H2 haplotype carried potential variants in candidate genes (MAPT and SPPL2C); structural deletions and segmental duplication (KANSL1); and variants affecting gene expression and intron excision ratio in brain tissues (LRRC37A/2). Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that H2 is associated with PD and its protective effect is not influenced by the GBA1/LRRK2 risk allele carrier status. This effect may be genetically complex, resulting from different levels of variations such as missense mutations in relevant genes, structural variations, epigenetic modifications, and RNA expression changes, which may operate independently or in synergy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


FundersFunder number
Biogen, Inc.
Chaya Charitable FundMJFF-TA-0254


    • GBA1
    • H2 haplotype
    • KANSL1
    • LRRK2
    • MAPT
    • Parkinson’s disease


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