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Ann Neurol. 2005 Dec;58(6):829-39.

GSK3B polymorphisms alter transcription and splicing in Parkinson's disease.

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  • 1Garvan Institute of Medical Research, University of New South Wales, Barker Street, Randwick, Sydney NSW 2031, Australia.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a combination of motor symptoms. We identified two functional single nucleotide polymorphisms in the glycogen synthase kinase-3beta gene (GSK3B). A promoter single nucleotide polymorphism (rs334558) is associated with transcriptional strength in vitro in which the T allele has greater activity. An intronic single nucleotide polymorphism (rs6438552) regulates selection of splice acceptor sites in vitro. The T allele is associated with altered splicing in lymphocytes and increased levels of GSK3B transcripts that lack exons 9 and 11 (GSKDeltaexon9+11). Increased levels of GSKDeltaexon9+11 correlated with enhanced phosphorylation of its substrate, Tau. In a comparison of PD and control brains, there was increased in frequency of T allele (rs6438552) and corresponding increase in GSKDeltaexon9+11 and Tau phosphorylation in PD brains. Conditional logistic regression indicated gene-gene interaction between T/T genotype of rs334558 and H1/H1 haplotype of microtubule-associated protein Tau (MAPT) gene (p = 0.009). There was association between a haplotype (T alleles of both GSK3B polymorphisms) and disease risk after stratification by Tau haplotypes ((H1/H2+H2/H2 individuals: odds ratio, 1.64; p = 0.007; (H1/H1 individuals: odds ratio, 0.68; p < 0.001). Ours results suggest GSK3B polymorphisms alter transcription and splicing and interact with Tau haplotypes to modify disease risk in PD.

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