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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Jun 2023 - 30 Jun 2023


Genetics, Human Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Migraine/Headache, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Jun 29

J Headache Pain




Non-coding variants in VAMP2 and SNAP25 affect gene expression: potential implications in migraine susceptibility.


Felício D, Dias A, Martins S, Carvalho E, Lopes AM, Pinto N, Lemos C, Santos M, Alves-Ferreira M


Migraine is a common and complex neurological disease potentially caused by a polygenic interaction of multiple gene variants. Many genes associated with migraine are involved in pathways controlling the synaptic function and neurotransmitters release. However, the molecular mechanisms underpinning migraine need to be further explored.Recent studies raised the possibility that migraine may arise from the effect of regulatory non-coding variants. In this study, we explored the effect of candidate non-coding variants potentially associated with migraine and predicted to lie within regulatory elements: VAMP2_rs1150, SNAP25_rs2327264, and STX1A_rs6951030. The involvement of these genes, which are constituents of the SNARE complex involved in membrane fusion and neurotransmitter release, underscores their significance in migraine pathogenesis. Our reporter gene assays confirmed the impact of at least two of these non-coding variants. VAMP2 and SNAP25 risk alleles were associated with a decrease and increase in gene expression, respectively, while STX1A risk allele showed a tendency to reduce luciferase activity in neuronal-like cells. Therefore, the VAMP2_rs1150 and SNAP25_rs2327264 non-coding variants affect gene expression, which may have implications in migraine susceptibility. Based on previous in silico analysis, it is plausible that these variants influence the binding of regulators, such as transcription factors and micro-RNAs. Still, further studies exploring these mechanisms would be important to shed light on the association between SNAREs dysregulation and migraine susceptibility.