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Gene Linked With Aggressive 'Wet' Form Of AMD

lar Biophysics and Biochemistry, and Ophthalmology, did trans-racial gene mapping by comparing genomes between precisely defined populations to find the incidence of SNP in a Chinese population—96 with AMD and 130 with normal vision.

"We found that patients with the HTRA1 SNP were 10 times more likely to have wet AMD than those without this gene variant," said Hoh. "While this is only preliminary work, it points to possible directions for future treatment of wet AMD."

Hoh also worked on a replication study led by Kang Zhang at the University of Utah School of Medicine that found a link between the same SNP and AMD. Zhang and his team studied 581 Caucasian patients with AMD and 309 with normal vision. These patients had wet AMD as well as a large amount of drusen.

To confirm the association, the Utah team also examined several donor eyes and measured the expression of the gene and the encoded protein. They found that the expressions were elevated in the eyes of patients who carry HTRA1.

"The marker we have identified is very much associated with AMD, but no one has ever pinpointed the clinical features of the gene. We need to conduct further analysis in order to understand the biological mechanisms," said Hoh.

Source-Eurekalert
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