Mutations in The Progranulin Gene Cause Frontotemporal Dementia
Researchers at Mayo Clinic and colleagues at the University of British Columbia and the University of Manchester have discovered mutations in the progranulin gene cause frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Their work, which will be published in the July 16 online edition of the journal Nature, indicates that progranulin function plays an important but previously unrecognized role in neuronal survival.
Progranulin is a type of protein known as a growth factor. Production of too much progranulin has been associated with cancer. So the gene that codes for progranulin was not an obvious one to sequence in order to look for mutations that cause neurodegenerative disease. However, researchers solved a ten-year genetic puzzle when they found mutations in the gene explain a large number of