Polymorphic glutathione S-transferase M1 is a risk factor of primary open-angle glaucoma among Estonians

Exp Eye Res. 2000 Nov;71(5):447-52. doi: 10.1006/exer.2000.0899.


Primary open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of glaucoma is a slowly progressive atrophy of the optic nerve, characterized by loss of peripheral visual function and is usually associated with elevated intraocular pressure. The etiology and genetic risk factors of primary open-angle glaucoma are mostly unknown. The aim of this study was to find out whether the polymorphism at GSTM1, GSTM3, GSTT1 and GSTP1 loci is associated with increased susceptibility to glaucoma, because these polymorphic enzymes are susceptibility candidates for several diseases, including such eye disease as cataract. The phenotype of GSTM1 and GSTT1 was determined by ELISA and the genotype of GSTM3 and GSTP1 was detected by polymerase chain reaction. Four hundred and fifty two Estonians (250 glaucomas and 202 controls) participated in a case-control study. A significant association of the GSTM1 polymorphism with glaucoma was observed. The frequency of the GSTM1 positive individuals among the glaucoma group was significantly higher than in controls (60 vs. 45.0%) with odds ratio of 1.83 (95% CI 1.26-2.66;P = 0.002). The risk among the GSTM1 positive individuals of developing glaucoma was even higher in the case of smoking: 62.7% of smokers were GSTM1 positive in the glaucoma group while only 33.3% of smokers had GSTM1 positive phenotype in controls (OR = 3.36; 95% CI 1.49-7.56;P = 0.012). An association with a lower level of significance was also found with the GSTM3 gene. Four% of the 250 patients with POAG were identified as carriers of the GSTM3 BB genotype, a proportion which was slightly higher than the 1.0% for the controls (OR = 4.17; 95% CI 0. 90-19.24;P = 0.144). The frequencies of the GSTT1 and GSTP1 genotypes in both groups were not statistically different. The present study suggests that the GSTM1 polymorphism may be associated with increased risk of development of primary open-angle glaucoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genotype
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / genetics*
  • Glutathione Transferase / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Phenotype
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Smoking / genetics


  • Glutathione Transferase