Article

Neonatal DNA methylation profile in human twins is specified by a complex interplay between intrauterine environmental and genetic factors, subject to tissue-specific influence.

Bioinformatics Unit, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia.
Genome Research (Impact Factor: 13.85). 07/2012; 22(8):1395-406. DOI: 10.1101/gr.136598.111
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Comparison between groups of monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins enables an estimation of the relative contribution of genetic and shared and nonshared environmental factors to phenotypic variability. Using DNA methylation profiling of ∼20,000 CpG sites as a phenotype, we have examined discordance levels in three neonatal tissues from 22 MZ and 12 DZ twin pairs. MZ twins exhibit a wide range of within-pair differences at birth, but show discordance levels generally lower than DZ pairs. Within-pair methylation discordance was lowest in CpG islands in all twins and increased as a function of distance from islands. Variance component decomposition analysis of DNA methylation in MZ and DZ pairs revealed a low mean heritability across all tissues, although a wide range of heritabilities was detected for specific genomic CpG sites. The largest component of variation was attributed to the combined effects of nonshared intrauterine environment and stochastic factors. Regression analysis of methylation on birth weight revealed a general association between methylation of genes involved in metabolism and biosynthesis, providing further support for epigenetic change in the previously described link between low birth weight and increasing risk for cardiovascular, metabolic, and other complex diseases. Finally, comparison of our data with that of several older twins revealed little evidence for genome-wide epigenetic drift with increasing age. This is the first study to analyze DNA methylation on a genome scale in twins at birth, further highlighting the importance of the intrauterine environment on shaping the neonatal epigenome.

1 Follower
 · 
223 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: As a complex trait, loneliness is likely to be influenced by the interplay of numerous genetic and environmental factors. Studies in behavioral genetics indicate that loneliness has a sizable degree of heritability. Candidate-gene and gene-expression studies have pointed to several genes related to neurotransmitters and the immune system. The notion that these genes are related to loneliness is compatible with the basic tenets of the evolutionary theory of loneliness. Research on gene-environment interactions indicates that social-environmental factors (e.g., low social support) may have a more pronounced effect and lead to higher levels of loneliness if individuals carry the sensitive variant of these candidate genes. Currently, there is no extant research on loneliness based on genome-wide association studies, gene-environment-interaction studies, or studies in epigenetics. Such studies would allow researchers to identify networks of genes that contribute to loneliness. The contribution of genetics to loneliness research will become stronger when genome-wide genetics and epigenetics are integrated and used along with well-established methods in psychology to analyze the complex process of gene-environment interplay. © The Author(s) 2015.
    Perspectives on Psychological Science 03/2015; 10(2):213-226. DOI:10.1177/1745691614564878 · 4.89 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Abstract Fetal growth is determined by the feto-placental genome interacting with the maternal in utero environment. Failure of this interplay leads to poor placental development and fetal growth restriction (FGR), which is associated with future metabolic disease. We investigated whether whole genome methylation differences existed in umbilical cord blood and placenta, between gestational-matched, FGR and appropriately grown (AGA) neonates. Using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip®, we found that DNA from umbilical cord blood of FGR born at term (n = 19) had 839 differentially methylated positions (DMPs) that reached genome-wide significance compared with AGA (n = 18). Using gestational age as a continuous variable, we identified 76,249 DMPs in cord blood (adj. P < 0.05) of which 121 DMPs were common to the 839 DMPs and were still evident when comparing 12 FGR with 12 AGA [39.9 ± 1.2 vs. 40.0 ± 1.0 weeks (mean ± SD), respectively]. A total of 53 DMPs had a beta methylation difference >10% and 25 genes were co-methylated more than twice within 1000 base pairs. Gene Ontology (GO) analysis of DMPs supported their involvement in gene regulation and transcription pathways related to organ development and metabolic function. A similar profile of DMPs was found across different cell types in the cord blood. At term, no DMPs between FGR and AGA placentae reached genome-wide significance, validated with an external dataset. GO analysis of 284 pre-term, placental DMPs associated with autophagy, oxidative stress and hormonal responses. Growth restricted neonates have distinct DNA methylation profiles in pre-term placenta and in cord blood at birth, which may predispose to future adult disease.
    Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 12/2014; DOI:10.4161/15592294.2014.989741 · 5.11 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation play a key role in gene regulation and disease susceptibility. However, little is known about the genome-wide frequency, localization, and function of methylation variation and how it is regulated by genetic and environ-mental factors. We utilized the Multiple Tissue Human Expression Resource (MuTHER) and generated Illumina 450K adipose methylome data from 648 twins. We found that individual CpGs had low variance and that variability was suppressed in promoters. We noted that DNA methylation variation was highly heritable (h 2 median ¼ 0.34) and that shared environmental effects correlated with metabolic phenotype-associated CpGs. Analysis of methylation quantitative-trait loci (metQTL) revealed that 28% of CpGs were associated with nearby SNPs, and when overlapping them with adipose expression quantitative-trait loci (eQTL) from the same individuals, we found that 6% of the loci played a role in regulating both gene expression and DNA methylation. These associations were bidirectional, but there were pronounced negative associations for promoter CpGs. Integration of metQTL with adipose reference epigenomes and disease associations revealed significant enrichment of metQTL overlapping metabolic-trait or disease loci in enhancers (the strongest effects were for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and body mass index [BMI]). We followed up with the BMI SNP rs713586, a cg01884057 metQTL that overlaps an enhancer upstream of ADCY3, and used bisulphite sequencing to refine this region. Our results showed widespread population invariability yet sequence dependence on adipose DNA methylation but that incorporating maps of reg-ulatory elements aid in linking CpG variation to gene regulation and disease risk in a tissue-dependent manner.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 11/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.10.004 · 10.99 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Download
31 Downloads
Available from
May 22, 2014