Project I - Genetic studies in Parkinson Disease (PD) have been a major tool fueling the tremendous growth in research. However, there is increasing realization that common variations (MAF >5%) alone are not responsible for the genetic contribution to risk for developing PD and many other complex disorders. One of the alternative hypothesis for this missing genetic contribution are rare variants. Over the past year we initiated one of the first whole exome sequencing (WES) projects for Parkinson disease to search for rare variants contributing to PD. This project continues this work, incorporates our recent work on pathways into our analyses, and will provide information on the pathways and function of the genes discovered.
Specific Aim 1 identifies an initial set of rare variants and additional SNPs in a discovery set of 500 Parkinson Disease patients and 500 controls for testing in our replication dataset in Specific Aim 3a.
Specific Aim 2 utilizes a large Amish pedigree to look for rare variants using WES, targeted capture and potentially whole genome sequencing. The Amish present a group of individuals with both a relatively uniform environmental exposure history and increased genetic homogeneity. Linkage analysis reveals a strong locus on chromosome 9 In several branches of the pedigree, and additional loci on other chromosomes. This is thus a good model for PD in the outbred population.
In Specific Aim 3 we will test the top 200 genes and/or variants from our discovery dataset in an additional 500 cases and 500 controls . To accomplish this efficiently we will create a targeted capture for next generation sequencing . Analyses of this verification datasets will include multiple subsets of the data including by variant, variants within a gene "cluster", pathway analyses, gene networks of interest such as mitochondrial nuclear genes and AAO differences. In order to improve information on pathways and also evaluate the identified genes and there relationship to other known PD genes, we will examine differentially expression using silencing and other interventional techniques for the candidate genes in three different biological systems through Core D: yeast, zebrafish and induced pluripotent stem cells derived from PD patients and controls.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
Specialized Center (P50)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZNS1-SRB-E)
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University of Miami School of Medicine
Coral Gables
United States
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