Author(s): Nag A, Venturini C, Hysi PG, Arno M, Aldecoa-Otalora Astarloa E, Macgregor S, Hewitt AW, Young TL, Mitchell P, Viswanathan AC, Mackey DA, Hammond CJ. Copy number variation at chromosome 5q21.2 is associated with intraocular pressure. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 May 1;54(5):3607-12. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-11952. PMID 23599335
PURPOSE Glaucoma is a major cause of blindness in the world. Recent genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified common genetic variants for glaucoma, but still a significant heritability gap remains. We hypothesized that copy number variants (CNVs) might influence part of the susceptibility to glaucoma or its related quantitative endophenotypes.
METHODS THIS STUDY EXAMINED THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN CNVS AND INTRAOCULAR PRESSURE (IOP), THE MAJOR MODIFIABLE RISK FACTOR FOR PRIMARY OPEN-ANGLE GLAUCOMA (POAG), IN THREE POPULATION PANELS OF EUROPEAN ANCESTRY: the TwinsUK cohort (n = 1047), the Australian Twin Eye Study (n = 561), and the Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2)/Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES) (n = 1660). We also used PCR-based assays to investigate a locus of interest that we found associated with IOP in a POAG case-control panel of European ancestry from London, United Kingdom.
RESULTS WE IDENTIFIED ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN IOP AND TWO CNV REGIONS IN THE TWINSUK COHORT: 5q21.2 (P = 0.003) overlapping the gene RAB9BP1 and 12p13.3 (P = 0.03) overlapping the genes SLC2A14 and SLC2A3. The Australian Twin Eye Study and BMES both replicated the 5q21.2 CNV association and direction of effect (P = 0.001 and P = 0.02, respectively). A meta-analysis across all the cohorts showed that presence of a copy number change at this locus increased IOP by 1.56 mm Hg (P = 1.24 × 10(-6)). In the case-control study, the 5q21.2 CNV locus did not show association with high-pressure (≥21 mm Hg) POAG cases.
CONCLUSIONS The 5q21.2 CNV locus could represent a novel locus controlling IOP. Interestingly, this IOP locus is located in close vicinity to the previously widely replicated GLC1G linkage locus for glaucoma, for which subsequent studies have not reached consensus on the causal gene.