Comprehensive assessment of genetic sequence variants in the antioxidant 'master regulator' Nrf2 in idiopathic parkinson's disease

Michael Todorovic, Jeremy R.B. Newman, Jianguo Shan, Steven Bentley, Stephen A. Wood, Peter A. Silburn, George D. Mellick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a complex neurodegenerative disorder influenced by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. The molecular mechanisms that underlie PD are unknown; however, oxidative stress and impairment of antioxidant defence mechanisms have been implicated as major contributors to disease pathogenesis. Previously, we have reported a PD patient-derived cellular model generated from biopsies of the olfactory mucosa, termed hONS cells, in which the NRF2-mediated antioxidant response pathway genes were among the most differentially-expressed. To date, few studies have examined the role of the NRF2 encoding gene, NFE2L2, and PD. In this study, we comprehensibly assessed whether rare and common NFE2L2 genetic variations modify susceptibility to PD using a large Australian case-control sample (PD=1338, controls=1379). We employed a haplotype-tagging approach that identified an association with the tagging SNP rs2364725 and PD (OR = 0.849 (0.760-0.948), P = 0.004). Further genetic screening in hONS cell lines produced no obvious pathogenic variants in the coding regions of NFE2L2. Finally, we investigated the relationship between xenobiotic exposures and NRF2 function, through gene-environment interactions, between NFE2L2 SNPs and smoking or pesticide exposure. Our results demonstrated a significant interaction between rs2706110 and pesticide exposure (OR = 0.597 (0.393-0.900), P = 0.014). In addition, we were able to identify some age-at-onset modifying SNPs and replicate an 'early-onset' haplotype that contains a previously identified 'functional promoter' SNP (rs6721961). Our results suggest a role of NFE2L2 genetic variants in modifying PD susceptibility and onset. Our findings also support the utility of testing gene-environment interactions in genetic studies of PD.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0128030
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS One
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Comprehensive assessment of genetic sequence variants in the antioxidant 'master regulator' Nrf2 in idiopathic parkinson's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this