Linking Putative Blood Somatic Mutations, Alzheimer’s & PTSD

Research Paper Title

Putative Blood Somatic Mutations in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder-Symptomatic Soldiers: High Impact of Cytoskeletal and Inflammatory Proteins.

Background

The recently discovered autism/intellectual disability somatic mutations in postmortem brains, presenting higher frequency in Alzheimer’s disease subjects, compared with the controls. They further revealed high impact cytoskeletal gene mutations, coupled with potential cytoskeleton-targeted repair mechanisms.

The current study was aimed at further discerning if somatic mutations in brain diseases are presented only in the most affected tissue (the brain), or if blood samples phenocopy the brain, toward potential diagnostics.

Methods

Variant calling analyses on an RNA-seq database including peripheral blood samples from 85 soldiers (58 controls and 27 with symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD) was performed.

Results

High (e.g. protein truncating) as well as moderate impact (e.g., single amino acid change) germline and putative somatic mutations in thousands of genes were found. Further crossing the mutated genes with autism, intellectual disability, cytoskeleton, inflammation, and DNA repair databases, identified the highest number of cytoskeletal-mutated genes (187 high and 442 moderate impact). Most of the mutated genes were shared and only when crossed with the inflammation database, more putative high impact mutated genes specific to the PTSD-symptom cohorts versus the controls (14 versus 13) were revealed, highlighting tumour necrosis factor specifically in the PTSD-symptom cohorts.

Conclusions

With microtubules and neuro-immune interactions playing essential roles in brain neuroprotection and Alzheimer-related neurodegeneration, the current mutation discoveries contribute to mechanistic understanding of PTSD and brain protection, as well as provide future diagnostics toward personalised military deployment strategies and drug design.

Reference

Sragovich, S., Gershovits, M., Lam, J.C.K., Li, V.O.K. & Gozes, I. (2021) Putative Blood Somatic Mutations in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder-Symptomatic Soldiers: High Impact of Cytoskeletal and Inflammatory Proteins. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. doi: 10.3233/JAD-201158. Online ahead of print.

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