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Genomics and anterior segment dysgenesis: a review


  • Competing/conflicts of interest: No stated conflict of interest.
  • Funding sources: Y.A.I. is supported by the Sir Frederick Banting and Dr. Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship provided by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.


Anterior segment dysgenesis refers to a spectrum of disorders affecting structures in the anterior segment of the eye including the iris, cornea and trabecular meshwork. Approximately 50% of patients with anterior segment dysgenesis develop glaucoma. Traditional genetic methods using linkage analysis and family-based studies have identified numerous disease-causing genes such as PAX6, FOXC1 and PITX2. Despite these advances, phenotypic and genotypic heterogeneity pose continuing challenges to understand the mechanisms underlying the complexity of anterior segment dysgenesis disorders. Genomic methods, such as genome-wide association studies, are potentially an effective tool to understand anterior segment dysgenesis and the individual susceptibility to the development of glaucoma. In this review, we provide the rationale, as well as the challenges, to utilizing genomic methods to examine anterior segment dysgenesis disorders.