Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 45, Issue 5, pp 1349–1355 | Cite as

GLO1 gene polymorphisms and their association with retinitis pigmentosa: a case–control study in a Sicilian population

  • Luigi Donato
  • Concetta Scimone
  • Giacomo Nicocia
  • Lucia Denaro
  • Renato Robledo
  • Antonina SidotiEmail author
  • Rosalia D’Angelo
Original Article


Glyoxalase 1 (GLO1) is a ubiquitous cellular enzyme involved in detoxification of methylglyoxal (MGO), a cytotoxic byproduct of glycolysis, whose excess can cause oxidative stress. In retinitis pigmentosa (RP), the prevalent cause of blindness just during working life in the industrialized countries, oxidative stress represents one of the possible mechanisms leading to death of cones following that of rods in the retina. To date, the causes of secondary death of cones remain unclear and among proposed mechanisms are: the deprivation of trophic factors normally produced by healthy rods, a compromised uptake of nutrients to cones due to irreversible destruction of RPE-cone outer segment, microglial activation and following release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and rod-derived toxins. In present paper, role of oxidative stress due to an excess of MGO was evaluated. In particular, we wanted to determine whether single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in GLO1 influence enzyme activity, contributing to cone death in advanced RP. 120 healthy controls and 80 RP patients from Sicilian population were genotyped for three GLO1 common SNPs, rs1130534 (c.372A>T, p.G124G), rs2736654 (c.A332C, p.E111A) and rs1049346 (c.-7C>T, 5′-UTR). While c.A332C polymorphism was not associated with RP, c.372A>T showed an allelic association (T372 allele frequency = 70% vs 60% in controls, p = 0.0071). Conversely, c.-7C>T showed both genotypic (χ2 = 68.0952; p = 1.634e−15) and allelic associations (χ2 = 51.7094; p = 6.435e−13): mutated allele frequency was higher in controls than in patients, suggesting its possible protective role. RP susceptibility may be associated with two of the analyzed GLO1 polymorphisms (rs1130534 and rs1049346).


Glyoxalase 1 Oxidative damage Photoreceptor Retinitis pigmentosa SNP 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Informed consent

All subjects had given written informed consent prior to participation in the study.

Research involving human participants

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee of “Azienda Policlinico Universitario of Messina” and conformed to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemical, Biological, Pharmaceutical and Environmental SciencesUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Cutting-Edge Medicine and Therapies, Biomolecular Strategies and Neuroscience, Section of Neuroscience-Applied, Molecular Genetics and Predictive MedicineI.E.ME.S.T.PalermoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical and Dental Sciences and Morphofunctional Imaging, Division of Medical Biotechnologies and Preventive MedicineUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  4. 4.Department of Clinical and Experimental MedicineUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  5. 5.Department of Biomedical SciencesUniversity of CagliariMonserratoItaly

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