Whole genome association analysis shows that ACE is a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and fails to replicate most candidates from meta-analysis

Jennifer Webster, Eric M. Reiman, Victoria L. Zismann, Keta D. Joshipura, John V. Pearson, Diane Hu-Lince, Matthew J. Huentelman, David W. Craig, Keith D. Coon, Thomas Beach, Kristen C. Rohrer, Alice S. Zhao, Doris Leung, Leslie Bryden, Lauren Marlowe, Mona Kaleem, Diego Mastroeni, Andrew Grover, Joseph Rogers, Reinhard HeunFrank Jessen, Heike Kölsch, Christopher B. Heward, Rivka Ravid, Michael L. Hutton, Stacey Melquist, Ron C. Petersen, Richard J. Caselli, Andreas Papassotiropoulos, Dietrich A. Stephan, John Hardy, Amanda Myers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


For late onset Alzheimer's disease (LOAD), the only confirmed, genetic association is with the apolipoprotein E (APOE) locus on chromosome 19. Meta-analysis is often employed to sort the true associations from the false positives. LOAD research has the advantage of a continuously updated meta-analysis of candidate gene association studies in the web-based AlzGene database. The top 30 AlzGene loci on May 1st, 2007 were investigated in our whole genome association data set consisting of 1411 LOAD cases and neuropathologically verified controls genotyped at 312,316 SNPs using the Affymetrix 500K Mapping Platform. Of the 30 "top AlzGenes", 32 SNPs in 24 genes had odds ratios (OR) whose 95% confidence intervals that did not include 1. Of these 32 SNPs, six were part of the Affymetrix 500K Mapping panel and another ten had proxies on the Affymetrix array that had >80% power to detect an association with α=0.001. Two of these 16 SNPs showed significant association with LOAD in our sample series. One was rs4420638 at the APOE locus (uncorrected p-value=4.58E-37) and the other was rs4293, located in the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) locus (uncorrected pvalue=0.014). Since this result was nominally significant, but did not survive multiple testing correction for 16 independent tests, this association at rs4293 was verified in a geographically distinct German cohort (pvalue=0.03). We present the results of our ACE replication along with a discussion of the statistical limitations of multiple test corrections in whole genome studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-30
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


  • ACE
  • Genome-wide association study
  • Late-onset alzheimer disease
  • Metaanalysis
  • Single nucleotide polymorphism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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