Genetic variation in MME in relation to neprilysin protein and enzyme activity, Aβ levels, and Alzheimer's disease risk

Scott Miners, Zoë van Helmond, Rachel Barker, Peter A. Passmore, Janet A. Johnston, Stephen Todd, Bernadette M. McGuinness, Francesco Panza, Davide Seripa, Vincenzo Solfrizzi, Seth Love, Jonathan A. Prince, Patrick G. Kehoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Neprilysin (NEP), also known as membrane metalloendopeptidase (MME), is considered amongst the most important β-amyloid (Aβ)-degrading enzymes with regard to prevention of Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathology. Variation in the NEP gene (MME) has been suggested as a risk factor for AD. We conducted a genetic association study of 7MME SNPs - rs1836914, rs989692, rs9827586, rs6797911, rs61760379, rs3736187, rs701109 - with respect to AD risk in a cohort of 1057 probable and confirmed AD cases and 424 age-matched non-demented controls from the United Kingdom, Italy and Sweden. We also examined the association of these MME SNPs with NEP protein level and enzyme activity, and on biochemical measures of Aβ accumulation in frontal cortex - levels of total soluble Aβ, oligomeric Aβ1-42, and guanidine-extractable (insoluble) Aβ - in a sub-group of AD and control cases with post-mortem brain tissue. On multivariate logistic regression analysis one of the MME variants (rs6797911) was associated with AD risk (P = 0.00052, Odds Ratio (O.R. = 1.40, 95% confidence interval (1.16-1.70)). None of the SNPs had any association with Aβ levels; however, rs9827586 was significantly associated with NEP protein level (p=0.014) and enzyme activity (p=0.006). Association was also found between rs701109 and NEP protein level (p=0.026) and a marginally non-significant association was found for rs989692 (p=0.055). These data suggest that MME variation may be associated with AD risk but we have not found evidence that this is mediated through modification of NEP protein level or activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-38
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of molecular epidemiology and genetics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2012

Structured keywords

  • Dementia Research Group


  • β-amyloid
  • Alzheimer disease
  • Association
  • Gene
  • MME
  • Neprilysin
  • Polymorphism


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