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February 27, 2007

Celera Identifies Novel Genes Associated with Alzheimer’s

  • Celera published data from its research studies identifying several candidate genetic markers associated with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD), including markers in multiple genes that have never been associated with it. This report will appear in Human Molecular Genetics.

    Two of these genes are PCK1, a gene that regulates blood glucose levels, and GALP, a gene that is modulated by insulin and regulates food intake, which suggest a link between Alzheimer’s disease and irregular glucose/insulin levels. 

    This is the first report of a genome-wide association study in LOAD focused on testing genetic variants that are likely to change the function of a gene or protein. There were 19 SNPs that showed significant association with LOAD in an analysis of five independent case-control sample sets.

    Three of the identified markers were located close to the APOE gene, a known risk factor for LOAD. An additional 16 markers mapped to biological candidate genes, such as PCK1 and GALP; chromosome segments that are considered to hold genetic mutations that lead to a higher risk for LOAD; or to novel genes.