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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Oct 5;101(40):14485-90. Epub 2004 Sep 27.

Identification of a major locus for age-related cortical cataract on chromosome 6p12-q12 in the Beaver Dam Eye Study.

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Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.


Age-related cataracts are one of the leading causes of visual impairment and blindness among the elderly worldwide. Among age-related cataracts, cortical opacities rank as the second most common type; however, little is known about their molecular pathogenesis or genetics. To identify susceptibility loci for cortical cataracts, we genotyped a subset of families (102 families; n = 224 sib pairs) from the Beaver Dam Eye Study and performed a model-free genome-wide linkage analysis for markers linked to a quantitative measure of cortical opacity. We obtained evidence for linkage at marker D1S1622 on chromosome 1p35 (P < 0.0002) and at marker D6S1053 on 6q12 (P < 0.00008) in the initial scan. Five additional regions on 1q31, 2p24, 2q11, 4q28, and 15q13 that are suggestive of linkage (P < or = 0.01 or logarithm of the likelihood ratio > or = 1.18) were observed. The region on chromosomes 6p12-q12 was selected for fine mapping, and the intermarker distance was reduced to 3 cM by adding 11 markers in the interval between D6S1017 and D6S1021. After fine mapping, significant evidence of linkage remained on chromosome 6p12-q12 at D6S1053 (P < 0.00005). The current genome scan for age-related cortical cataracts may lead to identification of novel genes, because few regions identified in the current scan have previously been implicated in congenital or age-related cataracts.

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