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2.  Cost-effectiveness of ranibizumab and bevacizumab for age-related macular degeneration: 2-year findings from the IVAN randomised trial 
BMJ Open  2014;4(7):e005094.
Objective
To assess the incremental cost and cost-effectiveness of continuous and discontinuous regimens of bevacizumab (Avastin) and ranibizumab (Lucentis) for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) from a UK National Health Service (NHS) perspective.
Design
A within-trial cost-utility analysis with a 2-year time horizon, based on a multicentre factorial, non-inferiority randomised controlled trial.
Setting
23 hospital ophthalmology clinics.
Participants
610 patients aged ≥50 years with untreated nAMD in the study eye.
Interventions
0.5 mg ranibizumab or 1.25 mg bevacizumab given continuously (monthly) or discontinuously (as-needed) for 2 years.
Main outcome measures
Quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs).
Results
Total 2-year costs ranged from £3002/patient ($4700; 95% CI £2601 to £3403) for discontinuous bevacizumab to £18 590/patient ($29 106; 95% CI £18 258 to £18 922) for continuous ranibizumab. Ranibizumab was significantly more costly than bevacizumab for both continuous (+£14 989/patient ($23 468); 95% CI £14 522 to £15 456; p<0.001) and discontinuous treatment (+£8498 ($13 305); 95% CI £7700 to £9295; p<0.001), with negligible difference in QALYs. Continuous ranibizumab would only be cost-effective compared with continuous bevacizumab if the NHS were willing to pay £3.5 million ($5.5 million) per additional QALY gained. Patients receiving continuous bevacizumab accrued higher total costs (+£599 ($938); 95% CI £91 to £1107; p=0.021) than those receiving discontinuous bevacizumab, but also accrued non-significantly more QALYs (+0.020; 95% CI −0.032 to 0.071; p=0.452). Continuous bevacizumab therefore cost £30 220 ($47 316) per QALY gained versus discontinuous bevacizumab. However, bootstrapping demonstrated that if the NHS is willing to pay £20 000/QALY gained, there is a 37% chance that continuous bevacizumab is cost-effective versus discontinuous bevacizumab.
Conclusions
Ranibizumab is not cost-effective compared with bevacizumab, being substantially more costly and producing little or no QALY gain. Discontinuous bevacizumab is likely to be the most cost-effective of the four treatment strategies evaluated in this UK trial, although there is a 37% chance that continuous bevacizumab is cost-effective.
Trial registration number
ISRCTN92166560.
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005094
PMCID: PMC4120317  PMID: 25079928
Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD); vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors; trial-based economic evaluation; cost-utility analysis; cost-minimisation analysis; cost-effectiveness
3.  Fcγ Receptor Upregulation Is Associated With Immune Complex Inflammation in the Mouse Retina and Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration 
Purpose.
Several lines of evidence suggest the involvement of antibodies and immune complex inflammation in AMD, a blinding disease with a strong inflammatory component. To examine this further, we developed a novel experimental mouse model of retinal inflammation and evaluated whether inflammation associated with immune complex formation was present in eyes of AMD donors.
Methods.
A localized immune complex–mediated reaction was induced in the retina of wild-type (WT), Fc receptor γ chain–deficient (γ−/−), and C1q-deficient (C1q−/−) mice, and donor eyes were obtained after death from donors with early or wet AMD and from healthy control subjects. The presence of immune complexes, Fcγ receptors (FcγRs), and markers of macrophage/microglia activation was investigated by immunohistochemistry.
Results.
In WT and C1q−/− mice, immune complex deposition in the retina led to a robust inflammatory response with activation of microglia, recruitment of myeloid cells, and increased expression of FcγRI through FcγRIV and major histocompatibility complex class II. This response was not observed in γ−/− mice lacking activating FcγRs. We found that early AMD was associated with deposition of IgG, C1q, and membrane attack complex in the choriocapillaris and with increased numbers of CD45+ cells expressing FcγRIIa and FcγRIIb. Furthermore, FcγRIIa and FcγRIIb were observed in eyes of donors with wet AMD.
Conclusions.
Our studies suggest that immune complexes may contribute to AMD pathogenesis through interaction of IgG with FcγRs and might inform about possible adverse effects associated with therapeutic antibodies.
Immune complex deposition in the murine retina leads to robust neuroinflammation that is dependent on Fcγ receptors. Early AMD was associated with increased numbers of cells expressing Fcγ receptors. These findings may have implications for antibody therapy.
doi:10.1167/iovs.13-11821
PMCID: PMC3891269  PMID: 24334446
immune complex; immunoglobulin; Fc receptor; macular degeneration; inflammation
4.  Retinal gene therapy in patients with choroideremia: initial findings from a phase 1/2 clinical trial 
Lancet  2014;383(9923):1129-1137.
Summary
Background
Choroideremia is an X-linked recessive disease that leads to blindness due to mutations in the CHM gene, which encodes the Rab escort protein 1 (REP1). We assessed the effects of retinal gene therapy with an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector encoding REP1 (AAV.REP1) in patients with this disease.
Methods
In a multicentre clinical trial, six male patients (aged 35–63 years) with choroideremia were administered AAV.REP1 (0·6–1·0×1010 genome particles, subfoveal injection). Visual function tests included best corrected visual acuity, microperimetry, and retinal sensitivity tests for comparison of baseline values with 6 months after surgery. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT01461213.
Findings
Despite undergoing retinal detachment, which normally reduces vision, two patients with advanced choroideremia who had low baseline best corrected visual acuity gained 21 letters and 11 letters (more than two and four lines of vision). Four other patients with near normal best corrected visual acuity at baseline recovered to within one to three letters. Mean gain in visual acuity overall was 3·8 letters (SE 4·1). Maximal sensitivity measured with dark-adapted microperimetry increased in the treated eyes from 23·0 dB (SE 1·1) at baseline to 25·3 dB (1·3) after treatment (increase 2·3 dB [95% CI 0·8–3·8]). In all patients, over the 6 months, the increase in retinal sensitivity in the treated eyes (mean 1·7 [SE 1·0]) was correlated with the vector dose administered per mm2 of surviving retina (r=0·82, p=0·04). By contrast, small non-significant reductions (p>0·05) were noted in the control eyes in both maximal sensitivity (–0·8 dB [1·5]) and mean sensitivity (–1·6 dB [0·9]). One patient in whom the vector was not administered to the fovea re-established variable eccentric fixation that included the ectopic island of surviving retinal pigment epithelium that had been exposed to vector.
Interpretation
The initial results of this retinal gene therapy trial are consistent with improved rod and cone function that overcome any negative effects of retinal detachment. These findings lend support to further assessment of gene therapy in the treatment of choroideremia and other diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration, for which intervention should ideally be applied before the onset of retinal thinning.
Funding
UK Department of Health and Wellcome Trust.
doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62117-0
PMCID: PMC4171740  PMID: 24439297
5.  A genome-wide association study of intra-ocular pressure suggests a novel association in the gene FAM125B in the TwinsUK cohort 
Human Molecular Genetics  2014;23(12):3343-3348.
Glaucoma is a major cause of blindness in the world. To date, common genetic variants associated with glaucoma only explain a small proportion of its heritability. We performed a genome-wide association study of intra-ocular pressure (IOP), an underlying endophenotype for glaucoma. The discovery phase of the study was carried out in the TwinsUK cohort (N = 2774) analyzing association between IOP and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) imputed to HapMap2. The results were validated in 12 independent replication cohorts of European ancestry (combined N = 22 789) that were a part of the International Glaucoma Genetics Consortium. Expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analyses of the significantly associated SNPs were performed using data from the Multiple Tissue Human Expression Resource (MuTHER) Study. In the TwinsUK cohort, IOP was significantly associated with a number of SNPs at 9q33.3 (P = 3.48 × 10−8 for rs2286885, the most significantly associated SNP at this locus), within the genomic sequence of the FAM125B gene. Independent replication in a composite panel of 12 cohorts revealed consistent direction of effect and significant association (P = 0.003, for fixed-effect meta-analysis). Suggestive evidence for an eQTL effect of rs2286885 was observed for one of the probes targeting the coding region of the FAM125B gene. This gene codes for a component of a membrane complex involved in vesicular trafficking process, a function similar to that of the Caveolin genes (CAV1 and CAV2) which have previously been associated with primary open-angle glaucoma. This study suggests a novel association between SNPs in FAM125B and IOP in the TwinsUK cohort, though further studies to elucidate the functional role of this gene in glaucoma are necessary.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddu050
PMCID: PMC4030784  PMID: 24518671
6.  Genome-wide association analyses identify multiple loci associated with central corneal thickness and keratoconus 
Lu, Yi | Vitart, Veronique | Burdon, Kathryn P | Khor, Chiea Chuen | Bykhovskaya, Yelena | Mirshahi, Alireza | Hewitt, Alex W | Koehn, Demelza | Hysi, Pirro G | Ramdas, Wishal D | Zeller, Tanja | Vithana, Eranga N | Cornes, Belinda K | Tay, Wan-Ting | Tai, E Shyong | Cheng, Ching-Yu | Liu, Jianjun | Foo, Jia-Nee | Saw, Seang Mei | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Stefansson, Kari | Dimasi, David P | Mills, Richard A | Mountain, Jenny | Ang, Wei | Hoehn, René | Verhoeven, Virginie J M | Grus, Franz | Wolfs, Roger | Castagne, Raphaële | Lackner, Karl J | Springelkamp, Henriët | Yang, Jian | Jonasson, Fridbert | Leung, Dexter Y L | Chen, Li J | Tham, Clement C Y | Rudan, Igor | Vatavuk, Zoran | Hayward, Caroline | Gibson, Jane | Cree, Angela J | MacLeod, Alex | Ennis, Sarah | Polasek, Ozren | Campbell, Harry | Wilson, James F | Viswanathan, Ananth C | Fleck, Brian | Li, Xiaohui | Siscovick, David | Taylor, Kent D | Rotter, Jerome I | Yazar, Seyhan | Ulmer, Megan | Li, Jun | Yaspan, Brian L | Ozel, Ayse B | Richards, Julia E | Moroi, Sayoko E | Haines, Jonathan L | Kang, Jae H | Pasquale, Louis R | Allingham, R Rand | Ashley-Koch, Allison | Mitchell, Paul | Wang, Jie Jin | Wright, Alan F | Pennell, Craig | Spector, Timothy D | Young, Terri L | Klaver, Caroline C W | Martin, Nicholas G | Montgomery, Grant W | Anderson, Michael G | Aung, Tin | Willoughby, Colin E | Wiggs, Janey L | Pang, Chi P | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Lotery, Andrew J | Hammond, Christopher J | van Duijn, Cornelia M | Hauser, Michael A | Rabinowitz, Yaron S | Pfeiffer, Norbert | Mackey, David A | Craig, Jamie E | Macgregor, Stuart | Wong, Tien Y
Nature genetics  2013;45(2):155-163.
Central corneal thickness (CCT) is associated with eye conditions including keratoconus and glaucoma. We performed a meta-analysis on >20,000 individuals in European and Asian populations that identified 16 new loci associated with CCT at genome-wide significance (P < 5 × 10−8). We further showed that 2 CCT-associated loci, FOXO1 and FNDC3B, conferred relatively large risks for keratoconus in 2 cohorts with 874 cases and 6,085 controls (rs2721051 near FOXO1 had odds ratio (OR) = 1.62, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.4–1.88, P = 2.7 × 10−10, and rs4894535 in FNDC3B had OR = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.29–1.68, P = 4.9 × 10−9). FNDC3B was also associated with primary open-angle glaucoma (P = 5.6 × 10−4; tested in 3 cohorts with 2,979 cases and 7,399 controls). Further analyses implicate the collagen and extracellular matrix pathways in the regulation of CCT.
doi:10.1038/ng.2506
PMCID: PMC3720123  PMID: 23291589
7.  Complement factor I and age-related macular degeneration 
Molecular Vision  2014;20:1253-1257.
Purpose
The complement system has been implicated in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Complement factor I (CFI) is a serum protease that inhibits all complement pathways. A previous multicenter study identified a single missense CFI mutation (p.Gly119Arg) in 20/3,567 (0.56%) of AMD cases versus 1/3,937 (0.025%) of controls, thus suggesting that this mutation confers a high risk of AMD. A second CFI mutation, p.Gly188Ala, was identified in one patient with AMD.
Methods
We screened 521 unrelated AMD cases and 627 controls for the p.Gly119Arg and p.Gly188Ala variants. All participants were Caucasian and >55 years, and recruited through Southampton Eye Unit or research clinics in Guernsey. All participants underwent dilated fundal examination by an experienced retinal specialist. SNP assays were performed using KASP™ biochemistry.
Results
The p.Gly119Arg mutation was identified in 7/521 AMD cases compared to 1/627 age-matched controls (odds ratio [OR] = 8.47, confidence interval [CI] = 1.04–69.00, p = 0.027). There was a varied phenotype among the seven cases with the mutation, which was present in 4/254 (1.6%) cases with active or end-stage wet AMD and 3/267 dry AMD cases (1.1%). The p.Gly188Ala substitution was identified in 1/521 cases and 1/627 controls.
Conclusions
Our results identified a much higher frequency of heterozygosity for p.Gly119Arg in both cases and controls than in previous studies. Of note is that our sub-cohort from Guernsey had a particularly high frequency of p.Gly119Arg heterozygosity in affected individuals (4%) compared to our sub-cohort from the mainland (0.71%). Although these data support the conclusions of van de Ven et al. that the p.Gly119Arg substitution confers a high risk of AMD, our data suggest that this missense mutation is not as rare or as highly penetrant as previously reported. There was no difference in frequency for a second CFI variant, p.Gly188Ala, between the cases and the controls.
PMCID: PMC4165324  PMID: 25352734
8.  Genome-wide association study of age-related macular degeneration identifies associated variants in the TNXB–FKBPL–NOTCH4 region of chromosome 6p21.3 
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(18):4138-4150.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of visual loss in Western populations. Susceptibility is influenced by age, environmental and genetic factors. Known genetic risk loci do not account for all the heritability. We therefore carried out a genome-wide association study of AMD in the UK population with 893 cases of advanced AMD and 2199 controls. This showed an association with the well-established AMD risk loci ARMS2 (age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2)–HTRA1 (HtrA serine peptidase 1) (P =2.7 × 10−72), CFH (complement factor H) (P =2.3 × 10−47), C2 (complement component 2)–CFB (complement factor B) (P =5.2 × 10−9), C3 (complement component 3) (P =2.2 × 10−3) and CFI (P =3.6 × 10−3) and with more recently reported risk loci at VEGFA (P =1.2 × 10−3) and LIPC (hepatic lipase) (P =0.04). Using a replication sample of 1411 advanced AMD cases and 1431 examined controls, we confirmed a novel association between AMD and single-nucleotide polymorphisms on chromosome 6p21.3 at TNXB (tenascin XB)–FKBPL (FK506 binding protein like) [rs12153855/rs9391734; discovery P =4.3 × 10−7, replication P =3.0 × 10−4, combined P =1.3 × 10−9, odds ratio (OR) = 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.3–1.6] and the neighbouring gene NOTCH4 (Notch 4) (rs2071277; discovery P =3.2 × 10−8, replication P =3.8 × 10−5, combined P =2.0 × 10−11, OR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.2–1.4). These associations remained significant in conditional analyses which included the adjacent C2–CFB locus. TNXB, FKBPL and NOTCH4 are all plausible AMD susceptibility genes, but further research will be needed to identify the causal variants and determine whether any of these genes are involved in the pathogenesis of AMD.
doi:10.1093/hmg/dds225
PMCID: PMC3428154  PMID: 22694956
10.  Evidence of association of APOE with age-related macular degeneration - a pooled analysis of 15 studies 
Human mutation  2011;32(12):1407-1416.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of incurable visual impairment in high-income countries. Previous studies report inconsistent associations between AMD and apolipoprotein E (APOE), a lipid transport protein involved in low-density cholesterol modulation. Potential interaction between APOE and sex, and smoking status, has been reported. We present a pooled analysis (n=21,160) demonstrating associations between late AMD and APOε4 (OR=0.72 per haplotype; CI: 0.65–0.74; P=4.41×10−11) and APOε2 (OR=1.83 for homozygote carriers; CI: 1.04–3.23; P=0.04), following adjustment for age-group and sex within each study and smoking status. No evidence of interaction between APOE and sex or smoking was found. Ever smokers had significant increased risk relative to never smokers for both neovascular (OR=1.54; CI: 1.38–1.72; P=2.8×10−15) and atrophic (OR=1.38; CI: 1.18–1.61; P=3.37×10−5) AMD but not early AMD (OR=0.94; CI: 0.86–1.03; P=0.16), implicating smoking as a major contributing factor to disease progression from early signs to the visually disabling late forms. Extended haplotype analysis incorporating rs405509 did not identify additional risks beyondε2 and ε4 haplotypes. Our expanded analysis substantially improves our understanding of the association between the APOE locus and AMD. It further provides evidence supporting the role of cholesterol modulation, and low-density cholesterol specifically, in AMD disease etiology.
doi:10.1002/humu.21577
PMCID: PMC3217135  PMID: 21882290
age-related macular degeneration; AMD; apolipoprotein E; APOE; case-control association study
11.  Variations in Apolipoprotein E Frequency With Age in a Pooled Analysis of a Large Group of Older People 
American Journal of Epidemiology  2011;173(12):1357-1364.
Variation in the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) has been reported to be associated with longevity in humans. The authors assessed the allelic distribution of APOE isoforms ε2, ε3, and ε4 among 10,623 participants from 15 case-control and cohort studies of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in populations of European ancestry (study dates ranged from 1990 to 2009). The authors included only the 10,623 control subjects from these studies who were classified as having no evidence of AMD, since variation within the APOE gene has previously been associated with AMD. In an analysis stratified by study center, gender, and smoking status, there was a decreasing frequency of the APOE ε4 isoform with increasing age (χ2 for trend = 14.9 (1 df); P = 0.0001), with a concomitant increase in the ε3 isoform (χ2 for trend = 11.3 (1 df); P = 0.001). The association with age was strongest in ε4 homozygotes; the frequency of ε4 homozygosity decreased from 2.7% for participants aged 60 years or less to 0.8% for those over age 85 years, while the proportion of participants with the ε3/ε4 genotype decreased from 26.8% to 17.5% across the same age range. Gender had no significant effect on the isoform frequencies. This study provides strong support for an association of the APOE gene with human longevity.
doi:10.1093/aje/kwr015
PMCID: PMC3145394  PMID: 21498624
aged; apolipoprotein E2; apolipoprotein E3; apolipoprotein E4; apolipoproteins E; longevity; meta-analysis; multicenter study
12.  Common variants near CAV1 and CAV2 are associated with primary open-angle glaucoma 
Nature genetics  2010;42(10):906-909.
We conducted a genome-wide association study for primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) in 1,263 affected individuals (cases) and 34,877 controls from Iceland. We identified a common sequence variant at 7q31 (rs4236601[A], odds ratio (OR) = 1.36, P = 5.0 × 10-10). We then replicated the association in sample sets of 2,175 POAG cases and 2,064 controls from Sweden, the UK and Australia (combined OR = 1.18, P = 0.0015) and in 299 POAG cases and 580 unaffected controls from Hong Kong and Shantou, China (combined OR = 5.42, P = 0.0021). The risk variant identified here is located close to CAV1 and CAV2, both of which are expressed in the trabecular meshwork and retinal ganglion cells that are involved in the pathogenesis of POAG.
doi:10.1038/ng.661
PMCID: PMC3222888  PMID: 20835238
13.  Large-scale association analyses identifies 13 new susceptibility loci for coronary artery disease 
Schunkert, Heribert | König, Inke R. | Kathiresan, Sekar | Reilly, Muredach P. | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Holm, Hilma | Preuss, Michael | Stewart, Alexandre F. R. | Barbalic, Maja | Gieger, Christian | Absher, Devin | Aherrahrou, Zouhair | Allayee, Hooman | Altshuler, David | Anand, Sonia S. | Andersen, Karl | Anderson, Jeffrey L. | Ardissino, Diego | Ball, Stephen G. | Balmforth, Anthony J. | Barnes, Timothy A. | Becker, Diane M. | Becker, Lewis C. | Berger, Klaus | Bis, Joshua C. | Boekholdt, S. Matthijs | Boerwinkle, Eric | Braund, Peter S. | Brown, Morris J. | Burnett, Mary Susan | Buysschaert, Ian | Carlquist, Cardiogenics, John F. | Chen, Li | Cichon, Sven | Codd, Veryan | Davies, Robert W. | Dedoussis, George | Dehghan, Abbas | Demissie, Serkalem | Devaney, Joseph M. | Do, Ron | Doering, Angela | Eifert, Sandra | El Mokhtari, Nour Eddine | Ellis, Stephen G. | Elosua, Roberto | Engert, James C. | Epstein, Stephen E. | Faire, Ulf de | Fischer, Marcus | Folsom, Aaron R. | Freyer, Jennifer | Gigante, Bruna | Girelli, Domenico | Gretarsdottir, Solveig | Gudnason, Vilmundur | Gulcher, Jeffrey R. | Halperin, Eran | Hammond, Naomi | Hazen, Stanley L. | Hofman, Albert | Horne, Benjamin D. | Illig, Thomas | Iribarren, Carlos | Jones, Gregory T. | Jukema, J.Wouter | Kaiser, Michael A. | Kaplan, Lee M. | Kastelein, John J.P. | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Knowles, Joshua W. | Kolovou, Genovefa | Kong, Augustine | Laaksonen, Reijo | Lambrechts, Diether | Leander, Karin | Lettre, Guillaume | Li, Mingyao | Lieb, Wolfgang | Linsel-Nitschke, Patrick | Loley, Christina | Lotery, Andrew J. | Mannucci, Pier M. | Maouche, Seraya | Martinelli, Nicola | McKeown, Pascal P. | Meisinger, Christa | Meitinger, Thomas | Melander, Olle | Merlini, Pier Angelica | Mooser, Vincent | Morgan, Thomas | Mühleisen, Thomas W. | Muhlestein, Joseph B. | Münzel, Thomas | Musunuru, Kiran | Nahrstaedt, Janja | Nelson, Christopher P. | Nöthen, Markus M. | Olivieri, Oliviero | Patel, Riyaz S. | Patterson, Chris C. | Peters, Annette | Peyvandi, Flora | Qu, Liming | Quyyumi, Arshed A. | Rader, Daniel J. | Rallidis, Loukianos S. | Rice, Catherine | Rosendaal, Frits R. | Rubin, Diana | Salomaa, Veikko | Sampietro, M. Lourdes | Sandhu, Manj S. | Schadt, Eric | Schäfer, Arne | Schillert, Arne | Schreiber, Stefan | Schrezenmeir, Jürgen | Schwartz, Stephen M. | Siscovick, David S. | Sivananthan, Mohan | Sivapalaratnam, Suthesh | Smith, Albert | Smith, Tamara B. | Snoep, Jaapjan D. | Soranzo, Nicole | Spertus, John A. | Stark, Klaus | Stirrups, Kathy | Stoll, Monika | Tang, W. H. Wilson | Tennstedt, Stephanie | Thorgeirsson, Gudmundur | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Tomaszewski, Maciej | Uitterlinden, Andre G. | van Rij, Andre M. | Voight, Benjamin F. | Wareham, Nick J. | Wells, George A. | Wichmann, H.-Erich | Wild, Philipp S. | Willenborg, Christina | Witteman, Jaqueline C. M. | Wright, Benjamin J. | Ye, Shu | Zeller, Tanja | Ziegler, Andreas | Cambien, Francois | Goodall, Alison H. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Quertermous, Thomas | März, Winfried | Hengstenberg, Christian | Blankenberg, Stefan | Ouwehand, Willem H. | Hall, Alistair S. | Deloukas, Panos | Thompson, John R. | Stefansson, Kari | Roberts, Robert | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | O’Donnell, Christopher J. | McPherson, Ruth | Erdmann, Jeanette | Samani, Nilesh J.
Nature genetics  2011;43(4):333-338.
We performed a meta-analysis of 14 genome-wide association studies of coronary artery disease (CAD) comprising 22,233 cases and 64,762 controls of European descent, followed by genotyping of top association signals in 60,738 additional individuals. This genomic analysis identified 13 novel loci harboring one or more SNPs that were associated with CAD at P<5×10−8 and confirmed the association of 10 of 12 previously reported CAD loci. The 13 novel loci displayed risk allele frequencies ranging from 0.13 to 0.91 and were associated with a 6 to 17 percent increase in the risk of CAD per allele. Notably, only three of the novel loci displayed significant association with traditional CAD risk factors, while the majority lie in gene regions not previously implicated in the pathogenesis of CAD. Finally, five of the novel CAD risk loci appear to have pleiotropic effects, showing strong association with various other human diseases or traits.
doi:10.1038/ng.784
PMCID: PMC3119261  PMID: 21378990
15.  The Complement Component 5 gene and Age-related Macular Degeneration 
Ophthalmology  2009;117(3):500-511.
Objective
To investigate the association between variants in the complement component 5 (C5) gene and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Design
Separate and combined data from three large AMD case-control studies and a prospective population-based study (The Rotterdam Study).
Participants
A total of 2599 AMD cases and 3458 ethnically matched controls.
Methods
Fifteen single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) spanning the C5 gene were initially genotyped in 375 cases and 199 controls from the Netherlands (The AMRO-NL study population). Replication testing of selected SNPs was performed in the Rotterdam Study (NL) and study populations from Southampton, United Kingdom (UK) and New York, United States (US).
Main Outcome Measures
Early and late stages of prevalent and incident AMD, graded according to (a modification of) the international grading and classification system of AMD.
Results
Significant allelic or genotypic associations between eight C5 SNPs and AMD were found in the AMRO-NL study and this risk appeared independently of CFH Y402H, LOC387715 A69S, age and gender. None of these findings could be confirmed consistently in three replication populations.
Conclusions
Although the complement pathway, including C5, plays a crucial role in AMD, and the C5 protein is present in drusen, no consistent significant associations between C5 SNPs and AMD were found in all studies. The implications for genetic screening of AMD are discussed.
doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2009.08.032
PMCID: PMC2830367  PMID: 20022638
17.  Localization of Complement 1 Inhibitor (C1INH/SERPING1) in Human Eyes with Age-Related Macular Degeneration 
Experimental eye research  2009;89(5):767-773.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common degenerative disease resulting in injury to the retina, retinal pigment epithelium and choriocapillaris. Recent data from histopathology, animal models and genetic studies have implicated altered regulation of the complement system as a major factor in the incidence and progression of this disease. A variant in the gene SERPING1, which encodes C1INH, an inhibitor of the classical and lectin pathways of complement activation, was recently shown to be associated with AMD. In this study we sought to determine the localization of C1INH in human donor eyes. Immunofluorescence studies using a monoclonal antibody directed against C1INH revealed localization to photoreceptor cells, inner nuclear layer neurons, choriocapillaris, and choroidal extracellular matrix. Drusen did not exhibit labeling. Genotype at rs2511989 did not appear to affect C1INH abundance or localization, nor was it associated with significant molecular weight differences when evaluated by Western blot. In a small number of eyes (n=7 AMD and n=7 control) AMD affection status was correlated with increased abundance of choroidal C1INH. These results indicate that C1INH protein is present in the retina and choroid, where it may regulate complement activation.
doi:10.1016/j.exer.2009.07.001
PMCID: PMC2757497  PMID: 19607829
18.  Structural Effects of Fibulin 5 Missense Mutations Associated with Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Cutis Laxa 
Mutations in fibulin 5 are associated with AMD and are known to cause autosomal recessive cutis laxa. This article describes the structural changes to fibulin 5 protein associated with these mutations, to help determine the pathogenicity of the AMD mutations.
Purpose.
AMD has a complex etiology with environmental and genetic risk factors. Ten fibulin 5 sequence variants have been associated with AMD and two other fibulin 5 mutations cause autosomal-recessive cutis laxa. Fibulin 5 is a 52-kDa calcium-binding epidermal growth factor (cbEGF)–rich extracellular matrix protein that is essential for the formation of elastic tissues. Biophysical techniques were used to detect structural changes in the fibulin 5 mutants and to determine whether changes are predictive of pathogenicity.
Methods.
Native PAGE, nonreduced SDS-PAGE, size-exclusion column multiangle laser light scattering, sedimentation velocity, and circular dichroism (CD) were used to investigate the mobility, hydrodynamic radii, folding, and oligomeric states of the fibulin 5 mutants in the absence and presence of Ca2+.
Results.
CD showed that all mutants are folded, although perturbations to secondary structure contents were detected. Both cutis laxa mutants increased dimerization. Most other mutants slightly increased self-association in the absence of Ca2+ but this was also demonstrated by G202R, a polymorphism detected in a control individual. The AMD-associated mutant G412E showed lower-than-expected mobility during native-PAGE, the largest hydrodynamic radius for the monomer form and the highest levels of aggregation in both the absence and presence of Ca2+.
Conclusions.
The results identified structural differences for the disease-causing cutis laxa mutants and for one AMD variant (G412E), suggesting that this may also be pathogenic. Although the other AMD-associated mutants showed no gross structural differences, they cannot be excluded as pathogenic by differences outside the scope of this study—for example, disruption of heterointeractions.
doi:10.1167/iovs.09-4620
PMCID: PMC2868478  PMID: 20007835
19.  Fibulin 5 Forms a Compact Dimer in Physiological Solutions* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2009;284(38):25938-25943.
Fibulin 5 is a 52-kDa calcium-binding epidermal growth factor (cbEGF)-rich extracellular matrix protein that is essential for the formation of elastic tissues. Missense mutations in fibulin 5 cause the elastin disorder cutis laxa and have been associated with age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. We investigated the structure, hydrodynamics, and oligomerization of fibulin 5 using small angle x-ray scattering, EM, light scattering, circular dichroism, and sedimentation. Compact structures for the monomer were determined by small angle x-ray scattering and EM, and are supported by close agreement between the theoretical sedimentation of the structures and the experimental sedimentation of the monomer in solution. EM showed that monomers associate around a central cavity to form a dimer. Light scattering and equilibrium sedimentation demonstrated that the equilibrium between the monomer and the dimer is dependent upon NaCl and Ca2+ concentrations and that the dimer is dominant under physiological conditions. The dimerization of fragments containing just the cbEGF domains suggests that intermolecular interactions between cbEGFs cause dimerization of fibulin 5. It is possible that fibulin 5 functions as a dimer during elastinogenesis or that dimerization may provide a method for limiting interactions with binding partners such as tropoelastin.
doi:10.1074/jbc.M109.011627
PMCID: PMC2757994  PMID: 19617354
20.  Reduced Secretion of Fibulin 5 in Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Cutis Laxa 
Human mutation  2006;27(6):568-574.
Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of irreversible visual loss in the Western world, affecting approximately 25 million people worldwide. The pathogenesis is complex and missense mutations in FBLN5 have been reported in association with ARMD. We have investigated the role of fibulin 5 in ARMD by completing the first European study of the gene FBLN5 in ARMD (using 2 European cohorts of 805 ARMD patients and 279 controls) and by determining the functional effects of the missense mutations on fibulin 5 expression. We also correlated the FBLN5 genotype with the ARMD phenotype. We found two novel sequence changes in ARMD patients that were absent in controls and expressed these and the other nine reported FBLN5 mutations associated with ARMD and two associated with the autosomal recessive disease cutis laxa. Fibulin 5 secretion was significantly reduced (P<0.001) for four ARMD (p.G412E, p.G267S, p.I169 T, and p.Q124P) and two cutis laxa (p.S227P, p.C217R) mutations. These results suggest that some missense mutations associated with ARMD lead to decreased fibulin 5 secretion with a possible corresponding reduction in elastinogenesis. This study confirms the previous work identifying an association between FBLN5 mutations and ARMD and for the first time suggests a functional mechanism by which these mutations can lead to ARMD. It further demonstrates that FBLN5 mutations can be associated with different phenotypes of ARMD (not limited to the previously described cuticular drusen type). Such knowledge may ultimately lead to the development of novel therapies for this common disease.
doi:10.1002/humu.20344
PMCID: PMC1828612  PMID: 16652333
age-related macular degeneration; ARMD; fibulin 5; FBLN5; cutis laxa; genotype–phenotype correlation; elastinogenesis
21.  Characterization of rabbit myocilin: Implications for human myocilin glycosylation and signal peptide usage 
BMC Genetics  2003;4:5.
Background
Mutations in the gene encoding human myocilin (MYOC) have been shown to cause juvenile- and adult-onset glaucoma. In addition, myocilin has been associated with glucocorticoid-induced ocular hypertension and steroid-induced glaucoma. To better understand the role myocilin plays in steroid-induced glaucoma and open-angle glaucoma, we examined rabbit myocilin for use in the rabbit animal model of steroid-induced glaucoma.
Results
We have cloned the rabbit ortholog of human MYOC. Rabbit MYOC consists of three exons and an open reading frame encoding a 490 amino acid, 54,882-Da protein, which is 14 amino acids shorter at the N-terminus than human myocilin but 84% identical overall. Rabbit myocilin migrates as a single electrophoretic band, vs. double-banded human myocilin, by SDS-PAGE/immunoblot analysis. We determined that the differential migration exhibited is due to an N-glycosylation site that is present in human (Asn57), monkey and mouse myocilin but absent in rabbit (Ser43), rat and bovine myocilin. Rabbit myocilin is secreted in vitro in trabecular meshwork cell culture and in vivo in aqueous humor. Secretion of human myocilin is shown to be dependent on the signal peptide and independent of the extra 14 amino acids not found in rabbit myocilin. Many of the amino acids in myocilin that are mutated in glaucoma patients are conserved across species.
Conclusion
We have cloned the rabbit MYOC cDNA and determined that rabbit myocilin is secreted but not N-linked glycosylated. Knowledge of the rabbit MYOC cDNA sequence will facilitate future studies in the rabbit animal model examining the role of myocilin in steroid-induced glaucoma and the gain-of-function hypothesis in open-angle glaucoma.
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-4-5
PMCID: PMC156599  PMID: 12697062
22.  Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies identifies novel loci that influence cupping and the glaucomatous process 
Springelkamp, Henriët. | Höhn, René | Mishra, Aniket | Hysi, Pirro G. | Khor, Chiea-Chuen | Loomis, Stephanie J. | Bailey, Jessica N. Cooke | Gibson, Jane | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Janssen, Sarah F. | Luo, Xiaoyan | Ramdas, Wishal D. | Vithana, Eranga | Nongpiur, Monisha E. | Montgomery, Grant W. | Xu, Liang | Mountain, Jenny E. | Gharahkhani, Puya | Lu, Yi | Amin, Najaf | Karssen, Lennart C. | Sim, Kar-Seng | van Leeuwen, Elisabeth M. | Iglesias, Adriana I. | Verhoeven, Virginie J. M. | Hauser, Michael A. | Loon, Seng-Chee | Despriet, Dominiek D. G. | Nag, Abhishek | Venturini, Cristina | Sanfilippo, Paul G. | Schillert, Arne | Kang, Jae H. | Landers, John | Jonasson, Fridbert | Cree, Angela J. | van Koolwijk, Leonieke M. E. | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Souzeau, Emmanuelle | Jonsson, Vesteinn | Menon, Geeta | Weinreb, Robert N. | de Jong, Paulus T. V. M. | Oostra, Ben A. | Uitterlinden, André G. | Hofman, Albert | Ennis, Sarah | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Burdon, Kathryn P. | Spector, Timothy D. | Mirshahi, Alireza | Saw, Seang-Mei | Vingerling, Johannes R. | Teo, Yik-Ying | Haines, Jonathan L. | Wolfs, Roger C. W. | Lemij, Hans G. | Tai, E-Shyong | Jansonius, Nomdo M. | Jonas, Jost B. | Cheng, Ching-Yu | Aung, Tin | Viswanathan, Ananth C. | Klaver, Caroline C. W. | Craig, Jamie E. | Macgregor, Stuart | Mackey, David A. | Lotery, Andrew J. | Stefansson, Kari | Bergen, Arthur A. B. | Young, Terri L. | Wiggs, Janey L. | Pfeiffer, Norbert | Wong, Tien-Yin | Pasquale, Louis R. | Hewitt, Alex W. | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Hammond, Christopher J.
Nature Communications  2014;5:4883.
Glaucoma is characterized by irreversible optic nerve degeneration and is the most frequent cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Here, the International Glaucoma Genetics Consortium conducts a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of vertical cup-disc ratio (VCDR), an important disease-related optic nerve parameter. In 21,094 individuals of European ancestry and 6,784 individuals of Asian ancestry, we identify 10 new loci associated with variation in VCDR. In a separate risk-score analysis of five case-control studies, Caucasians in the highest quintile have a 2.5-fold increased risk of primary open-angle glaucoma as compared with those in the lowest quintile. This study has more than doubled the known loci associated with optic disc cupping and will allow greater understanding of mechanisms involved in this common blinding condition.
Glaucoma is the most common cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Here, the authors carry out a large meta-analysis of genetic data from individuals of European and Asian ancestry and identify 10 new loci associated with vertical cup-disc ratio, a key factor in the clinical assessment of patients with glaucoma.
doi:10.1038/ncomms5883
PMCID: PMC4199103  PMID: 25241763

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