Pathway discovery in macular degeneration using bioinformatic approaches

Euijung Ryu, PhD
Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN)
Year Awarded:
Grant Duration:
April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2013
Macular Degeneration
Award Amount:
Grant Reference ID:
Award Type:
Award Region:
US Midwestern

Co-principal Investigators

Kent Bailey
Mayo Clinic

Pathway discovery in macular degeneration using genome-wide proteome, transcriptome and epigenetic analyses


We are identifying the molecular biological pathways altered by the genetic variants across the ARMS2 genomic region, or locus, in human retina. This study uses sophisticated "omics" approaches to accomplish these goals.


The biological pathways affected by the ARMS2 locus increase the odds of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) about 7-fold in homozygotes for the risk haplotype compared to the common non-risk haplotype. However, the mechanisms through which the genetic variants at the locus are mediated are controversial. Traditional genetic and biochemical methods have yet to identify the biological pathway through which the impact on disease risk is mediated. Indeed, it is unknown if the genetic risk is mediated through the hypothetical gene LOC387715, HTRA1, or perhaps some mechanisms unrelated to either. In order to identify the biological pathways altered by the genetic variants across this locus, we propose compare the proteome and transcriptome of retinal tissue from donors homozygous for either the common protective or the risk haplotypes at the ARMS2 locus. Further, this project will provide insight and help determine the value of such, so called, "omics" approaches for studying the pathophysiology of complex traits affecting the eye.