Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Quantile regression analysis reveals widespread evidence for gene-environment or gene-gene interactions in myopia development

Lookup NU author(s): Professor David SteelORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2019, The Author(s). A genetic contribution to refractive error has been confirmed by the discovery of more than 150 associated variants in genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Environmental factors such as education and time outdoors also demonstrate strong associations. Currently however, the extent of gene-environment or gene-gene interactions in myopia is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that refractive error-associated variants exhibit effect size heterogeneity, a hallmark feature of genetic interactions. Of 146 variants tested, evidence of non-uniform, non-linear effects were observed for 66 (45%) at Bonferroni-corrected significance (P < 1.1 × 10−4) and 128 (88%) at nominal significance (P < 0.05). LAMA2 variant rs12193446, for example, had an effect size varying from −0.20 diopters (95% CI −0.18 to −0.23) to −0.89 diopters (95% CI −0.71 to −1.07) in different individuals. SNP effects were strongest at the phenotype extremes and weaker in emmetropes. A parsimonious explanation for these findings is that gene-environment or gene-gene interactions in myopia are pervasive.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pozarickij A, Williams C, Hysi PG, UK Biobank Eye and Vision Consortium

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Communications Biology

Year: 2019

Volume: 2

Online publication date: 06/05/2019

Acceptance date: 15/03/2019

Date deposited: 02/09/2019

ISSN (electronic): 2399-3642

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/s42003-019-0387-5


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name