Neurodegenerative disorders are a heterogeneous group of chronic progressive diseases and have pathological mechanisms in common. A certain causative gene identified for a particular disease may be found to play roles in more than one neurodegenerative disorder. We analyzed the GGGGCC repeat expansions of C9orf72 gene in patients with SCA3/MJD from mainland China to determine whether the C9orf72 gene plays a role in the pathogenesis of SCA3/MJD. In our study, there were no pathogenic repeats (>30 repeats) detected in either the patients or controls. SCA3/MJD patients with intermediate/intermediate or short/ intermediate genotype (short: < 7 repeats; intermediate: 7-30 repeats) of the GGGGCC repeats had an earlier onset compared with those with short/short genotype. The presence of the intermediate allele of the GGGGCC repeats in the patients decreased the age at onset by nearly 3 years. Our study firstly demonstrate that the development of SCA3/MJD may involve some physiological functions of the C9orf72 gene and provide new evidence to the hypothesis that a specific mutation identified in one of the neurodegenerative disorders may be a modulator in this class of diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)