Superior Frontal Gyrus TOMM40-APOE Locus DNA Methylation in Alzheimer’s Disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • External authors:
  • Natalia Bezuch
  • Steven Bradburn
  • Chris Murgatroyd


Background: The APOE ϵ4 allele is the strongest known genetic risk factor for sporadic Alzheimer's disease (AD). The neighboring TOMM40 gene has also been implicated in AD due to its closeproximity to APOE. Objective: Here we tested whether methylation of the TOMM40-APOE locus may influence ApoE protein levels and AD pathology. Methods: DNA methylation levels across the TOMM40-APOE locus and ApoE levels were measured in superior frontal gyrus tissues of 62 human brains genotyped for APOE and scored for AD neuropathology. Results: Methylation levels within the TOMM40 CpG islandin the promoter or APOE CpG island in Exon 4 did not differ between APOE ϵ4 carriers versus non-carriers. However, APOE ϵ4 carriers had significantly higher methylation the APOE promoter compared with non-carriers. Although DNA methylation at TOMM40, APOE promoter region, or APOE did notdiffer between AD pathological groups, there was a negative association between TOMM40 methylation and CERAD scores. ApoE protein concentrations did not significantly different between APOE ϵ4 carriers and non-carriers, or between AD pathological groups. Finally, there was no correlation between ApoE protein concentrations and DNA methylation levels. Conclusion: APOE gene methylation may not be affected by genotype, relate to AD pathology or ApoE protein levels in the superior frontal gyrus, though, DNA methylation at the ApoE promoter differed between genotype. DNA methylation a TOMM40 associated with amyloid-β plaques and longitudinal fluid intelligence. In sum, these results suggest a complicated regulation of the TOMM40-APOE locus in the brain in controlling ApoE protein levels and AD neuropathology.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-282
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Apr 2021