DOI: 10.3390/ijms25010511 ISSN: 1422-0067

Characterization of Progranulin Gene Mutations in Portuguese Patients with Frontotemporal Dementia

Maria Rosário Almeida, Miguel Tábuas-Pereira, Inês Baldeiras, Marisa Lima, João Durães, João Massano, Madalena Pinto, Catarina Cruto, Isabel Santana
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Spectroscopy
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine
  • Catalysis

In Portugal, heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the progranulin (GRN) gene account for approximately half of the genetic mediated forms of frontotemporal dementia (FTD). GRN mutations reported thus far cause FTD through a haploinsufficiency disease mechanism. Herein, we aim to unveil the GRN mutation spectrum, investigated in 257 FTD patients and 19 family members from the central/north region of Portugal using sequencing methods. Seven different pathogenic variants were identified in 46 subjects including 40 patients (16%) and 6 relatives (32%). bvFTD was the most common clinical presentation among the GRN mutation patients, who showed a global pattern of moderate-to-severe frontotemporoparietal deficits in the neuropsychological evaluation. Interestingly, two mutations were novel (p.Thr238Profs*18, p.Leu354Profs*16), and five were previously described, although three of them only in the Portuguese population, suggesting a population-specific GRN mutational spectrum. The subjects harboring a GRN mutation showed a significant reduction in serum PGRN levels, supporting the pathogenic nature of these variants. This work broadens the mutation spectrum of GRN and the identification of the underlying GRN mutations provided an accurate genetic counselling and allowed the enrolment of subjects with GRN mutations (both asymptomatic and symptomatic) in ongoing clinical trials, which is essential to test new drugs for the disease.

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