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The effect of genetic variants in SERPING1 on the risk of neovascular age-related macular degeneration
  1. A Y Lee1,
  2. M Kulkarni1,
  3. A M Fang1,
  4. S Edelstein1,
  5. M P Osborn1,
  6. M A Brantley1,2
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Missouri, USA
  2. 2Barnes Retina Institute, St Louis, Missouri, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Milam A Brantley Jr, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, Campus Box 8096, 660 South Euclid Avenue, St Louis, MO 63110, USA; brantley{at}


Purpose Genetic factors influence an individual's risk for developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of irreversible vision loss. Previous studies investigating the potential association between all AMD subtypes and the SERPING1 gene, which encodes a key regulator of the classic complement pathway, have yielded conflicting results. The purpose of this study is to determine whether variations in SERPING1 are associated with neovascular AMD.

Methods A total of 556 patients with neovascular AMD and 256 ethnically matched controls were genotyped for polymorphisms in SERPING1. A tagging single nucleotide polymorphism (tSNP) approach was used to cover the SERPING1 gene plus 2 kb on each side, spanning the promoter and the 3′ untranslated regions. Ten SNPs with a minor allele frequency of 0.10 were covered by three tSNPs (rs1005510, rs11603020, rs2511989).

Results SERPING1 SNPs rs1005510 and rs2511989 were significantly associated with neovascular AMD in our cohort, with rs1005510 conferring an adverse risk effect (OR 1.49, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.88) and rs2511989 conferring a protective effect (OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.59 to 0.90). For both tSNPs, logistic regression of individual genotypes demonstrated statistically significant stepwise changes in the risk of developing AMD. Combined analysis of rs1005510 with variants in CFH and HTRA1 confirmed an independent risk effect. The rs11603020 variant had no effect on AMD susceptibility in this study (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.78 to 1.24).

Conclusions The SERPING1 gene is comprehensively investigated in this study (using three tSNPs), and its genetic variants are evaluated in the largest neovascular AMD cohort to date. The hypothesis that SERPING1 has a modest effect on the risk of neovascular AMD is supported by our results.

  • complement cascade
  • age-related macular degeneration
  • choroidal neovascularization
  • retina
  • macula
  • genetics
  • neovascularisation
  • degeneration

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  • Funding This work was supported by NIH grants T32RR023255 and UL1RR024992 to the Washington University School of Medicine (AYL), the Jahnigen Career Development Award from the American Geriatrics Society (MAB), the Carl M. & Mildred A. Reeves Foundation (MAB), NEI Core Grant 5 P30 EY02687 and a grant from Research to Prevent Blindness to the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University School of Medicine.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Human Research Protection Office, Washington University, in St Louis.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.