London: A new study has found the gene likely responsible for Fuchs corneal dystrophy, an inheritable genetic disorder and leading cause of corneal transplant operations.A 13-member research team led by University of Oregon scientist Dr. Albert O. Edwards performed a genome-wide analysis comparing patients with and without typical age-related Fuchs, finding an alteration in the transcription-factor-4 gene (TCF4). Fuchs -- pronounced FEWKS or FOOKS -- generally emerges in middle-aged, roughly age 40, and older people.
The study involved the genotyping of 280 Fuchs patients recruited in clinical settings in Minnesota and Michigan. These patients had at least Stage 1 signs of Fuchs or had received corneal replacements as a result of the disease. Their genomes were compared with 410 control patients.Three other genes previously had been linked to very rare subtypes of Fuchs. In addition, early onset Fuchs has been linked to mutations in yet another gene, COL8A2, but Edwards and colleagues suggest in their paper that this may be a different disease with a different cause.ANI
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