Functional screening of alzheimer pathology genome-wide association signals in drosophila

Joshua M. Shulman, Portia Chipendo, Lori B. Chibnik, Cristin Aubin, Dong Tran, Brendan T. Keenan, Patricia L. Kramer, Julie A. Schneider, David A. Bennett, Mel B. Feany, Philip L. De Jager

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49 Scopus citations


We have leveraged a Drosophila model relevant to Alzheimer disease (AD) for functional screening of findings from a genome-wide scan for loci associated with a quantitative measure of AD pathology in humans. In six of the 15 genomic regions evaluated, we successfully identified a causal gene for the association, on the basis of in vivo interactions with the neurotoxicity of Tau, which forms neurofibrillary tangles in AD. Among the top results, rs10845990 within SLC2A14, encoding a glucose transporter, showed evidence of replication for association with AD pathology, and gain and loss of function in glut1, the Drosophila ortholog, was associated with suppression and enhancement of Tau toxicity, respectively. Our strategy of coupling genome-wide association in humans with functional screening in a model organism is likely to be a powerful approach for gene discovery in AD and other complex genetic disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-238
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 11 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

Shulman, J. M., Chipendo, P., Chibnik, L. B., Aubin, C., Tran, D., Keenan, B. T., ... De Jager, P. L. (2011). Functional screening of alzheimer pathology genome-wide association signals in drosophila. American Journal of Human Genetics, 88(2), 232-238.