Age-related macular degeneration is associated with an unstable ARMS2 (LOC387715) mRNA

L G Fritsche, T Loenhardt, A Janssen, S A Fisher, A Rivera, C N Keilhauer, B H F Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

340 Citations (Scopus)


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a prevalent multifactorial disorder of the central retina(1-3). Genetic variants at two chromosomal loci, 1q31 and 10q26, confer major disease risks, together accounting for more than 50% of AMD pathology(4-9). Signals at 10q26 center over two nearby genes, ARMS2 (age-related maculopathy susceptibility 2, also known as LOC387715)(8,9) and HTRA1 (high-temperature requirement factor A1)(10,11), suggesting two equally probable candidates. Here we show that a deletion-insertion polymorphism in ARMS2 (NM_001099667.1: c.*372_815del443ins54) is strongly associated with AMD, directly affecting the transcript by removing the polyadenylation signal and inserting a 54-bp element known to mediate rapid mRNA turnover. As a consequence, expression of ARMS2 in homozygous carriers of the indel variant is not detectable. Confirming previous findings(12), we demonstrate a mitochondrial association of the normal protein and further define its retinal localization to the ellipsoid region of the photoreceptors. Our data suggest that ARMS2 has a key role in AMD, possibly through mitochondria-related pathways
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)892 - 896
Number of pages5
JournalNature Genetics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


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