Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) is a clinically, pathologically and genetically highly complex disorder. In the last few years enormous progress has been made in dissecting the genetic etiology of FTLD. Mutations have been identified in the progranulin gene (PGRN), the charged multivesicular body protein 2B gene (CHMP2B) and the valosin-containing protein gene (VCP). Mutations in these genes all lead to FTLD pathology characterized by ubiquitin-immunoreactive neuronal cytoplasmic and intranuclear lentiform inclusions (FTLD-U). The similar pathology suggests that these genes may be connected trough a common disease pathway leading to neurodegeneration and the formation of these pathognomic inclusions. This review focuses on the molecular genetic processes underlying FTLD-U pathology.
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