Short communication: Somatic mutation analysis of the APP and pesenilin 1 and 2 genes in Alzheimer's disease brains

Haike Reznik-Wolf, Joao Machado, Vahram Haroutunian, Luiz Demarco, Gerhard Franz Walter, Boleslaw Goldman, Michael Davidson, Janet A. Johnston, Lars Lannfelt, Sergio U. Dani, Eitan Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The molecular basis for sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD) remains largely unknown. We hypothesized that in some cases of sporadic AD, a somatic mutation in an embryonic cell committed to neuronal development within the amyloid precursor protein (APP), the presenilin 1 (PS-1) or the presenilin 2 (PS-2) genes (genes known to be involved in familial AD) may result in AD phenotype. Using PCR, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), restriction enzyme digest and direct DNA sequencing, we analyzed these genes in 99 brain tissues from patients with histopathologically proven AD. One brain sample showed a mutation within the PS-1 gene, His163 Arg, later shown to be a germline mutation. No other migration abnormalities were demonstrated in any sample in exon 16 or 17 of the APP gene or the coding exons of the PS- 1 gene. Restriction digest pattern was normal with regard to the predominant PS-2 gene mutation (N141I). A known mutation in the APP gene, as well as novel mutations within the PS-1 gene were easily detected by DGGE (Reznick Wolf et al. manuscript submitted). We conclude that the genes that are involved in familial AD do not display somatic mutations in the brains of sporadic AD patients, and that other molecular mechanisms are probably involved in the pathogenesis of sporadic AD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-65
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurogenetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Mutation analyses
  • Somatic mosacism
  • Somatic mutations
  • Sporadic Alzheimer disease


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