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Publication - Professor Andrew Dick

    Genome-wide association meta-analysis highlights light-induced signaling as a driver for refractive error


    , , , Tedja, MS, Wojciechowski, R, Hysi, PG, Eriksson, N, Furlotte, NA, Verhoeven, VJ, Iglesias, AI, Meester-Smoor, MA, Tompson, SW, Fan, Q, Khawaja, AP, Cheng, CY, Höhn, R, Yamashiro, K, Wenocur, A, Grazal, C, Haller, T, Metspalu, A, Wedenoja, J, Jonas, JB, Wang, YX, Xie, J, Mitchell, P, Foster, PJ, Klein, BE, Klein, R, Paterson, AD, Hosseini, SM, Shah, RL, Williams, C, Teo, YY, Tham, YC, Gupta, P, Zhao, W, Shi, Y, Saw, WY, Tai, ES & others 2018, ‘Genome-wide association meta-analysis highlights light-induced signaling as a driver for refractive error’. Nature Genetics, vol 50., pp. 834-848


    Refractive errors, including myopia, are the most frequent eye disorders worldwide and an increasingly common cause of blindness. This genome-wide association meta-analysis in 160,420 participants and replication in 95,505 participants increased the number of established independent signals from 37 to 161 and showed high genetic correlation between Europeans and Asians (>0.78). Expression experiments and comprehensive in silico analyses identified retinal cell physiology and light processing as prominent mechanisms, and also identified functional contributions to refractive-error development in all cell types of the neurosensory retina, retinal pigment epithelium, vascular endothelium and extracellular matrix. Newly identified genes implicate novel mechanisms such as rod-and-cone bipolar synaptic neurotransmission, anterior-segment morphology and angiogenesis. Thirty-one loci resided in or near regions transcribing small RNAs, thus suggesting a role for post-transcriptional regulation. Our results support the notion that refractive errors are caused by a light-dependent retina-to-sclera signaling cascade and delineate potential pathobiological molecular drivers.

    Full details in the University publications repository