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Neurobiol Aging. 2006 Oct;27(10):1440-4. Epub 2005 Oct 11.

Genetic variation in the choline acetyltransferase (CHAT) gene may be associated with the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Human Genetics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 130 DeSoto Street, 624 Parran Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.


Several independent linkage studies have mapped a broad susceptibility region for Alzheimer's disease (AD) on the long arm of chromosome 10. There are several biological candidate genes in this region, including choline acetyltransferase (CHAT). A number of studies have examined the role of CHAT genetic variants with AD risk and age-at-onset (AAO), but the results are equivocal. We examined the association of three Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in the CHAT gene in 1001 white sporadic late-onset AD (LOAD) cases and 708 white controls. We also examined the role of these three SNP with quantitative traits of AD including AAO, disease duration, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) score. We observed both allelic and genotypic associations of the intron 9 SNP with AD risk in the total sample (p = 0.029 for genotype and p = 0.028 for allele frequency differences) as well as among non-APOE*4 carriers (p = 0.007 for genotype and p = 0.006 for allele frequency differences). Three-site haplotype analysis confirmed that haplotypes determined by the intron 9 SNP were associated with either risk (p = 0.0009) or protective (p = 0.0082) effects among non-APOE*4 carriers. The three CHAT SNPs also showed a modest association with MMSE score. Our data suggest that genetic variation in the CHAT gene may be associated with AD risk and quantitative traits related to AD.

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