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Novel ancestry-specific primary open-angle glaucoma loci and shared biology with vascular mechanisms and cell proliferation

Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), a leading cause of irreversible blindness globally, shows disparity in prevalence and manifestations across ancestries. We perform meta-analysis across 15 biobanks (of the Global Biobank Meta-analysis Initiative) (n = 1,487,441: cases = 26,848) and merge with previous multi-ancestry studies, with the combined dataset representing the largest and most diverse POAG study to date (n = 1,478,037: cases = 46,325) and identify 17 novel significant loci, 5 of which were ancestry specific. Gene-enrichment and transcriptome-wide association analyses implicate vascular and cancer genes, a fifth of which are primary ciliary related. We perform an extensive statistical analysis of SIX6 and CDKN2B-AS1 loci in human GTEx data and across large electronic health records showing interaction between SIX6 gene and causal variants in the chr9p21.3 locus, with expression effect on CDKN2A/B. Our results suggest that some POAG risk variants may be ancestry specific, sex specific, or both, and support the contribution of genes involved in programmed cell death in POAG pathogenesis.

Year of publication



Cell reports medicine


Lo Faro, V.
Bhattacharya, A.
Zhou, W.
Zhou, D.
Wang, Y.
Läll, K.
et. al.

Full publication

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