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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 135674, 6 pages
Research Article

SNCA Gene, but Not MAPT, Influences Onset Age of Parkinson’s Disease in Chinese and Australians

1Neuroscience Research Australia and The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2031, Australia
2Department of Neurology and Institute of Neurology, Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China
3Australian School of Advanced Medicine, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia
4Institute of Immunology & Infectious Diseases, Murdoch University, Perth, WA 6150, Australia

Received 30 May 2014; Revised 6 August 2014; Accepted 20 August 2014

Academic Editor: Hiroyuki Tomiyama

Copyright © 2015 Yue Huang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. α-Synuclein (SNCA) and microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT) are the two major genes independently, but not jointly, associated with susceptibility for Parkinson’s disease (PD). The SNCA gene has recently been identified as a major modifier of age of PD onset. Whether MAPT gene synergistically influences age of onset of PD is unknown. Objective. To investigate independent and joint effects of MAPT and SNCA on PD onset age. Methods. 412 patients with PD were recruited from the Australian PD Research Network (123) and the Neurology Department, Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University, China (289). MAPT (rs17650901) tagging H1/H2 haplotype and SNCA (Rep1) were genotyped in the Australian cohort, and MAPT (rs242557, rs3744456) and SNCA (rs11931074, rs894278) were genotyped in the Chinese cohort. SPSS regression analysis was used to test genetic effects on age at onset of PD in each cohort. Results. SNCA polymorphisms associated with the onset age of PD in both populations. MAPT polymorphisms did not enhance such association in either entire cohort. Conclusion. This study suggests that, in both ethnic groups, SNCA gene variants influence the age at onset of PD and α-synuclein plays a key role in the disease course of PD.