Decreased Levels of DNA Methylation in the PCDHA Gene Cluster as a Risk Factor for Early-Onset High Myopia in Young Children

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2022 Aug 2;63(9):31. doi: 10.1167/iovs.63.9.31.


Purpose: High myopia (HM), an eye disorder with at least -6.0 diopters refractive error, has a complex etiology with environmental, genetic, and likely epigenetic factors involved. To complement the DNA methylation assessment in children with HM, we analyzed genes that had significantly lower DNA methylation levels.

Methods: The DNA methylation pattern was studied based on the genome-wide methylation data of 18 Polish children with HM paired with 18 controls. Genes overlapping CG dinucleotides with decreased methylation level in HM cases were assessed by enrichment analyses. From those, genes with CG dinucleotides in promoter regions were further evaluated based on exome sequencing (ES) data of 16 patients with HM from unrelated Polish families, Sanger sequencing data of the studied children, and the RNA sequencing data of human retinal ARPE-19 cells.

Results: The CG dinucleotide with the most decreased methylation level in cases was identified in a promoter region of PCDHA10 that overlaps intronic regions of PCDHA1-9 of the PCDHA gene cluster in myopia 5q31 locus. Also, two single nucleotide variants, rs200661444, detected in our ES, and rs246073, previously found as associated with a refractive error in a genome-wide association study, were revealed within this gene cluster. Additionally, genes previously linked to ocular phenotypes, myopia-related traits, or loci, including ADAM20, ZFAND6, ETS1, ABHD13, SBSPON, SORBS2, LMOD3, ATXN1, and FARP2, were found to have decreased methylation.

Conclusions: Alterations in the methylation pattern of specific CG dinucleotides may be associated with early-onset HM, so this could be used to develop noninvasive biomarkers of HM in children and adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Methylation
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / genetics
  • Humans
  • Multigene Family
  • Myopia* / genetics
  • Risk Factors


  • FARP2 protein, human
  • Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors