Expression profiles of thousands of genes (cDNAs) were analyzed in sporadic Alzheimer disease (AD)-affected brains in comparison with normal subjects by using the high-density cDNA filter method and differential display analysis. Among 31 differentially expressed genes, one gene was found to be markedly depressed in AD-affected brains. A full-length (or nearly full-length) cDNA of the gene was isolated and sequenced. The cDNA turned out to be an orthologue of rat Nap1. The gene was thus designated human Nap1 (HGMW-approved symbol NCKAP1) and was mapped to human chromosome 2q32 by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Northern blotting and in situ hybridization studies showed that in brain, the gene is predominantly expressed in neuronal cells. Antisense oligo DNA of human Nap1 transcripts was found to induce apoptosis of neuronal cells. Based on these results, the possible role of human Nap1 in AD is discussed. (C) 2000 Academic Press.
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