Target genes in Alzheimer's disease (AD) have been identified. In monozygotic twins discordant for AD we analysed the expression of selected genes, and their possible regulation by epigenetic mechanisms in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, possibly useful to discover biomarkers. Amyloid precursor protein, sirtuin 1 and peptidyl prolyl isomerase 1 gene expressions were highly up-regulated in the AD twin versus the healthy one. Consistently with sirtuin 1 role in controlling acetylation status, we observed a substantial reduction of the acetylation on histone 3 lysine 9, associated with gene transcription in the AD twin. Noteworthy in the AD twin we also observed an increased gene expression in two histone deacetylases (HDACs) isoforms: HDAC2 and HDAC9. A general DNA hypomethylation of all gene promoters studied was also observed in both twins. Our results unravel transcriptional and epigenetic differences potentially helpful to better understand environmental factors and phenotypic differences in monozygotic twins. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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