• Parkinson's disease;
  • Monoamine oxidase B;
  • Genetics;
  • Polymerase chain reaction


The monoamine oxidase B gene (MAOB; Xp15.21-4) is a candidate gene for Parkinson's disease (PD) given its role in dopamine metabolism and its possible role in the activation of neurotoxins. The association of MAOB polymorphisms (a [GT] repeat allelic variation in intron 2 and an A–G transition in intron 13) with Parkinson's disease (PD) was studied in an Australian cohort of 204 (male:female ratio 1.60) people with PD and 285 (male:female ratio 1.64) age- and gender-matched control subjects. Genomic DNA was extracted from venous blood and polymerase chain reaction was used to amplify the appropriate regions of the MAOB gene. The length of each (GT) repeat sequence was determined by 5% polyacrylamide denaturing gel electrophoresis and a DNA fragment analyzer, while the G–A genotype was determined using 2% agarose gel electrophoresis. The G–A polymorphism showed no association with PD (odds ratio [OR] = 0.80; p = 0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.42–1.53). There was a significant difference in allele frequencies of the (GT) repeat allelic variation between patients and control subjects (χ2 = 20.09; p <0.01). After statistical adjustment for potential confounders using a logistic regression analysis, the (GT) repeat alleles ⩾188 base pairs in the intron 2 marker of the MAOB gene were significantly associated with PD (OR = 4.60; p <0.00005; 95% CI = 1.97–10.77). The 186 base pair allele was also significantly associated with PD (OR = 1.85; p = 0.048; 95% CI = 1.01–3.42). The GT repeat in intron 2 of the MAOB gene is a powerful marker for PD in this large Australian cohort.