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BACKGROUND: Late-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD) is heritable with 20 genes showing genome-wide association in the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project (IGAP). To identify the biology underlying the disease, we extended these genetic data in a pathway analysis. METHODS: The ALIGATOR and GSEA algorithms were used in the IGAP data to identify associated functional pathways and correlated gene expression networks in human brain. RESULTS: ALIGATOR identified an excess of curated biological pathways showing enrichment of association. Enriched areas of biology included the immune response (P = 3.27 × 10(-12) after multiple testing correction for pathways), regulation of endocytosis (P = 1.31 × 10(-11)), cholesterol transport (P = 2.96 × 10(-9)), and proteasome-ubiquitin activity (P = 1.34 × 10(-6)). Correlated gene expression analysis identified four significant network modules, all related to the immune response (corrected P = .002-.05). CONCLUSIONS: The immune response, regulation of endocytosis, cholesterol transport, and protein ubiquitination represent prime targets for AD therapeutics.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.jalz.2014.05.1757

Type

Journal article

Journal

Alzheimers Dement

Publication Date

06/2015

Volume

11

Pages

658 - 671

Keywords

ALIGATOR, Alzheimer's disease, Cholesterol metabolism, Dementia, Endocytosis, Immune response, Neurodegeneration, Pathway analysis, Ubiquitination, Weighted gene co-expression network analysis, Algorithms, Alzheimer Disease, Brain, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Genome-Wide Association Study, Humans, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide