Mutations in MYOC gene of Indian primary open angle glaucoma patients

Mol Vis. 2002 Nov 15:8:442-8.


Purpose: Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide after cataract. Defects in the myocilin gene (MYOC) have been shown to be associated with Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG), the most common form of the disease, especially in its juvenile form. Most of the reported mutations in MYOC are in POAG patients of Caucasian origin. A few studies have been reported on Asian patients (such as Chinese, Japanese, and Koreans) but none from the Indian subcontinent. The purpose of this study was to investigate the molecular basis of POAG among Indians, using MYOC as the candidate gene, and broaden our understanding on the pathogenesis caused by MYOC.

Methods: Fifty-six unrelated POAG patients, comprising 39 sporadic cases and 17 patients having familial history for POAG were enrolled in this study. The coding sequence of the gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using genomic DNA from 30 POAG patients, followed by sequencing of the PCR products. Nucleotide changes were detected by identifying double peaks in the chromatogram due to heterozygosity and pairwise BLAST analysis of the sequence output data against the normal copy of the MYOC cDNA. Alteration of restriction sites due to nucleotide changes was identified. Twenty-six patients (not sequenced) and controls were screened for nucleotide changes by allele specific restriction digestion of the PCR products followed by separation of the digested DNA fragments by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.

Results: From a pool of 56 unrelated POAG patients two mutations were identified. A putative novel mutation (144 G->T; Gln48His) of a conserved amino acid was detected in the exon 1 of MYOC from three unrelated patients but none in the 51 control samples examined. The other mutation (1109 C->T; Pro370Leu), located in exon 3 and detected in a family affected with POAG, cosegregated with the disease and was not present in control samples. Two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified; one in the promoter region (-83 G->A) and the other in the coding sequence (227 G->A; Arg76Lys). These two SNPs were found to be highly heterozygous both in the control (0.480) and the patient (0.477) populations, and were observed to be in linkage disequilibrium.

Conclusions: The presence of a novel non-conservative change in codon 48 of MYOC in 3 POAG patients, but none in the healthy controls, suggests a causal association of the mutation with the disease, either singly or in combination with other genetic loci. The other point mutation (Pro370Leu) detected in the members of an affected POAG family represents a hotspot of mutation in the gene. Two identified SNPs (-83 G->A and 227 G->A) are not associated with the disease phenotype but could be used as highly informative markers in POAG affected families to determine any causal association of MYOC with the disease, and for identification of presymptomatic carriers in the family, where applicable. A comparison of our data with other studies revealed that these two polymorphisms are in complete linkage disequilibrium among Asians, but not among other ethnic groups studied so far.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Eye Proteins / genetics*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / ethnology
  • Glaucoma, Open-Angle / genetics*
  • Glycoproteins / genetics*
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Point Mutation*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Glycoproteins
  • trabecular meshwork-induced glucocorticoid response protein