A rare variant in MLKL confers susceptibility to ApoE ɛ4-negative Alzheimer's disease in Hong Kong Chinese population

Binbin Wang, Suying Bao, Zhigang Zhang, Xueya Zhou, Jing Wang, Yanhui Fan, Yan Zhang, Yan Li, Luhua Chen, Yizhen Jia, Jiang Li, Miaoxin Li, Wenhua Zheng, Nan Mu, Liqiu Wang, Zhe Yu, Dana S.M. Wong, Yalun Zhang, Joseph Kwan, Henry Ka-Fung MakAmirthagowri Ambalavanan, Sirui Zhou, Wangwei Cai, Jin Zheng, Shishu Huang, Guy A. Rouleau, Wanling Yang, Ekaterina Rogaeva, Xu Ma, Peter St George-Hyslop, Leung Wing Chu, You Qiang Song

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorders in the elderly. To identify rare genetic factors other than apolipoprotein E ɛ4 allele (ApoE ɛ4) contributing to the pathogenesis of late-onset AD (LOAD), we conducted a whole-exome analysis of 246 ApoE ɛ4-negative LOAD cases and 172 matched controls in Hong Kong Chinese population. LOAD patients showed a significantly higher burden of rare loss-of-function variants in genes related to immune function than healthy controls. Among the genes involved in immune function, we identified a rare stop-gain variant (p.Q48X) in mixed lineage kinase domain like pseudokinase (MLKL) gene present exclusively in 6 LOAD cases. MLKL is expressed in neurons, and the its expression levels in the p.Q48X carriers were significantly lower than that in age-matched wild-type controls. The ratio of Aβ42 to Aβ40 significantly increased in MLKL knockdown cells compared to scramble controls. MLKL loss-of-function mutation might contribute to late-onset ApoE ɛ4-negative AD in the Hong Kong Chinese population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160.e1-160.e7
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • ApoE ɛ4-negative
  • Late-onset Alzheimer's disease
  • MLKL
  • Whole exome sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


Dive into the research topics of 'A rare variant in MLKL confers susceptibility to ApoE ɛ4-negative Alzheimer's disease in Hong Kong Chinese population'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this