The cathepsin D rs17571 polymorphism: Effects on CSF tau concentrations in Alzheimer disease

Matthias Riemenschneider, Kaj Blennow, Stefan Wagenpfeil, Niels Andreasen, Jonathan A. Prince, Simon M. Laws, Hans Förstl, Alexander Kurz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


The lysosomal protease cathepsin D (CtsD, EC; gene, CTSD) has been associated with Alzheimer disease (AD) due to its cerebral expression being increased early in the course of AD; additionally, a CTSD exon 2 polymorphism (rs17571; NT_009237.17:g.569834T>C) may confer risk to AD. Functionally, it may be implicated in amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing and tau protein degradation. The objective of this study was to determine whether the CTSD exon 2 polymorphism affects cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), concentrations of beta-amyloid (Aβ42) and tau in two independent samples from Germany (n = 73) and Sweden (n = 66). Patients carrying the CTSD rs17571-T allele had significantly decreased CSF levels of tau (Munich, p = 0.003; Swedish, p = 0.029; combined sample, p<0.001), whereas no significant effect was observed on Aβ42 concentrations. Likewise, no significant impact was observed on Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores. The data of both independent samples suggest that the CTSD rs17571 polymorphism does not affect APP processing but shows significant effects on tau processing. The result may corroborate the implication of the lysosomal system in the pathogenesis of AD and is of particular importance if CSF tau is used as a diagnostic biomarker.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-537
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Mutation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer disease
  • Beta-amyloid
  • CTSD
  • Cathepsin D
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Tau


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