Genetic Architecture of Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma in Individuals of African Descent: The African Descent and Glaucoma Evaluation Study III

African Descent and Glaucoma Evaluation Study III Genomics Study Group

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33 Scopus citations


Purpose: To find genetic contributions to glaucoma in African Americans. Design: Cross-sectional, case-control study. Participants: One thousand eight hundred seventy-five primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) patients and 1709 controls, self-identified as being of African descent (AD), from the African Descent and Glaucoma Evaluation Study (ADAGES) III and Wake Forest School of Medicine. Methods: MegaChip genotypes were imputed to Thousand Genomes data. Association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with POAG and advanced POAG was tested by linear mixed model correcting for relatedness and population stratification. Genetic risk scores were tested by receiver operator characteristic curves (ROC-AUCs). Main Outcome Measures: Primary open-angle glaucoma defined by visual field loss without other nonocular conditions (n = 1875). Advanced POAG was defined by age-based mean deviation of visual field (n = 946). Results: Eighteen million two hundred eighty-one thousand nine hundred twenty SNPs met imputation quality of r2 > 0.7 and minor allele frequency > 0.005. Association of a novel locus, EN04, was observed for advanced POAG (rs185815146 β 0.36; standard error, 0.065; P < 3×10–8). For POAG, an AD signal was observed at the 9p21 European descent (ED) POAG signal (rs79721419; P < 6.5×10–5) independent of the previously observed 9p21 ED signal (rs2383204; P < 2.3×10–5) by conditional analyses. An association with POAG in FNDC3B (rs111698934; P < 3.9×10–5) was observed, not in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with the previously reported ED SNP. Additional previously identified loci associated with POAG in persons of AD were: 8q22, AFAP1, and TMC01. An AUC of 0.62 was observed with an unweighted genetic risk score comprising 11 SNPs in candidate genes. Two additional risk scores were studied by using a penalized matrix decomposition with cross-validation; risk scores of 50 and 400 SNPs were identified with ROC of AUC = 0.74 and AUC = 0.94, respectively. Conclusions: A novel association with advanced POAG in the EN04 locus was identified putatively in persons of AD. In addition to this finding, this genome-wide association study in POAG patients of AD contributes to POAG genetics by identification of novel signals in prior loci (9p21), as well as advancing the fine mapping of regions because of shorter average LD (FNDC3B). Although not useful without confirmation and clinical trials, the use of genetic risk scores demonstrated that considerable AD-specific genetic information remains in these data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-48
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


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