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British amyloid dementia

Mutations in the BRI gene are thought to cause dementias in members of families. The clinical symptoms are similar to those of Alzheimer's disease, but with additional ocular and hearing deficits, and spasticity. The mutations lead to the release of the 34-residue peptides, ABri and ADan, in the brains of afflicted individuals.

 

 Familial Danish dementia (FDD), also known as heredopathia ophthalmo-oto-encephalica, is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by cataracts, deafness, progressive ataxia, and dementia. Neuropathological findings include severe widespread cerebral amyloid angiopathy, hippocampal plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles, similar to Alzheimer's disease. N-terminal sequence analysis of isolated leptomeningeal amyloid fibrils revealed homology to ABri, the peptide originated by a point mutation at the stop codon of gene BRI in familial British dementia. Molecular genetic analysis of the BRI gene in the Danish kindred showed a different defect, namely the presence of a 10-nt duplication (795-796insTTTAATTTGT) between codons 265 and 266, one codon before the normal stop codon 267. The decamer duplication mutation produces a frame-shift in the BRI sequence generating a larger-than-normal precursor protein, of which the amyloid subunit (designated ADan) comprises the last 34 C-terminal amino acids. This de novo-created amyloidogenic peptide, associated with a genetic defect in the Danish kindred, stresses the importance of amyloid formation as a causative factor in neurodegeneration and dementia.

Vidal, R., T. Revesz, et al. (2000). "A decamer duplication in the 3' region of the BRI gene originates an amyloid peptide that is associated with dementia in a danish kindred ." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 97(9): 4920-5.