Genetic and Functional Dissection of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of vision loss in the world. While identification of various environmental risk factors including but not limited to smoking, ethnicity, and diet have been reported to contribute to the complex etiology of AMD, age and genetics remain the largest susceptibility factors in its pathogenesis. Initially, with the identification of the common Y402H variant in CFH, approximately 35% of the genetic determinants of AMD had been identified with the majority remaining unknown. Therefore, we set forth to A) identify additional AMD susceptibility genes that contribute to AMD through the use to next generation sequencing technologies and B) to assess associated alleles for pathogenicity in the attempt to interpret their functional contributions to AMD outcome as observed via patient serum and zebrafish analysis. In doing such, we have identified both common and rare variants that contribute to the heritability of AMD. Additionally, we report one of the first instances of a rare variant significantly increasing disease onset and a gene with increased rare mutational burden in AMD patients. All together adding to our understanding of the genetics of AMD and potentially leading to putative therapeutic targets.
Age-related macular degeneration
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