Segregation of a rare TTC3 variant in an extended family with late-onset Alzheimer disease

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The genetic risk architecture of Alzheimer disease (AD) is complex with single pathogenic mutations leading to early-onset AD, while both rare and common genetic susceptibility variants contribute to the more widespread late-onset AD (LOAD); we sought to discover novel genes contributing to LOAD risk.


Whole-exome sequencing and genome-wide genotyping were performed on 11 affected individuals in an extended family with an apparent autosomal dominant pattern of LOAD. Variants of interest were then evaluated in a large cohort of LOAD cases and aged controls.


We detected a single rare, nonsynonymous variant shared in all 11 LOAD individuals, a missense change in the tetratricopeptide repeat domain 3 (TTC3) gene. The missense variant, rs377155188 (p.S1038C), is predicted to be damaging. Affecteds-only multipoint linkage analysis demonstrated that this region of TTC3 has a LOD score of 2.66 in this family.


The TTC3 p.S1038C substitution may represent a segregating, rare LOAD risk variant. Previous studies have shown that TTC3 expression is consistently reduced in LOAD patients and negatively correlated with AD neuropathology and that TTC3 is a regulator of Akt signaling, a key pathway disrupted in LOAD. This study demonstrates how utilizing whole-exome sequencing in a large, multigenerational family with a high incidence of LOAD could reveal a novel candidate gene.

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