Parkin dosage mutations have greater pathogenicity in familial PD than simple sequence mutations

N. Pankratz, D. K. Kissell, M. W. Pauciulo, C. A. Halter, A. Rudolph, R. F. Pfeiffer, K. S. Marder, T. Foroud, W. C. Nichols

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Mutations in both alleles of parkin have been shown to result in Parkinson disease (PD). However, it is unclear whether haploinsufficiency (presence of a mutation in only 1 of the 2 parkin alleles) increases the risk for PD. METHODS: We performed comprehensive dosage and sequence analysis of all 12 exons of parkin in a sample of 520 independent patients with familial PD and 263 controls. We evaluated whether presence of a single parkin mutation, either a sequence (point mutation or small insertion/deletion) or dosage (whole exon deletion or duplication) mutation, was found at increased frequency in cases as compared with controls. We then compared the clinical characteristics of cases with 0, 1, or 2 parkin mutations. RESULTS: We identified 55 independent patients with PD with at least 1 parkin mutation and 9 controls with a single sequence mutation. Cases and controls had a similar frequency of single sequence mutations (3.1% vs 3.4%, p = 0.83); however, the cases had a significantly higher rate of dosage mutations (2.6% vs 0%, p = 0.009). Cases with a single dosage mutation were more likely to have an earlier age at onset (50% with onset at ≤45 years) compared with those with no parkin mutations (10%, p = 0.00002); this was not true for cases with only a single sequence mutation (25% with onset at ≤45 years, p = 0.06). CONCLUSIONS: Parkin haploinsufficiency, specifically for a dosage mutation rather than a point mutation or small insertion/deletion, is a risk factor for familial PD and may be associated with earlier age at onset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-286
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009


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