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Mol Vis. 2011 Feb 8;17:430-5.

Chromosome 7q31 POAG locus: ocular expression of caveolins and lack of association with POAG in a US cohort.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, The University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA.



To determine the role of the recently discovered primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) risk factor mapped to chromosome 7q31 in glaucoma patients from Iowa and to determine the expression pattern of genes in the locus in human eyes.


A cohort of 545 POAG patients and 297 control subjects from Iowa were genotyped with a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP; rs4236601) in the chromosome 7q31 locus using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. The expression of genes within the 7q31 locus, caveolin-1 (CAV1) and caveolin-2 (CAV2) in human eyes was investigated with immunohistochemistry.


The minor allele frequency (MAF) of rs4236601 was 27% in control subjects and 29% in POAG patients. We detected no statistical difference when we compared the allele frequencies of rs4236601 between POAG patients and control subjects (p=0.5). Similarly, we detected no statistical difference in the frequency of the three possible rs4236601 genotypes between patients and controls (p=0.22). Immunohistochemistry showed caveolin expression in human retina, ciliary muscle, trabecular meshwork, and Schlemm's canal. In our small cohort of donor eyes, the genotype of rs4236601 did not obviously influence labeling intensity or distribution of CAV1 and CAV2 in the retina.


A genome-wide association study of subjects from Iceland mapped the first common genetic risk factor for POAG to a small region of the genome on chromosome 7q31 that contains the caveolin genes CAV1 and CAV2. We were unable to detect this association in our patients from Iowa, suggesting that this risk factor may not have a strong effect in all populations.

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