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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2000 Apr 25;97(9):4920-5.

A decamer duplication in the 3' region of the BRI gene originates an amyloid peptide that is associated with dementia in a Danish kindred.

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Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York 10016, USA.


Familial Danish dementia (FDD), also known as heredopathia ophthalmo-oto-encephalica, is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by cataracts, deafness, progressive ataxia, and dementia. Neuropathological findings include severe widespread cerebral amyloid angiopathy, hippocampal plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles, similar to Alzheimer's disease. N-terminal sequence analysis of isolated leptomeningeal amyloid fibrils revealed homology to ABri, the peptide originated by a point mutation at the stop codon of gene BRI in familial British dementia. Molecular genetic analysis of the BRI gene in the Danish kindred showed a different defect, namely the presence of a 10-nt duplication (795-796insTTTAATTTGT) between codons 265 and 266, one codon before the normal stop codon 267. The decamer duplication mutation produces a frame-shift in the BRI sequence generating a larger-than-normal precursor protein, of which the amyloid subunit (designated ADan) comprises the last 34 C-terminal amino acids. This de novo-created amyloidogenic peptide, associated with a genetic defect in the Danish kindred, stresses the importance of amyloid formation as a causative factor in neurodegeneration and dementia.

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