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Alzheimer's disease risk SNPs show no strong effect on miRNA expression in human lymphoblastoid cell lines

By Inken Wohlers, Colin Schulz, Fabian Kilpert, Lars Bertram

Posted 11 Jul 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/367318 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2019.08.013)

The role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is currently extensively investigated. In this study, we assessed the potential impact of AD genetic risk variants on miRNA expression by performing large-scale bioinformatic data integration. Our analysis was based on genetic variants from three AD genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Association with miRNA expression was tested by expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) analysis using next-generation miRNA sequencing data generated in lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCL). While, overall, we did not identify a strong effect of AD GWAS variants on miRNA expression in this cell type we highlight two notable outliers, i.e. miR-29c-5p and miR-6840-5p. MiR-29c-5p was recently reported to be involved in the regulation of BACE1 and SORL1 expression. In conclusion, despite two exceptions our large-scale assessment provides only limited support for the hypothesis that AD GWAS variants act as miRNA eQTLs.

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