Background: Mutations in PRESENILIN 2 (PSEN2) cause early onset familial Alzheimer's disease (EOfAD) but their mode of action remains elusive. One consistent observation for all PRESENILIN gene mutations causing EOfAD is that a transcript is produced with a reading frame terminated by the normal stop codon-the 'reading frame preservation rule'. Mutations that do not obey this rule do not cause the disease. The reasons for this are debated.
Objective: To predict cellular functions affected by heterozygosity for a frameshift, or a reading frame-preserving mutation in zebrafish psen2 using bioinformatic techniques.
Methods: A frameshift mutation (psen2N140fs) and a reading frame-preserving (in-frame) mutation (psen2T141_L142delinsMISLISV) were previously isolated during genome editing directed at the N140 codon of zebrafish psen2 (equivalent to N141 of human PSEN2). We mated a pair of fish heterozygous for each mutation to generate a family of siblings including wild type and heterozygous mutant genotypes. Transcriptomes from young adult (6 months) brains of these genotypes were analyzed.
Results: The in-frame mutation uniquely caused subtle, but statistically significant, changes to expression of genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation, long-term potentiation and the cell cycle. The frameshift mutation uniquely affected genes involved in Notch and MAPK signaling, extracellular matrix receptor interactions and focal adhesion. Both mutations affected ribosomal protein gene expression but in opposite directions.
Conclusion: A frameshift and an in-frame mutation at the same position in zebrafish psen2 cause discrete effects. Changes in oxidative phosphorylation, long-term potentiation and the cell cycle may promote EOfAD pathogenesis in humans.
- Alzheimer's disease