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Neurosci Lett. 2009 Sep 29;463(1):64-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2009.07.010. Epub 2009 Jul 9.

DNA sequence analysis of the conserved region around the SOD1 gene locus in recessively inherited ALS.

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  • 1Massachusetts General Hospital, 114 16th Street, Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.


Familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) accounts for 10% of all ALS cases; 12-23% are associated with mutations in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase gene (SOD1). All ALS-linked SOD1 mutations present with a dominant pattern of inheritance apart from the aspartate to alanine mutation in exon 4 (D90A). This mutation has been observed in dominant, recessive and apparently sporadically cases. SOD1(D90A/D90A) ALS cases have a very slow disease progression (>10 years), raising the hypothesis that modifier genes linked to SOD1 ameliorate the phenotype of recessively inherited SOD1(D90A/D90A) mutations. Previous sequence analysis of a conserved haplotype region around the SOD1 gene did not reveal any functional polymorphisms within known coding or putative regulatory regions. In the current study we expanded the previous analyses by sequencing the entire SOD1 conserved haplotypic region. Although many polymorphisms were identified, none of these variants explain the slowly progressive phenotype observed in patients with recessive SOD1(D90A) mutations. This study disproves the hypothesis that there is a tightly linked genetic protective factor specifically located close to the SOD1 gene in SOD1(D90A) mediated ALS.

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