Author(s): Liao J, Su X, Chen P, Wang X, Xu L, Li X, Thean L, Tan C, Tan AG, Tay WT, Jun G, Zheng Y, Chew M, Wang YX, Tan QS, Barathi VA, Klein BE, Saw SM, Vithana EN, Tai ES, Iyengar SK, Mitchell P, Khor CC, Aung T, Wang JJ, Jonas JB, Teo YY, Wong TY, Cheng CY. Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies in multiethnic Asians identifies two loci for age-related nuclear cataract. Hum Mol Genet. 2014 Nov 15;23(22):6119-28. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddu315. Epub 2014 Jun 20. PMID 24951543
Journal: Human Molecular Genetics, Volume 23, Issue 22, Nov 2014
Age-related cataract is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, especially in developing countries where access to cataract surgery remains limited. Previous linkage and candidate gene studies suggested genetic influences on age-related nuclear cataract but few genetic markers have been identified thus far. We conducted genome-wide association studies on 4569 Asians (including 2369 Malays and 2200 Indians), and replicated our analysis in 2481 Chinese from two independent cohorts (1768 Chinese in Singapore and 803 Chinese in Beijing). We confirmed two genome-wide significant loci for nuclear cataract in the combined meta-analysis of four cohorts (n = 7140). The first locus was at chromosome 3q25.31 in KCNAB1 (rs7615568, fixed-effect Pmeta = 2.30 × 10(-8); random-effect Pmeta = 1.08 × 10(-8)). The second locus was at chromosome 21 in the proximity of CRYAA (rs11911275, fixed-effect Pmeta = 2.77 × 10(-8); random-effect Pmeta = 1.98 × 10(-9)), a major protein component of eye lens. The findings were further supported by up-regulation and down-regulation of KCNAB1 and CRYAA in human lens capsule, respectively, as the severity of nuclear cataract increases. The results offer additional insights into the pathogenesis of nuclear cataract in Asians.