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Front Aging Neurosci. 2019 Feb 26;11:24. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2019.00024. eCollection 2019.

Lack of Association Between DJ-1 Gene Promoter Polymorphism and the Risk of Parkinson's Disease.

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Department of Neurology, Institute of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases, Institute of Health Science, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.


Low DJ-1 protein level caused by DJ-1 gene mutation leads to autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease (PD) due to impaired antioxidative activity. In sporadic PD patients, although mutations were rarely found, lower DJ-1 protein level was also reported. Dysregulation of DJ-1 gene expression might contribute to low DJ-1 protein level. Since the promoter is the most important element to initiate gene expression, whether polymorphisms in the DJ-1 promoter result in the dysregulation of gene expression, thus leading to low protein level and causing PD, is worth exploring. The DJ-1 promoter region was sequenced in a Chinese cohort to evaluate possible links between DJ-1 promoter polymorphisms, PD risk and clinical phenotypes. Dual-luciferase reporter assay was conducted to evaluate the influence of promoter polymorphisms on DJ-1 transcriptional activity. Related information in an existing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) database were looked up, meta-analysis of the present study and other previous reports was conducted, and expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis was performed to further explore the association. Three single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs17523802, rs226249, and rs35675666) and one 18 bp deletion (rs200968609) were observed in our cohort. However, there was no significant association between the four detected genetic variations and the risk of PD either in allelic or genotype model, in single-point analysis or haplotype analysis. This was supported by the meta-analysis of this study and previous reports as well as that of GWAS database PDGene. Dual luciferase reporter assay suggested these promoter polymorphisms had no influence on DJ-1 transcriptive activity, which is consistent with the eQTL analysis results using the data from GTEx database. Thus, DJ-1 promoter polymorphisms may play little role in the dysregulation of DJ-1 expression and PD susceptibility in sporadic PD.


PARK7/DJ-1; Parkinson’s disease; eQTL; polymorphism; promoter

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