Myopia is the commonest eye disorder in the world. High myopes are predisposed to ocular pathologies. The vasoactive intestinal peptide receptor 2 (VIPR2) gene was identified as a myopia susceptibility locus by our group and another group. We continued to fine-map this locus. A case-control study was performed in 4 sequential stages with a total of 941 highly myopic subjects and 846 control subjects, all unrelated Chinese. Stage 1 experimentally genotyped 64.4% of the entire cohort for 152 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and Stage 2 the remaining subjects for 21 SNPs. Stage 3 combined the genotypes for 21 SNPs for the entire cohort, and identified one group of high-risk haplotypes and one group of protective haplotypes significantly associated with high myopia. Stage 4 imputed genotypes for variants in the VIPR2 region and identified two independent groups of variants: one group with high-risk minor alleles and another with protective minor alleles. Variants within each group were generally in strong linkage disequilibrium among themselves while high-risk variants were in linkage equilibrium with protective variants. Therefore, the VIPR2 locus seems to contain variants with opposite effects. This is the first study that has examined the genetic architecture of a myopia susceptibility locus in detail.
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