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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2004;17(3):164-9. Epub 2004 Jan 20.

Association of the Neprilysin gene with susceptibility to late-onset Alzheimer's disease.

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  • 1Kasaoka Hospital, Kasaoka, Japan.


Neprilysin (NEP), also known as neutral endopeptidase, enkephalinase, CD 10, and common acute lymphoblastic leukemia antigen, is a 97-kD protein. NEP can degrade amyloid beta peptides, and its mRNA and protein levels are known to be reduced in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), making the NEP gene a substantial candidate for an AD risk factor. We examined the genetic association of three NEP polymorphisms, a GT-repeat polymorphism and two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs, -1075A>G and -1284G>C) in its promoter region, with AD in a Japanese case-control sample (240 patients and 163 controls). The GT-repeat polymorphism, but not the SNPs, was significantly associated with late-onset AD (p = 0.0007). Our findings suggest that the GT-repeat polymorphism in the promoter region of the NEP gene or some other unknown polymorphisms, which are in a linkage disequilibrium, confer a susceptibility to late-onset AD.

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