Rare and common variants in extracellular matrix gene Fibrillin 2 (FBN2) are associated with macular degeneration

Rinki Ratnapriya, Xiaowei Zhan, Robert N. Fariss, Kari E. Branham, David Zipprer, Christina F. Chakarova, Yuri V. Sergeev, Maria M. Campos, Mohammad Othman, James S. Friedman, Arvydas Maminishkis, Naushin H. Waseem, Matthew Brooks, Harsha K. Rajasimha, Albert O. Edwards, Andrew Lotery, Barbara E. Klein, Barbara J. Truitt, Bingshan Li, Debra A. SchaumbergDenise J. Morgan, Margaux A. Morrison, Eric Souied, Evangelia E. Tsironi, Felix Grassmann, Gerald A. Fishman, Giuliana Silvestri, Hendrik P.N. Scholl, Ivana K. Kim, Jacqueline Ramke, Jingsheng Tuo, Joanna E. Merriam, John C. Merriam, Kyu Hyung Park, Lana M. Olson, Lindsay A. Farrer, Matthew P. Johnson, Neal S. Peachey, Mark Lathrop, Robert V. Baron, Robert P. Igo, Ronald Klein, Stephanie A. Hagstrom, Yoichiro Kamatani, Tammy M. Martin, Yingda Jiang, Yvette Conley, Jose Alan Sahel, Donald J. Zack, Chi Chao Chan, Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Samuel G. Jacobson, Michael B. Gorin, Michael L. Klein, Rando Allikmets, Sudha K. Iyengar, Bernhard H. Weber, Jonathan L. Haines, Thierry Léveillard, Margaret M. Deangelis, Dwight Stambolian, Daniel E. Weeks, Shomi S. Bhattacharya, Emily Y. Chew, John R. Heckenlively, Gonçalo R. Abecasis, Anand Swaroop

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51 Scopus citations


Neurodegenerative diseases affecting the macula constitute amajor cause of incurable vision loss and exhibit considerable clinical and genetic heterogeneity, from early-onset monogenic disease to multifactorial lateonset age-related macular degeneration (AMD). As part of our continued efforts to define genetic causes of macular degeneration, we performed whole exome sequencing in four individuals of a two-generation family with autosomal dominantmaculopathy and identified a rare variant p.Glu1144Lys in Fibrillin 2 (FBN2), a glycoprotein of the elastin-richextracellular matrix (ECM). Sangersequencing validated the segregation of this variant in the complete pedigree, including two additional affected and one unaffected individual. Sequencing of 192 maculopathy patients revealed additional rare variants, predicted to disrupt FBN2 function. We then undertook additional studies to explore the relationship of FBN2 to macular disease. We show that FBN2 localizes to Bruch'smembrane and its expression appears to be reduced in aging and AMD eyes, prompting us to examine its relationship with AMD. We detect suggestive association of a common FBN2 non-synonymous variant, rs154001 (p.Val965Ile) with AMD in 10 337 cases and 11 174 controls (OR 5 1.10; P-value 5 3.79 3× 10-5). Thus, it appears that rare and common variants in a single gene-FBN2-can contribute to Mendelian and complex forms of macular degeneration. Our studies provide genetic evidence for a key role of elastin microfibers and Bruch's membrane in maintaining blood-retina homeostasis and establish the importance of studying orphan diseases for understanding more common clinical phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5827-5837
Number of pages11
JournalHuman molecular genetics
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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