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1.  Genetic Susceptibility to Refractive Error: Association of Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide Receptor 2 (VIPR2) with High Myopia in Chinese 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e61805.
Myopia is the most common ocular disease worldwide. We investigated the association of high myopia with the common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of five candidate genes – early growth response 1 (EGR1), v-fos FBJ murine osteosarcoma viral oncogene homolog (FOS), jun oncogene (JUN), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), and vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor 2 (VIPR2). We recruited 1200 unrelated Chinese subjects with 600 cases (spherical equivalent ≤−8.00 diopters) and 600 controls (spherical equivalent within ±1.00 diopter). A discovery sample set was formed from 300 cases and 300 controls, and a replication sample set from the remaining samples. Tag SNPs were genotyped for the discovery sample set, and the most significant haplotypes and their constituent SNPs were followed up with the replication sample set. The allele and haplotype frequencies in cases and controls were compared by logistic regression adjusted for sex and age to give Pa values, and multiple comparisons were corrected by permutation test to give Paemp values. Odd ratios (OR) were calculated accordingly. In the discovery phase, EGR1, JUN and VIP did not show any significant association while FOS and VIPR2 demonstrated significant haplotype association with high myopia. In the replication phase, the haplotype association for VIPR2 was successfully replicated, but not FOS. In analysis combining both sample sets, the most significant association signals of VIPR2 were the single marker rs2071625 (Pa = 0.0008, Paemp = 0.0046 and OR = 0.75) and the 4-SNP haplotype window rs2071623-rs2071625-rs2730220-rs885863 (omnibus test, Pa = 9.10e-10 and Paemp = 0.0001) with one protective haplotype (GGGG: Paemp = 0.0002 and OR = 0.52) and one high-risk haplotype (GAGA: Paemp = 0.0027 and OR = 4.68). This 4-SNP haplotype window was the most significant in all sample sets examined. This is the first study to suggest a role of VIPR2 in the genetic susceptibility to high myopia. EGR1, JUN, FOS and VIP are unlikely to be important in predisposing humans to high myopia.
PMCID: PMC3630195  PMID: 23637909
2.  Investigating the relationship between UMODL1 gene polymorphisms and high myopia: a case–control study in Chinese 
BMC Medical Genetics  2012;13:64.
The UMODL1 gene was found to be associated with high myopia in Japanese. This study aimed to investigate this gene for association with high myopia in Chinese.
Two groups of unrelated Han Chinese from Hong Kong were recruited using the same criteria: Sample Set 1 comprising 356 controls (spherical equivalent, SE, within ±1 diopter or D) and 356 cases (SE ≤ −8D), and Sample Set 2 comprising 394 controls and 526 cases. Fifty-nine tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected and genotyped for Sample Set 1. Four SNPs were followed up with Sample Set 2. Both single-marker and haplotype analyses were performed with cases defined by different SE thresholds. Secondary phenotypes were also analyzed for association with genotypes.
Data filtering left 57 SNPs for analysis. Single-marker analysis did not reveal any significant differences between cases and controls in the initial study. However, haplotype GCT for markers rs220168-rs220170-rs11911271 showed marginal significance (empirical P = 0.076; SE ≤ −12D for cases), but could not be replicated in the follow-up study. In contrast, non-synonymous SNP rs3819142 was associated with high myopia (SE ≤ −10D) in the follow-up study, but could not be confirmed using Sample Set 1. The SNP rs2839471, positive in the original Japanese study, gave negative results in all our analyses. Exploratory analysis of secondary phenotypes indicated that allele C of rs220120 was associated with anterior chamber depth (adjusted P = 0.0460).
Common UMODL1 polymorphisms were unlikely to be important in the genetic susceptibility to high myopia in Han Chinese.
PMCID: PMC3489600  PMID: 22857148
High myopia; UMODL1; Single nucleotide polymorphism; Association study; Secondary phenotype
3.  Association of High Myopia with Crystallin Beta A4 (CRYBA4) Gene Polymorphisms in the Linkage-Identified MYP6 Locus 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e40238.
Myopia is the most common ocular disorder worldwide and imposes tremendous burden on the society. It is a complex disease. The MYP6 locus at 22 q12 is of particular interest because many studies have detected linkage signals at this interval. The MYP6 locus is likely to contain susceptibility gene(s) for myopia, but none has yet been identified.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Two independent subject groups of southern Chinese in Hong Kong participated in the study an initial study using a discovery sample set of 342 cases and 342 controls, and a follow-up study using a replication sample set of 316 cases and 313 controls. Cases with high myopia were defined by spherical equivalent ≤ -8 dioptres and emmetropic controls by spherical equivalent within ±1.00 dioptre for both eyes. Manual candidate gene selection from the MYP6 locus was supported by objective in silico prioritization. DNA samples of discovery sample set were genotyped for 178 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 26 genes. For replication, 25 SNPs (tagging or located at predicted transcription factor or microRNA binding sites) from 4 genes were subsequently examined using the replication sample set. Fisher P value was calculated for all SNPs and overall association results were summarized by meta-analysis. Based on initial and replication studies, rs2009066 located in the crystallin beta A4 (CRYBA4) gene was identified to be the most significantly associated with high myopia (initial study: P = 0.02; replication study: P = 1.88e-4; meta-analysis: P = 1.54e-5) among all the SNPs tested. The association result survived correction for multiple comparisons. Under the allelic genetic model for the combined sample set, the odds ratio of the minor allele G was 1.41 (95% confidence intervals, 1.21-1.64).
A novel susceptibility gene (CRYBA4) was discovered for high myopia. Our study also signified the potential importance of appropriate gene prioritization in candidate selection.
PMCID: PMC3389832  PMID: 22792142
4.  Genotyping Performance Assessment of Whole Genome Amplified DNA with Respect to Multiplexing Level of Assay and Its Period of Storage 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(10):e26119.
Whole genome amplification can faithfully amplify genomic DNA (gDNA) with minimal bias and substantial genome coverage. Whole genome amplified DNA (wgaDNA) has been tested to be workable for high-throughput genotyping arrays. However, issues about whether wgaDNA would decrease genotyping performance at increasing multiplexing levels and whether the storage period of wgaDNA would reduce genotyping performance have not been examined. Using the Sequenom MassARRAY iPLEX Gold assays, we investigated 174 single nucleotide polymorphisms for 3 groups of matched samples: group 1 of 20 gDNA samples, group 2 of 20 freshly prepared wgaDNA samples, and group 3 of 20 stored wgaDNA samples that had been kept frozen at −70°C for 18 months. MassARRAY is a medium-throughput genotyping platform with reaction chemistry different from those of high-throughput genotyping arrays. The results showed that genotyping performance (efficiency and accuracy) of freshly prepared wgaDNA was similar to that of gDNA at various multiplexing levels (17-plex, 21-plex, 28-plex and 36-plex) of the MassARRAY assays. However, compared with gDNA or freshly prepared wgaDNA, stored wgaDNA was found to give diminished genotyping performance (efficiency and accuracy) due to potentially inferior quality. Consequently, no matter whether gDNA or wgaDNA was used, better genotyping efficiency would tend to have better genotyping accuracy.
PMCID: PMC3191163  PMID: 22022531
5.  PAX6 Haplotypes Are Associated with High Myopia in Han Chinese 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19587.
The paired box 6 (PAX6) gene is considered as a master gene for eye development. Linkage of myopia to the PAX6 region on chromosome 11p13 was shown in several studies, but the results for association between myopia and PAX6 were inconsistent so far.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We genotyped 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the PAX6 gene and its regulatory regions in an initial study for 300 high myopia cases and 300 controls (Group 1), and successfully replicated the positive results with another independent group of 299 high myopia cases and 299 controls (Group 2). Five SNPs were genotyped in the replication study. The spherical equivalent of subjects with high myopia was ≤−8.0 dioptres. The PLINK package was used for genetic data analysis. No association was found between each of the SNPs and high myopia. However, exhaustive sliding-window haplotype analysis highlighted an important role for rs12421026 because haplotypes containing this SNP were found to be associated with high myopia. The most significant results were given by the 4-SNP haplotype window consisting of rs2071754, rs3026393, rs1506 and rs12421026 (P = 3.54×10−10, 4.06×10−11 and 1.56×10−18 for Group 1, Group 2 and Combined Group, respectively) and the 3-SNP haplotype window composed of rs3026393, rs1506 and rs12421026 (P = 5.48×10−10, 7.93×10−12 and 6.28×10−23 for the three respective groups). The results remained significant after correction for multiple comparisons by permutations. The associated haplotyes found in a previous study were also successfully replicated in this study.
PAX6 haplotypes are associated with susceptibility to the development of high myopia in Chinese. The PAX6 locus plays a role in high myopia.
PMCID: PMC3093386  PMID: 21589860
6.  A DNA pooling-based case-control study of myopia candidate genes COL11A1, COL18A1, FBN1, and PLOD1 in a Chinese population 
Molecular Vision  2011;17:810-821.
We examined the relationship between high myopia and common polymorphisms in four candidate genes: collagen, type XI, alpha 1 (COL11A1); collagen, type XVIII, alpha 1 (COL18A1); fibrillin 1 (FBN1); and procollagen-lysine 1,2-oxoglutarate 5-dioxygenase 1 (PLOD1). These genes were selected because rare pathogenic mutations in these genes cause disease syndromes that have myopia, usually high myopia, as one of the common presenting features.
This study recruited 600 unrelated Han Chinese subjects including 300 cases with high myopia (spherical equivalent or SE≤-8.00 diopters) and 300 controls (SE within ±1.00 diopter). A total of 66 tag single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were selected for study from these four candidate genes. The study adopted a DNA pooling strategy with an initial screen of DNA pools to identify putatively positive SNPs and then confirmed the “positive” SNPs by genotyping individual samples forming the original DNA pools. DNA pools were each constructed by mixing equal amounts of DNA from 50 individuals with the same phenotype status. Six case pools were prepared from 300 cases and six control pools from 300 controls. Allele frequencies of DNA pools were estimated by analyzing the primer-extended products with denaturing high performance liquid chromatography and compared between case pools and control pools with nested ANOVA.
In the first stage, 60 SNPs from the 4 candidate genes were successfully screened using the DNA pooling approach. Of these, 6 SNPs showed a statistical significant difference in estimated allele frequencies between case pools and controls at p<0.10. In the second stage, these “positive” SNPs were followed up by individual genotyping, but failed to be confirmed via standard single-marker and haplotype analyses.
Common polymorphisms in these four candidate genes (COL11A1, COL18A1, FBN1 and PLOD1) were unlikely to play important roles in the genetic susceptibility to high myopia.
PMCID: PMC3081793  PMID: 21527992

Results 1-6 (6)