Central corneal thickness (CCT) is a risk factor of glaucoma, the most common cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. The identification of genetic determinants affecting CCT in the normal population will provide insights into the mechanisms underlying the association between CCT and glaucoma, as well as the pathogenesis of glaucoma itself. We conducted two genome-wide association studies for CCT in 5080 individuals drawn from two ethnic populations in Singapore (2538 Indian and 2542 Malays) and identified novel genetic loci significantly associated with CCT (COL8A2 rs96067, p(meta) = 5.40 × 10⁻¹³, interval of RXRA-COL5A1 rs1536478, p(meta) = 3.05 × 10⁻⁹). We confirmed the involvement of a previously reported gene for CCT and brittle cornea syndrome (ZNF469) [rs9938149 (p(meta) = 1.63 × 10⁻¹⁶) and rs12447690 (p(meta) = 1.92 × 10⁻¹⁴)]. Evidence of association exceeding the formal threshold for genome-wide significance was observed at rs7044529, an SNP located within COL5A1 when data from this study (n = 5080, P = 0.0012) were considered together with all published data (reflecting an additional 7349 individuals, p(Fisher) = 1.5 × 10⁻⁹). These findings implicate the involvement of collagen genes influencing CCT and thus, possibly the pathogenesis of glaucoma.
To evaluate the contribution of non-synonymous-coding variants of known familial and genome-wide association studies (GWAS)-linked genes for Parkinson's disease (PD) to PD risk in the East Asian population, we sequenced all the coding exons of 39 PD-related disease genes and evaluated the accumulation of rare non-synonymous-coding variants in 375 early-onset PD cases and 399 controls. We also genotyped 782 non-synonymous-coding variants of these genes in 710 late-onset PD cases and 9046 population controls. Significant enrichment of LRRK2 variants was observed in both early- and late-onset PD (odds ratio = 1.58; 95% confidence interval = 1.29-1.93; P = 8.05 × 10(-6)). Moderate enrichment was also observed in FGF20, MCCC1, GBA and ITGA8. Half of the rare variants anticipated to cause loss of function of these genes were present in healthy controls. Overall, non-synonymous-coding variants of known familial and GWAS-linked genes appear to make a limited contribution to PD risk, suggesting that clinical sequencing of these genes will provide limited information for risk prediction and molecular diagnosis.
Anterior chamber depth (ACD) is a key anatomical risk factor for primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG). We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on ACD to discover novel genes for PACG on a total of 5,308 population-based individuals of Asian descent. Genome-wide significant association was observed at a sequence variant within ABCC5 (rs1401999; per-allele effect size = -0.045 mm, P = 8.17 × 10(-9)). This locus was associated with an increase in risk of PACG in a separate case-control study of 4,276 PACG cases and 18,801 controls (per-allele OR = 1.13 [95% CI: 1.06-1.22], P = 0.00046). The association was strengthened when a sub-group of controls with open angles were included in the analysis (per-allele OR = 1.30, P = 7.45 × 10(-9); 3,458 cases vs. 3,831 controls). Our findings suggest that the increase in PACG risk could in part be mediated by genetic sequence variants influencing anterior chamber dimensions.
Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) is a major cause of blindness worldwide. We conducted a genome-wide association study including 1,854 PACG cases and 9,608 controls across 5 sample collections in Asia. Replication experiments were conducted in 1,917 PACG cases and 8,943 controls collected from a further 6 sample collections. We report significant associations at three new loci: rs11024102 in PLEKHA7 (per-allele odds ratio (OR)=1.22; P=5.33×10(-12)), rs3753841 in COL11A1 (per-allele OR=1.20; P=9.22×10(-10)) and rs1015213 located between PCMTD1 and ST18 on chromosome 8q (per-allele OR=1.50; P=3.29×10(-9)). Our findings, accumulated across these independent worldwide collections, suggest possible mechanisms explaining the pathogenesis of PACG.
Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), a major cause of blindness worldwide, is a complex disease with a significant genetic contribution. We performed Exome Array (Illumina) analysis on 3504 POAG cases and 9746 controls with replication of the most significant findings in 9173 POAG cases and 26 780 controls across 18 collections of Asian, African and European descent. Apart from confirming strong evidence of association at CDKN2B-AS1 (rs2157719 [G], odds ratio [OR] = 0.71, P = 2.81 × 10(-33)), we observed one SNP showing significant association to POAG (CDC7-TGFBR3 rs1192415, ORG-allele = 1.13, Pmeta = 1.60 × 10(-8)). This particular SNP has previously been shown to be strongly associated with optic disc area and vertical cup-to-disc ratio, which are regarded as glaucoma-related quantitative traits. Our study now extends this by directly implicating it in POAG disease pathogenesis.
Previous studies have suggested that polymorphisms in CASP8 on chromosome 2 are associated with breast cancer risk. To clarify the role of CASP8 in breast cancer susceptibility, we carried out dense genotyping of this region in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC). Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning a 1 Mb region around CASP8 were genotyped in 46 450 breast cancer cases and 42 600 controls of European origin from 41 studies participating in the BCAC as part of a custom genotyping array experiment (iCOGS). Missing genotypes and SNPs were imputed and, after quality exclusions, 501 typed and 1232 imputed SNPs were included in logistic regression models adjusting for study and ancestry principal components. The SNPs retained in the final model were investigated further in data from nine genome-wide association studies (GWAS) comprising in total 10 052 case and 12 575 control subjects. The most significant association signal observed in European subjects was for the imputed intronic SNP rs1830298 in ALS2CR12 (telomeric to CASP8), with per allele odds ratio and 95% confidence interval [OR (95% confidence interval, CI)] for the minor allele of 1.05 (1.03-1.07), P = 1 × 10(-5). Three additional independent signals from intronic SNPs were identified, in CASP8 (rs36043647), ALS2CR11 (rs59278883) and CFLAR (rs7558475). The association with rs1830298 was replicated in the imputed results from the combined GWAS (P = 3 × 10(-6)), yielding a combined OR (95% CI) of 1.06 (1.04-1.08), P = 1 × 10(-9). Analyses of gene expression associations in peripheral blood and normal breast tissue indicate that CASP8 might be the target gene, suggesting a mechanism involving apoptosis.
Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) is a major cause of blindness worldwide. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) followed by replication in a combined total of 10,503 PACG cases and 29,567 controls drawn from 24 countries across Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. We observed significant evidence of disease association at five new genetic loci upon meta-analysis of all patient collections. These loci are at EPDR1 rs3816415 (odds ratio (OR) = 1.24, P = 5.94 × 10(-15)), CHAT rs1258267 (OR = 1.22, P = 2.85 × 10(-16)), GLIS3 rs736893 (OR = 1.18, P = 1.43 × 10(-14)), FERMT2 rs7494379 (OR = 1.14, P = 3.43 × 10(-11)), and DPM2-FAM102A rs3739821 (OR = 1.15, P = 8.32 × 10(-12)). We also confirmed significant association at three previously described loci (P < 5 × 10(-8) for each sentinel SNP at PLEKHA7, COL11A1, and PCMTD1-ST18), providing new insights into the biology of PACG.