The 717Val-->Ile substitution in amyloid precursor protein is associated with familial Alzheimer's disease regardless of ethnic groups.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurological disorder and the leading cause of dementia among aged individuals. The human amyloid beta protein, which is a cleavage product of amyloid precursor protein (APP), is a major component of the amyloid deposited in the brain of patients with AD. By using PCR direct sequencing of exon 17 (encoding part of the beta protein) of the APP gene, we have found that a Japanese AD patient harbours a C to T substitution, responsible for a valine to isoleucine change at position 717, heterogeneously. The mutation is exactly the same as that found in a Caucasian AD family by Goate et al. (1). Furthermore, the mutation was shown to co-segregate with AD in his family. These results suggest that the Val----Ile change in the APP causes AD, regardless of ethnic background.