The Research Roundup provides an overview of the past week’s research from Mayo Medical Laboratories consultants, including featured abstracts and complete list of published studies and reviews.
Loss-of-function mutations in GRN cause frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Patients with GRN mutations present with a uniform subtype of TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) pathology at autopsy (FTLD-TDP type A); however, age at onset and clinical presentation are variable, even within families. Mayo Clinic researchers aimed to identify potential genetic modifiers of disease onset and disease risk in GRN mutation carriers. The study was done in three stages: a discovery stage, a replication stage, and a meta-analysis of the discovery and replication data. TMEM106B-related and GFRA2-related pathways might be future targets for treatments for FTLD, but the biological interaction between progranulin and these potential disease modifiers requires further study. TMEM106B and GFRA2 might also provide opportunities to select and stratify patients for future clinical trials and, when more is known about their potential effects, to inform genetic counselling, especially for asymptomatic individuals. The study was published in Lancet Neurology.