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Hum Mol Genet. 2012 Sep 15;21(18):4094-103. doi: 10.1093/hmg/dds238. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

MAPT expression and splicing is differentially regulated by brain region: relation to genotype and implication for tauopathies.

Author information

1
Reta Lila Weston Institute and Department of Molecular Neuroscience, UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG, UK.

Abstract

The MAPT (microtubule-associated protein tau) locus is one of the most remarkable in neurogenetics due not only to its involvement in multiple neurodegenerative disorders, including progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, Parksinson's disease and possibly Alzheimer's disease, but also due its genetic evolution and complex alternative splicing features which are, to some extent, linked and so all the more intriguing. Therefore, obtaining robust information regarding the expression, splicing and genetic regulation of this gene within the human brain is of immense importance. In this study, we used 2011 brain samples originating from 439 individuals to provide the most reliable and coherent information on the regional expression, splicing and regulation of MAPT available to date. We found significant regional variation in mRNA expression and splicing of MAPT within the human brain. Furthermore, at the gene level, the regional distribution of mRNA expression and total tau protein expression levels were largely in agreement, appearing to be highly correlated. Finally and most importantly, we show that while the reported H1/H2 association with gene level expression is likely to be due to a technical artefact, this polymorphism is associated with the expression of exon 3-containing isoforms in human brain. These findings would suggest that contrary to the prevailing view, genetic risk factors for neurodegenerative diseases at the MAPT locus are likely to operate by changing mRNA splicing in different brain regions, as opposed to the overall expression of the MAPT gene.

PMID:
22723018
PMCID:
PMC3428157
DOI:
10.1093/hmg/dds238
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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