Genome-wide association study identifies RBFOX1 locus influencing brain glucose metabolism

Ling-Li Kong, Dan Miao, Lin Tan, Shu-Lei Liu, Jie-Qiong Li, Xi-Peng Cao, Lan Tan, Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative


Background: Fluorodeoxyglucose f18 positron emission tomography (18F-FDG PET) is regarded as the only functional neuroimaging biomarker for degeneration which can be used to increase the certainty of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathophysiological process in research settings or as an optional clinical tool where available. Although a decline in FDG metabolism was confirmed in some regions known to be associated with AD, there was little known about the genetic association of FDG metabolism in AD cohorts. In this study, we present the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) analysis of brain FDG metabolism.
Methods: A total of 222 individuals were included from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative 1 (ADNI-1) cohort. All subjects were restricted to non-Hispanic Caucasians and met all quality control (QC) criteria. Associations of 18F-FDG with the genetic variants were assessed using PLINK 1.07 under the additive genetic model. Genome-wide associations were visualized using a software program R 3.2.3.
Results: One significant SNP rs12444565 in RNA-binding Fox1 (RBFOX1) was found to have a strong association with 18F-FDG (P=6.06×10−8). Rs235141, rs79037, rs12526331 and rs12529764 were identified as four suggestive loci associated with 18F-FDG.
Conclusions: Our study results suggest that a genome-wide significant SNP (rs12444565) in the RBFOX1, and four suggestive loci (rs235141, rs79037, rs12526331 and rs12529764) are associated with 18F-FDG.