Suggestive synergy between genetic variants in TF and HFE as risk factors for Alzheimer's disease

J. S.K. Kauwe, S. Bertelsen, K. Mayo, C. Cruchaga, R. Abraham, P. Hollingworth, D. Harold, M. J. Owen, J. Williams, S. Lovestone, J. C. Morris, A. M. Goate

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complex disease that is likely influenced by many genetic and environmental factors. Citing evidence that iron may play a role in AD pathology, Robson et al. [Robson et al.(2004); J Med Genet 41:261-265] reported that epistatic interaction between rs1049296 (P589S) in the transferrin gene (TF) and rs1800562 (C282Y) in the hemochromatosis gene (HFE) results in significant association with risk for AD. In this study we attempted to replicate their findings in a total of 1,166 cases and 1,404 controls from three European and European American populations. Allele and genotype frequencies were consistent across the three populations. Using synergy factor analysis (SFA) and Logistic Regression analysis we tested each population and the combined sample for interactions between these two SNPs and risk for AD. We observed significant association between bi-carriers of the minor alleles of rs1049296 and rs1800562 in the combined sample using SFA (P=0.0016, synergy factor=2.71) and adjusted SFA adjusting for age and presence of the APOE epsilon 4 allele (P=0.002, OR=2.4). These results validate those of the previous report and support the hypothesis that iron transport and regulation play a role in AD pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-959
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Genetics, Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Epistasis
  • Genetic association
  • Hemachromatosis gene
  • Transferrin


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