Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is a blinding disease. Two important risk factors for this disease are a positive family history and elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), which is also highly heritable. Genes found to date associated with IOP and POAG are ABCA1, CAV1/CAV2, GAS7 and TMCO1. However, these genes explain only a small part of the heritability of IOP and POAG.We performed a genome-wide association study of IOP in the population-based RotterdamStudy I and Rotterdam Study II using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) imputed to 1000 Genomes. In this discovery cohort (n = 8105), we identified a newlocus associated with IOP. The most significantly associated SNPwas rs58073046 (ß = 0.44, P-value = 1.87 × 10-8, minor allele frequency = 0.12), within the gene ARHGEF12. Independent replication in five population-based studies (n = 7471) resulted in an effect size in the same direction that was significantly associated (ß = 0.16, P-value = 0.04). The SNP was also significantly associated with POAG in two independent case-control studies [n = 1225 cases and n = 4117 controls; odds ratio (OR) = 1.53, P-value = 1.99 × 10-8], especially with high-tension glaucoma (OR = 1.66, P-value = 2.81 × 10-9; for normal-tension glaucoma OR = 1.29, P-value = 4.23 × 10-2). ARHGEF12 plays an important role in the RhoA/RhoA kinase pathway, which has been implicated in IOP regulation. Furthermore, it binds to ABCA1 and links the ABCA1, CAV1/CAV2 and GAS7 pathway to Mendelian POAG genes (MYOC, OPTN, WDR36). In conclusion, this study identified a novel association between IOP and ARHGEF12.,
Human Molecular Genetics
Department of Internal Medicine

Springelkamp, H., Iglesias González, A., Cuellar-Partida, G., Amin, N., Burdon, K., van Leeuwen, E., … MacGregor, S. (2015). ARHGEF12 influences the risk of glaucoma by increasing intraocular pressure. Human Molecular Genetics, 24(9), 2689–2699. doi:10.1093/hmg/ddv027