Familial idiopathic basal ganglia calcification (IBGC) or Fahr's disease is a rare neurodegenerative disorder characterized by calcium deposits in the basal ganglia and other brain regions, which is associated with neuropsychiatric and motor symptoms. Familial IBGC is genetically heterogeneous and typically transmitted in an autosomal dominant fashion. We performed a mutational analysis of SLC20A2, the first gene found to cause IBGC, to assess its genetic contribution to familial IBGC. We recruited 218 subjects from 29 IBGC-affected families of varied ancestry and collected medical history, neurological exam, and head CT scans to characterize each patient's disease status. We screened our patient cohort for mutations in SLC20A2. Twelve novel (nonsense, deletions, missense, and splice site) potentially pathogenic variants, one synonymous variant, and one previously reported mutation were identified in 13 families. Variants predicted to be deleterious cosegregated with disease in five families. Three families showed nonsegregation with clinical disease of such variants, but retrospective review of clinical and neuroimaging data strongly suggested previous misclassification. Overall, mutations in SLC20A2 account for as many as 41 % of our familial IBGC cases. Our screen in a large series expands the catalog of SLC20A2 mutations identified to date and demonstrates that mutations in SLC20A2 are a major cause of familial IBGC. Non-perfect segregation patterns of predicted deleterious variants highlight the challenges of phenotypic assessment in this condition with highly variable clinical presentation.
Mitochondrial myopathies belong to a larger group of systemic diseases caused by morphological or biochemical abnormalities of mitochondria. Mitochondrial disorders can be caused by mutations in either the mitochondrial or nuclear genome. Only 5 % of all mitochondrial disorders are autosomal dominant. We analyzed DNA from members of the previously reported Puerto Rican kindred with an autosomal dominant mitochondrial myopathy (Heimann-Patterson et al. 1997). Linkage analysis suggested a putative locus on the pericentric region of the long arm of chromosome 22 (22q11). Using the tools of integrative genomics, we established chromosome 22 open reading frame 16 (C22orf16) (later designated as CHCHD10) as the only high-scoring mitochondrial candidate gene in our minimal candidate region. Sequence analysis revealed a double-missense mutation (R15S and G58R) in cis in CHCHD10 which encodes a coiled coil-helix-coiled coil-helix protein of unknown function. These two mutations completely co-segregated with the disease phenotype and were absent in 1,481 Caucasian and 80 Hispanic (including 32 Puerto Rican) controls. Expression profiling showed that CHCHD10 is enriched in skeletal muscle. Mitochondrial localization of the CHCHD10 protein was confirmed using immunofluorescence in cells expressing either wild-type or mutant CHCHD10. We found that the expression of the G58R, but not the R15S, mutation induced mitochondrial fragmentation. Our findings identify a novel gene causing mitochondrial myopathy, thereby expanding the spectrum of mitochondrial myopathies caused by nuclear genes. Our findings also suggest a role for CHCHD10 in the morphologic remodeling of the mitochondria.
Cerebellar and/or vermis atrophy is recognized in various types of childhood disorders with clinical and genetic heterogeneity. Although careful evaluation of clinical features and neuroimaging can lead to correct diagnosis of disorders, their diagnosis is sometimes difficult because clinical features can overlap with each other. In this study, we performed family-based whole exome sequencing of 23 families including 25 patients with cerebellar and/or vermis atrophy in childhood, who were unable to be diagnosed solely by clinical examination. Pathological mutations of seven genes were found in ten patients from nine families (9/23, 39.1 %): compound heterozygous mutations in FOLR1, C5orf42, POLG, TPP1, PEX16, and de novo mutations in CACNA1A, and ITPR1. Patient 1A with FOLR1 mutations showed extremely low concentration of 5-methyltetrahydrofolate in the cerebrospinal fluid and serum, and Patient 6 with TPP1 mutations demonstrated markedly lowered tripeptidyl peptidase 1 activity in leukocytes. Furthermore, Patient 8 with PEX16 mutations presented a mild increase of very long chain fatty acids in the serum as supportive data for genetic diagnosis. The main clinical features of these ten patients were nonspecific and mixed, and included developmental delay, intellectual disability, ataxia, hypotonia, and epilepsy. Brain MRI revealed both cerebellar and vermis atrophy in eight patients (8/10, 80 %), vermis atrophy/hypoplasia in two patients (2/10, 20 %), and brainstem atrophy in one patient (1/10, 10 %). Our data clearly demonstrate the utility of whole exome sequencing for genetic diagnosis of childhood cerebellar and/or vermis atrophy.
microRNAs (miRNAs) are ~21 nt transcripts capable of regulating the expression of many mRNAs and are abundant in the brain. miRNAs have a role in several complex diseases including cancer as well as some neurological diseases such as Tourette’s syndrome and Fragile x syndrome. As a genetically complex disease, dysregulation of miRNA expression might be a feature of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Using multiplex quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), we compared the expression of 466 human miRNAs from postmortem cerebellar cortex tissue of individuals with ASD (n = 13) and a control set of non-autistic cerebellar samples (n = 13). While most miRNAs levels showed little variation across all samples suggesting that autism does not induce global dysfunction of miRNA expression, some miRNAs among the autistic samples were expressed at significantly different levels compared to the mean control value. Twenty-eight miRNAs were expressed at significantly different levels compared to the non-autism control set in at least one of the autism samples. To validate the finding, we reversed the analysis and compared each non-autism control to a single mean value for each miRNA across all autism cases. In this analysis, the number of dysregulated miRNAs fell from 28 to 9 miRNAs. Among the predicted targets of dysregulated miRNAs are genes that are known genetic causes of autism such Neurexin and SHANK3. This study finds that altered miRNA expression levels are observed in postmortem cerebellar cortex from autism patients, a finding which suggests that dysregulation of miRNAs may contribute to autism spectrum phenotype.
textabstractSYNJ1 has been recently identified by two independent groups as the gene defective in a novel form of autosomal recessive, early-onset atypical parkinsonism (PARK20). Two consanguineous families were initially reported (one of Sicilian and one of Iranian origins), with the same SYNJ1 homozygous mutation (c.773G>A, p.Arg258Gln) segregating with a similar phenotype of early-onset parkinsonism and additional atypical features. Here, we report the identification of the same SYNJ1 homozygous mutation in two affected siblings of a third pedigree. Both siblings had mild developmental psychomotor delay, followed, during the third decade of life, by progressive parkinsonism, dystonia, and mild cognitive impairment. One sibling suffered one episode of generalized seizures. Neuroimaging studies revealed severe nigrostriatal dopaminergic defects, mild striatal and very mild cortical hypometabolism. Treatment with dopamine agonists and anticholinergics resulted in partial improvements. Genetic analyses revealed in both siblings the SYNJ1 homozygous c.773G>A (p.Arg258Gln) mutation. Haplotype analysis suggests that the mutation has arisen independently in this family and the Sicilian PARK20 family previously described by us, in keeping with the hypothesis of a mutational hot spot. This is the third reported family with autosomal recessive, early-onset parkinsonism associated with the SYNJ1 p.Arg258Gln mutation. This work contributes to the definition of the genetic and clinical aspects of PARK20. This newly recognized form must be considered in the diagnostic work-up of patients with early-onset atypical parkinsonism. The presence of seizures might represent a red flag to suspect PARK20.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive and seriously disabling adult-onset neurological disease. Ninety percent of ALS patients are sporadic cases (sALS) with no clear genetic linkage. Accumulating evidence indicates that various microRNAs (miRNAs), expressed in a spatially and temporally controlled manner in the brain, play a key role in neuronal development. In addition, microRNA dysregulation contributes to some mental disorders and neurodegeneration diseases. In our research, the expression of one selected miRNA, miR-338-3p, which previously we have found over-expressed in blood leukocytes, was studied in several different tissues from sALS patients. For the first time, we detected a specific microRNA disease-related upregulation, miR-338-3p, in blood leukocytes as well in cerebrospinal fluid, serum, and spinal cord from sALS patients. Besides, staining of in situ hybridization showed that the signals of miR-338-3p were localized in the grey matter of spinal cord tissues from sALS autopsied patients. We propose that miRNA profiles found in tissue samples from sALS patients can be relevant to understand sALS pathogenesis and lead to set up effective biomarkers for sALS early diagnosis.
Transcriptional profiling was performed to survey the global expression patterns of 20 anatomically distinct sites of the human central nervous system (CNS). Forty-five non-CNS tissues were also profiled to allow for comparative analyses. Using principal component analysis and hierarchical clustering, we were able to show that the expression patterns of the 20 CNS sites profiled were significantly different from all non-CNS tissues and were also similar to one another, indicating an underlying common expression signature. By focusing our analyses on the 20 sites of the CNS, we were able to show that these 20 sites could be segregated into discrete groups with underlying similarities in anatomical structure and, in many cases, functional activity. These findings suggest that gene expression data can help define CNS function at the molecular level. We have identified subsets of genes with the following patterns of expression: (1) across the CNS, suggesting homeostatic/housekeeping function; (2) in subsets of functionally related sites of the CNS identified by our unsupervised learning analyses; and (3) in single sites within the CNS, indicating their participation in distinct site-specific functions. By performing network analyses on these gene sets, we identified many pathways that are upregulated in particular sites of the CNS, some of which were previously described in the literature, validating both our dataset and approach. In summary, we have generated a database of gene expression that can be used to gain valuable insight into the molecular characterization of functions carried out by different sites of the human CNS.
‘Neuroinflammation’ has become a widely applied term in the basic and clinical neurosciences but there is no generally accepted neuropathological tissue correlate. Inflammation, which is characterized by the presence of perivascular infiltrates of cells of the adaptive immune system, is indeed seen in the central nervous system (CNS) under certain conditions. Authors who refer to microglial activation as neuroinflammation confuse this issue because autoimmune neuroinflammation serves as a synonym for multiple sclerosis, the prototypical inflammatory disease of the CNS. We have asked the question whether a data-driven, unbiased in silico approach may help to clarify the nomenclatorial confusion. Specifically, we have examined whether unsupervised analysis of microarray data obtained from human cerebral cortex of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and schizophrenia patients would reveal a degree of relatedness between these diseases and recognized inflammatory conditions including multiple sclerosis. Our results using two different data analysis methods provide strong evidence against this hypothesis demonstrating that very different sets of genes are involved. Consequently, the designations inflammation and neuroinflammation are not interchangeable. They represent different categories not only at the histophenotypic but also at the transcriptomic level. Therefore, non-autoimmune neuroinflammation remains a term in need of definition.
Mutations of the SMARCB1 gene have been implicated in several human tumour predisposing syndromes. They have recently been identified as an underlying cause of the tumour suppressor syndrome schwannomatosis. There is a much higher rate of mutation detection in familial disease than in sporadic disease. We have carried out extensive genetic testing on a cohort of familial and sporadic patients who fulfilled clinical diagnostic criteria for schwannomatosis. In our current cohort, we identified novel mutations within the SMARCB1 gene and detected several mutations that have been previously identified in other schwannomatosis cohorts. Of the schwannomatosis screens reported to date, including our current dataset, SMARCB1 mutations have been found in 45 % of familial probands and 7 % of sporadic patients. The exon 1 mutation, c.41C >A, and the 3′ untranslated region mutation, c.*82C >T, are the most common changes reported in schwannomatosis disease so far, indicating mutation hotspots at both 5′ and 3′ portions of the gene. SMARCB1 mutations are found in a significant proportion of schwannomatosis patients, but there remains the possibility that further causative genes remain to be found.
Autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a range of neurodevelopmental disorders starting in early childhood and is characterized by impairments in communication and reciprocal social interaction and presence of restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior. The contribution of genetic factors to autism is clear in twin and family studies. It is apparent that, overall, ASD is a complex non-Mendelian disorder. Recent studies suggest that copy number variations (CNVs) play a significant role in the etiology of ASD. For the current work, we recruited 245 family members from 73 ASD families from Styria, Austria. The DNA from probands was genotyped with Affymetrix single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) 6.0 microarrays to screen for CNVs in their genomes. Analysis of the microarray data was performed using three different algorithms, and a list of stringent calls was compared to existing CNV data from over 2,357 controls of European ancestry. For stringent calls not present in controls, quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to validate the CNVs in the probands and in their family members. Twenty-two CNVs were validated from this set (five of which are apparently de novo), many of which appear likely to disrupt genes that may be considered as good candidates for neuropsychiatric disorders, including DLG2, S100B, ARX, DIP2A, HPCAL1, and GPHN. Several others disrupt genes that have previously been implicated in autism, such as BDNF, AUTS2, DPP6, and C18orf22, and our data add to the growing evidence of their involvement in ASD.
Defects of the human glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor biosynthetic pathway show a broad range of clinical phenotypes. A homozygous mutation in PIGN, a member of genes involved in the GPI anchor-synthesis pathway, was previously reported to cause dysmorphic features, multiple congenital anomalies, severe neurological impairment, and seizure in a consanguineous family. Here, we report two affected siblings with compound heterozygous PIGN mutations [c.808T >C (p.Ser270Pro) and c.963G >A] showing congenital anomalies, developmental delay, hypotonia, epilepsy, and progressive cerebellar atrophy. The c.808C >T mutation altered an evolutionarily conserved amino acid residue (Ser270), while reverse transcription-PCR and sequencing demonstrated that c.963G >A led to aberrant splicing, in which two mutant transcripts with premature stop codons (p.Ala322Valfs*24 and p.Glu308Glyfs*2) were generated. Expression of GPI-anchored proteins such as CD16 and CD24 on granulocytes from affected siblings was significantly decreased, and expression of the GPI-anchored protein CD59 in PIGN-knockout human embryonic kidney 293 cells was partially or hardly restored by transient expression of p.Ser270Pro and p.Glu308Glyfs*2 mutants, respectively, suggesting severe and complete loss of PIGN activity. Our findings confirm that developmental delay, hypotonia, and epilepsy combined with congenital anomalies are common phenotypes of PIGN mutations and add progressive cerebellar atrophy to this clinical spectrum.
Pentatricopeptide repeat domain proteins are a large family of RNA-binding proteins involved in mitochondrial RNA editing, stability, and translation. Mitochondrial translation machinery defects are an expanding group of genetic diseases in humans. We describe a patient who presented with low birth weight, mental retardation, and optic atrophy. Brain MRI showed abnormal bilateral signals at the basal ganglia and brainstem, and the patient was diagnosed as Leigh syndrome. Exome sequencing revealed two potentially loss-of-function variants [c.415-2A>G, and c.1747_1748insCT (p.Phe583Serfs*3)] in PTCD3 (also known as MRPS39). PTCD3, a member of the pentatricopeptide repeat domain protein family, is a component of the small mitoribosomal subunit. The patient had marked decreases in mitochondrial complex I and IV levels and activities, oxygen consumption and ATP biosynthesis, and generalized mitochondrial translation defects in fibroblasts. Quantitative proteomic analysis revealed decreased levels of the small mitoribosomal subunits. Complementation experiments rescued oxidative phosphorylation complex I and IV levels and activities, ATP biosynthesis, and MT-RNR1 rRNA transcript level, providing functional validation of the pathogenicity of identified variants. This is the first report of an association of PTCD3 mutations with Leigh syndrome along with combined oxidative phosphorylation deficiencies caused by defects in the mitochondrial translation machinery.
The composition of the neuronal cell surface dictates synaptic plasticity and thereby cognitive development. This remodeling of the synapses is governed by the endocytic network which internalize transmembrane proteins, then sort them back to the cell surface or carry them to the lysosome for degradation. The multi-protein retromer complex is central to this selection, capturing specific transmembrane proteins and remodeling the cell membrane to form isolated cargo-enriched transport carriers. We investigated a consanguineous family with four patients who presented in infancy with intractable myoclonic epilepsy and lack of psychomotor development. Using exome analysis, we identified a homozygous deleterious mutation in SNX27, which encodes sorting nexin 27, a retromer cargo adaptor. In western analysis of patient fibroblasts, the encoded mutant protein was expressed at an undetectable level when compared with a control sample. The patients’ presentation and clinical course recapitulate that reported for the SNX27 knock-out mouse. Since the cargo proteins for SNX27-mediated sorting include subunits of ionotropic glutamate receptors and endosome-to-cell surface synaptic insertion of AMPA receptors is severely perturbed in SNX27−/− neurons, it is proposed that at least part of the neurological aberrations observed in the patients is attributed to defective sorting of ionotropic glutamate receptors. SNX27 deficiency is now added to the growing list of neurodegenerative disorders associated with retromer dysfunction.
Genetic variation in the leucine-rich repeat and Ig domain containing 1 gene (LINGO1) was recently associated with an increased risk of developing essential tremor (ET) and Parkinson disease (PD). Herein, we performed a comprehensive study of LINGO1 and its paralog LINGO2 in ET and PD by sequencing both genes in patients (ET, n = 95; PD, n = 96) and by examining haplotype-tagging single-nucleotide polymorphisms (tSNPs) in a multicenter North American series of patients (ET, n = 1,247; PD, n = 633) and controls (n = 642). The sequencing study identified six novel coding variants in LINGO1 (p.S4C, p.V107M, p.A277T, p.R423R, p.G537A, p.D610D) and three in LINGO2 (p.D135D, p.P217P, p.V565V), however segregation analysis did not support pathogenicity. The association study employed 16 tSNPs at the LINGO1 locus and 21 at the LINGO2 locus. One variant in LINGO1 (rs9652490) displayed evidence of an association with ET (odds ratio (OR) = 0.63; P = 0.026) and PD (OR = 0.54; P = 0.016). Additionally, four other tSNPs in LINGO1 and one in LINGO2 were associated with ET and one tSNP in LINGO2 associated with PD (P < 0.05). Further analysis identified one tSNP in LINGO1 and two in LINGO2 which influenced age at onset of ET and two tSNPs in LINGO1 which altered age at onset of PD (P < 0.05). Our results support a role for LINGO1 and LINGO2 in determining risk for and perhaps age at onset of ET and PD. Further studies are warranted to confirm these findings and to determine the pathogenic mechanisms involved.
Schwannomatosis is a rare hereditary cancer syndrome in which patients develop multiple non-vestibular schwannomas. The chromatin remodelling gene SMARCB1 (also known as INI1, hSNF5, and BAF47) has been identified as a schwannomatosis predisposing gene, being involved in a subset of sporadic and familial cases. Recent studies have shown that SMARCB1 may also be involved in the development of multiple meningiomas. Previously, we demonstrated that the SMARCB1 exon 2 missense mutation c.143 C > T segregates with the presence of meningiomas in five members of a large family with multiple meningiomas and schwannomas. We extended our genetic analyses by screening 44 additional at-risk family members and identified 13 new carriers. Eleven of these were subjected to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of brain and spine. In addition, we analyzed four meningiomas and two schwannomas from family members for the presence of schwannomatosis-specific changes. We found in each tumor retention of the SMARCB1 exon 2 mutation, acquisition of an independent neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2) gene mutation, and loss of heterozygosity at SMARCB1 and NF2 by loss of the wild-type copy of both genes. The MRI scans revealed one or more falx meningiomas in seven of 11 (64%) newly identified SMARCB1 mutation carriers. We conclude that the SMARCB1 exon 2 missense mutation in this family predisposes to the development of meningiomas as well as schwannomas, occurring via the same genetic pathways, and that this mutation preferentially induces cranial meningiomas located at the falx cerebri
Pathogenic variants in the PCDH19 gene are associated with epilepsy, intellectual disability (ID) and behavioural disturbances. Only heterozygous females and mosaic males are affected, likely due to a disease mechanism named cellular interference. Until now, only four affected mosaic male patients have been described in literature. Here, we report five additional male patients, of which four are older than the oldest patient reported so far. All reported patients were selected for genetic testing because of developmental delay and/or epilepsy. Custom-targeted next generation sequencing gene panels for epilepsy genes were used. Clinical data were collected from medical records. All patients were mosaic in blood for likely pathogenic variants in the PCDH19 gene. In most, clinical features were very similar to the female phenotype, with normal development before seizure onset, which occurred between 5 and 10 months of age, clustering of seizures and sensitivity to fever. Four out of five patients had mild to severe ID and behavioural problems. We reaffirm the similarity between male and female PCDH19-related phenotypes, now also in a later phase of the disorder (ages 10-14 years).
Mutations in the SLC20A2-gene encoding the inorganic phosphate (Pi) transporter PiT2 can explain approximately 40 % of the familial cases of the rare neurodegenerative disorder primary familial brain calcification (Fahr’s disease). The disease characteristic, cerebrovascular-associated calcifications, is also present in Slc20a2-knockout (KO) mice. Little is known about the specific role(s) of PiT2 in the brain. Recent in vitro studies, however, suggest a role in regulation of the [Pi] in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). We here show that Slc20a2-KO mice indeed have a high CSF [Pi] in agreement with a role of PiT2 in Pi export from the CSF. The implications in relation to disease mechanism are discussed.
Genetic association analyses suggest that certain common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) may adversely impact recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Delineating their causal relationship may aid in development of novel interventions and in identifying patients likely to respond to targeted therapies. We examined the influence of the (C/T) SNP rs1800497 of ANKK1 on post-TBI outcome using data from two prospective multicenter studies: the Citicoline Brain Injury Treatment (COBRIT) trial and Transforming Research and Clinical Knowledge in Traumatic Brain Injury Pilot (TRACK-TBI Pilot). We included patients with ANKK1 genotyping results and cognitive outcomes at six months post-TBI (n = 492: COBRIT n = 272, TRACK-TBI Pilot n = 220). Using the California Verbal Learning Test Second Edition (CVLT-II) Trial 1-5 Standard Score, we found a dose-dependent effect for the T allele, with T/T homozygotes scoring lowest on the CVLT-II Trial 1-5 Standard Score (T/T 45.1, C/T 51.1, C/C 52.1, ANOVA, p = 0.008). Post hoc testing with multiple comparison-correction indicated that T/T patients performed significantly worse than C/T and C/C patients. Similar effects were observed in a test of non-verbal processing (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Processing Speed Index). Our findings extend those of previous studies reporting a negative relationship of the ANKK1 T allele with cognitive performance after TBI. In this study, we demonstrate the value of pooling shared clinical, biomarker, and outcome variables from two large datasets applying the NIH TBI Common Data Elements. The results have implications for future multicenter investigations to further elucidate the role of ANKK1 in post-TBI outcome.
Hereditary diffuse leukoencephalopathy with axonal spheroids (HDLS) is a rare autosomal dominant disease caused by mutations in the colony stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R) gene that often results in cognitive impairment, psychiatric disorders, motor dysfunction and seizure. We report familial cases of a novel CSF1R mutation causing HDLS similar to hydrocephalus. The patients initially presented with a gait disturbance and then developed progressive cognitive decline, urinary incontinence, epileptic seizures and became bedridden as the disease progressed. A brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan revealed striking ventricular enlargement and diffuse brain atrophy with frontotemporal predominance, which was later accompanied by white matter changes. Genetic testing in this family showed a novel c.2552T>C (p.L851P) mutation in exon 19 of the CSF1R gene. However, three gene carriers in the family remained clinically asymptomatic. Because of its heterogeneous clinical phenotypes, HDLS patients are often misdiagnosed with other diseases. This is the first genetically proven HDLS case resembling hydrocephalus, and the clinical symptoms of HDLS may be related to the specific genetic mutation.
Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are a cause of autosomal dominant Parkinson's disease (PD). Whether LRRK2 variants influence susceptibility to the commoner, sporadic forms of PD remains largely unknown. Data are particularly limited concerning the Asian population. In search for novel, biologically relevant variants, we sequenced the LRRK2 coding region in Taiwanese patients with PD. Four newly identified variants and another variant recently found in a Taiwanese PD family were tested for association with the disease in a sample of 608 PD cases and 373 ethnically matched controls. Heterozygosity for the Gly2385Arg variant was significantly more frequent among PD patients than controls (nominal p value=0.004, corrected for multiple comparisons=0.012, gender- and age-adjusted odds ratio=2.24, 95% C.I.: 1.29-3.88); this variant was uniformly distributed across genders and age strata. Two novel variants, Met1869Val and Glu1874Stop, were found in one PD case each; their pathogenic role remains, therefore, uncertain. The remaining two novel variants (Ala419Val and Pro755Leu) were present with similar frequency in cases and controls, and were therefore, interpreted as disease-unrelated polymorphisms. Our findings suggest that the LRRK2 Gly2385Arg is the first identified, functionally relevant variant, which acts as common risk factor for sporadic PD in the population of Chinese ethnicity.