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Genome-wide linkage and association analysis of primary open-angle glaucoma endophenotypes in the Norfolk Island isolate


Matovinovic, E and Kho, PF and Lea, RA and Benton, MC and Eccles, DA and Haupt, LM and Hewitt, AW and Sherwin, JC and Mackey, DA and Griffiths, LR, Genome-wide linkage and association analysis of primary open-angle glaucoma endophenotypes in the Norfolk Island isolate, Molecular Vision, 23 pp. 660-665. ISSN 1090-0535 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2017 Molecular vision. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License 3.0 (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

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Purpose: Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) refers to a group of heterogeneous diseases involving optic nerve damage. Two well-established risk factors for POAG are elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) and a thinner central corneal thickness (CCT). These endophenotypes exhibit a high degree of heritability across populations. Large-scale genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of outbred populations have robustly implicated several susceptibility gene variants for both IOP and CCT. Despite this progress, a substantial amount of genetic variance remains unexplained. Population-specific variants that might be rare in outbred populations may also influence POAG endophenotypes. The Norfolk Island population is a founder-effect genetic isolate that has been well characterized for POAG endophenotypes. This population is therefore a suitable candidate for mapping new variants that influence these complex traits.

Methods: Three hundred and thirty participants from the Norfolk Island Eye Study (NIES) core pedigree provided DNA. Ocular measurements of CCT and IOP were also taken for analysis. Heritability analyses and genome-wide linkage analyses of short tandem repeats (STRs) were conducted using SOLAR. Pedigree-based GWASs of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were performed using the GenABEL software.

Results: CCT was the most heritable endophenotype in this cohort (h2 = 0.77, p=610-6), while IOP showed a heritability of 0.39 (p=0.008). A genome-wide linkage analysis of these POAG phenotypes identified a maximum logarithm of the odds (LOD) score of 1.9 for CCT on chromosome 20 (p=0.0016) and 1.3 for IOP on chromosome 15 (p=0.0072). The GWAS results revealed a study-wise significant association for IOP at rs790357, which is located within DLG2 on chr11q14.1 (=1.0210-7). DLG2 is involved in neuronal signaling and development, and while it has not previously been associated with IOP, it has been associated with myopia. An analysis of 12 known SNPs for IOP showed that rs12419342 in RAPSN on chromosome 11 was nominally associated in Norfolk Island (NI; =0.0021). For CCT, an analysis of 26 known SNPs showed rs9938149 in BANP-ZNF469 on chromosome 16 was nominally associated in NI (p = 0.002).

Conclusions: These study results indicate that CCT and IOP exhibit a substantial degree of heritability in the NI pedigree, indicating a genetic component. A genome-wide linkage analysis of POAG endophenotypes did not reveal any major effect loci, but the GWASs did implicate several known loci, as well as a potential new locus in DLG2, suggesting a role for neuronal signaling in development in IOP and perhaps POAG. These results also highlight the need to target rarer variants via whole genome sequencing in this genetic isolate.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Ophthalmology and optometry
Research Field:Ophthalmology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hewitt, AW (Professor Alex Hewitt)
UTAS Author:Mackey, DA (Professor David Mackey)
ID Code:124397
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2018-02-21
Last Modified:2018-06-06
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