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Trends Genet. 2008 Apr;24(4):186-94. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2008.01.004. Epub 2008 Mar 6.

Loss of progranulin function in frontotemporal lobar degeneration.

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Neurodegenerative Brain Diseases Group, Department of Molecular Genetics, VIB, Antwerp, Belgium.


Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) represents a collection of neurodegenerative diseases of frontal and temporal brain regions. It has long been associated with mutations in microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT), and more recently with loss-of-function mutations in progranulin (PGRN). Phenotypes of PGRN and MAPT mutation carriers overlap, although disease onset in PGRN carriers is a decade later. Mutations in PGRN might influence susceptibility to a wider range of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases. The recent demonstration that mutations in PGRN result in FTLD provided a novel entrance point to the molecular mechanisms leading to this disorder. The high variability in onset age and age-dependent penetrance suggests that the PGRN pathway is highly susceptible to modulating factors that might be exploited to delay the disease processes.

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