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OBJECTIVE: Recent evidence suggests that intermediate-length polyglutamine (PolyQ) expansions in the ataxin-2 (ATXN-2) gene are a risk factor for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This work was undertaken with the aim to investigate the frequency of ataxin-1 (ATXN-1) and ATXN-2 PolyQ expansions in a cohort of patients with sporadic ALS (sALS) and patients with familial ALS (fALS) from southern Italy. METHODS: We assessed the PolyQ lengths of ATXN-1 and ATXN-2 in 405 patients with sALS, 13 patients with fALS, and 296 unrelated controls without history of neurodegenerative disorders. RESULTS: We found significantly higher intermediate PolyQ expansions ≥ 32 for ATXN-1 alleles and ≥ 28 for ATXN-2 alleles in the sALS cohort (ATXN-1: ALS, 7.07% vs controls, 2.38%; p = 0.0001; ATXN-2: ALS, 2.72% vs controls, 0.5%; p = 0.001). ATXN-1 CAT and ATXN-2 CAA interruptions were detected in patients with ALS only. Age at onset, site of onset, and sex were not significantly related to the ATXN-1 or ATXN-2 PolyQ repeat length expansions. CONCLUSIONS: Both ATXN-1 and ATXN-2 PolyQ intermediate expansions are independently associated with an increased risk for ALS.

Original publication

DOI

10.1212/WNL.0b013e318278b618

Type

Journal article

Journal

Neurology

Publication Date

11/12/2012

Volume

79

Pages

2315 - 2320

Keywords

Adult, Age Factors, Age of Onset, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Alleles, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Ataxin-1, Ataxins, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genotype, Humans, Italy, Male, Middle Aged, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Nuclear Proteins, Peptides, Risk Factors, Trinucleotide Repeat Expansion