Frequency of Heterozygous Parkin (PRKN) Variants and Penetrance of Parkinson's Disease Risk Markers in the Population-Based CHRIS Cohort

Maria Paulina Castelo Rueda, Athina Raftopoulou, Martin Gögele, Max Borsche, David Emmert, Christian Fuchsberger, Essi M. Hantikainen, Vladimir Vukovic, Christine Klein, Peter P. Pramstaller, Irene Pichler*, Andrew A. Hicks

*Corresponding author for this work


Mutations in the Parkin (PRKN) gene are the most frequent cause of autosomal recessive early-onset Parkinson's disease (PD). Heterozygous PRKN mutation carriers might also be at increased risk for developing clinical symptoms of PD. Given the high frequency of heterozygous mutations in the general population, it is essential to have better estimates of the penetrance of these variants, and to investigate, which clinical and biochemical markers are present in carriers and thus potentially useful for identifying those individuals at greater risk of developing clinical symptoms later in life. In the present study, we ascertained the frequency of heterozygous PRKN mutation carriers in a large population sample of the Cooperative Health Research in South Tyrol (CHRIS) study, and screened for reported PD risk markers. 164 confirmed heterozygous PRKN mutation carriers were compared with 2,582 controls. A higher number of heterozygous mutation carriers reported a detectable increase in an akinesia-related phenotype, and a higher percentage of carriers had manifested diabetes. We also observed lower resting heart rate in the PRKN mutation carriers. Extending our risk analyses to a larger number of potential carriers and non-carriers using genotype imputation (n = 299 carriers and n = 7,127 non-carriers), from previously published biomarkers we also observed a higher neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and lower serum albumin and sodium levels in the heterozygous PRKN variant carriers. These results identify a set of biomarkers that might be useful either individually or as an ensemble to identify variant carriers at greater risk of health issues due to carrier status.

Original languageEnglish
Article number706145
JournalFrontiers in Neurology
Publication statusPublished - 09.08.2021

Research Areas and Centers

  • Research Area: Medical Genetics

DFG Research Classification Scheme

  • 206-02 Molecular Biology and Physiology of Nerve and Glial Cells


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