Susceptibility to primary angle closure glaucoma in Saudi Arabia: the possible role of mitochondrial DNA ancestry informative haplogroups

Mol Vis. 2011:17:2171-6. Epub 2011 Aug 12.


Purpose: In a previous preliminary analysis we reported that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup R0a was significantly more frequent in primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) Saudi patients than in healthy Saudi controls. This result prompted us to extend our work using a significant larger Saudi PACG cohort and more healthy controls.

Methods: We sequenced the mtDNA regulatory hypervariable region-I (HVS-I) and coding regions, comprising haplogroup diagnostic polymorphisms, in 227 PACG Saudi patients and compared their haplogroup frequencies with those obtained from 186 matched healthy controls (free of PACG by examination) and from a large sample of 810 healthy Saudi Arabs representing the general Saudi population.

Results: MtDNA Haplogroups R0a and J, the most abundant lineages in Saudi Arabia, were in significant higher frequencies in the PACG patients than in controls, while the widespread western Eurasian haplogroup U was associated with reduced risk to developing PACG.

Conclusions: Haplogroups R0a and J could be ancestry informative markers for PACG in the Saudi Arabian population. In addition, the western Eurasian haplogroup U may play a mild protective effect to this illness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabs*
  • Black People
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / chemistry
  • DNA, Mitochondrial / genetics*
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Genetic Testing
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / ethnology
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / genetics*
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mitochondria / genetics*
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid
  • Saudi Arabia / epidemiology
  • White People


  • DNA, Mitochondrial