The genetics of primary congenital glaucoma

Richard A. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to specialist publication or newspaperArticle


One of the objectives of the molecular biological study of glaucoma is to establish how the disease develops as a result of the production of aberrant gene products. Many of the genes associated with glaucoma code for proteins which are likely to be directly or indirectly involved in the development and/or function of cells within the trabecular meshwork. The identification of specific defects in these genes is likely to lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in PCG and glaucoma in general and to the development of alternative therapies to surgery. The CYP1B1 gene in particular, which is a linked to congenital glaucoma, and is expressed in the trabecular meshwork, codes for a member of the cytochrome P450 group of proteins. These iron binding proteins constitute a family of enzymes involved in the processes of xenobiotic metabolism, growth, and development. The discovery of the CYP1B1 gene in PCG emphases the importance of abnormalities in the molecular structure of proteins expressed in cells of the trabecular network as a cause of PCG. The identification of specific genetic defects leads to the possibility of more widespread screening for PCG especially in affected families and hence, the possibility of the identification of asymptomatic carriers of the disease. Early identification of 'at risk' parents may then enable earlier detection of PCG and intervention in the infant.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Specialist publicationOptometry Today
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • glaucoma
  • aberrant gene products
  • glaucoma code for proteins
  • trabecular meshwork
  • alternative therapies
  • congenital glaucoma


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