[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Single nucleotide polymorphisms in GSDMB and ORMDL3 are strongly associated with childhood asthma but the molecular alterations contributing to disease remain unknown. We investigated the effects of asthma-associated SNPs on DNA methylation and mRNA-levels of GSDMB and ORMDL3. Genetic association between GSDMB/ORMDL3 and physician-diagnosed childhood asthma was confirmed in the Swedish birth-cohort BAMSE. CpG-site SNPs (rs7216389 and rs4065275) showed differences in DNA methylation depending on carrier status of the risk alleles, and were significantly associated with methylation levels in two CpG sites in the 5'UTR of ORMDL3. In the Swedish Search study, we found significant differences in DNA methylation between asthmatics and controls in five CpG sites; after adjusting for lymphocyte and neutrophil cell counts, three remained significant: one in IKZF3 (cg16293631) and two in the CpG island of ORMDL3 (cg02305874 and cg16638648). Also, cg16293631 and cg02305874 correlated with mRNA levels of ORMDL3. The association of methylation and asthma was independent of the genotype in rs7216389, rs4065275 and rs12603332. Both SNPs and CpG sites showed significant associations with ORMDL3 mRNA levels. SNPs influenced expression independently of methylation and the residual association between methylation and expression was not mediated by these SNPs. We found a differentially methylated region in the CpG island shore of ORMDL3 with six CpG sites less methylated in CD8(+)T-cells. In summary, this study supports that there are differences in DNA methylation at this locus between asthmatics and controls; and both SNPs and CpG sites are independently associated with ORMDL3 expression.
Human Molecular Genetics 09/2014; · 6.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: DNA methylation is a hallmark of genomic imprinting and differentially methylated regions (DMRs) are found near and in imprinted genes. Imprinted genes are expressed only from the maternal or paternal allele and their normal balance can be disrupted by uniparental disomy (UPD), the inheritance of both chromosomes of a chromosome pair exclusively from only either the mother or the father. Maternal UPD for chromosome 7 (matUPD7) results in Silver-Russell syndrome (SRS) with typical features and growth retardation, but no gene has been conclusively implicated in SRS. In order to identify novel DMRs and putative imprinted genes on chromosome 7, we analyzed eight matUPD7 patients, a segmental matUPD7q31-qter, a rare patUPD7 case and ten controls on the Infinium HumanMethylation450K BeadChip with 30,017 CpG methylation probes for chromosome 7. Genome-scale analysis showed highly significant clustering of DMRs only on chromosome 7, including the known imprinted loci GRB10, SGCE/PEG10, and PEG/MEST. We found ten novel DMRs on chromosome 7, two DMRs for the predicted imprinted genes HOXA4 and GLI3 and one for the disputed imprinted gene PON1. Quantitative RT-PCR on blood RNA samples comparing matUPD7, patUPD7, and controls showed differential expression for three genes with novel DMRs, HOXA4, GLI3, and SVOPL. Allele specific expression analysis confirmed maternal only expression of SVOPL and imprinting of HOXA4 was supported by monoallelic expression. These results present the first comprehensive map of parent-of-origin specific DMRs on human chromosome 7, suggesting many new imprinted sites.
Epigenetics: official journal of the DNA Methylation Society 11/2013; 9(3). · 5.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Problematic severe childhood asthma includes a subgroup of patients who are resistant to therapy. The specific mechanisms involved are unknown, and novel biomarkers are required to facilitate treatment and diagnosis of therapy-resistant asthma. The chitinase-like protein YKL-40 has been related to asthma and airway remodeling. OBJECTIVES: To compare serum YKL-40 levels in children with severe, therapy-resistant asthma (n = 34), children with controlled persistent asthma (n = 39), and healthy controls (n = 27), and to investigate correlations with biomarkers of inflammation and airway remodeling. METHODS: The study protocol included questionnaires, measurement of exhaled nitric oxide in exhaled air, blood sampling for inflammatory biomarkers, and high-resolution computed tomography of the lungs to identify bronchial wall thickening (therapy-resistant only). Serum YKL-40 levels were measured by ELISA, and all asthmatic children were genotyped for a CHI3L1 promoter single nucleotide polymorphism (rs4950928). RESULTS: Serum YKL-40 levels were significantly higher in children with therapy-resistant asthma than in healthy children (19.2 ng/mL vs 13.8 ng/mL, P = .03). Among children with severe, therapy-resistant asthma, YKL-40 levels correlated with fraction of exhaled nitric oxide in exhaled air (r = 0.48, P = .004), blood neutrophils (r = 0.63, P < .001), and bronchial wall thickening on high-resolution computed tomography (r = 0.45, P = .01). Following adjustment for CHI3L1 genotype, significantly greater levels of YKL-40 were found in children with therapy-resistant asthma than in children with controlled asthma. CONCLUSIONS: YKL-40 levels are increased in children with severe, therapy-resistant asthma compared to healthy children, and also compared to children with controlled asthma following correction for genotype.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 04/2013; · 12.05 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Asthma and allergy are complex disorders influenced by both inheritance and environment, a relationship that might be further clarified by epigenetics. Neuropeptide S Receptor 1 (NPSR1) has been associated with asthma and allergy and a study suggested modulation of the genetic risk by environmental factors. We aimed to study DNA methylation in the promoter region of NPSR1 in relation to asthma and environmental exposures. Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay (EMSA) was used to investigate potential functional roles of both genotypes and methylation status in the NPSR1 promoter. DNA methylation was analysed using EpiTYPER in blood samples from two well-characterized cohorts; the BIOAIR study of severe asthma in adults and the Swedish birth cohort BAMSE. We observed that DNA methylation and genetic variants in the promoter influenced the binding of nuclear proteins to DNA, suggesting functional relevance. Significant, although small, differences in methylation were related to both adult severe asthma (p = 0.0001) and childhood allergic asthma (p = 0.01). Furthermore, DNA methylation was associated with exposures such as current smoking in adults for two CpG sites (p = 0.005 and 0.04), parental smoking during infancy in the children (p = 0.02) and in which month the sample was taken (p = 0.01). In summary, DNA methylation levels in the promoter of NPSR1 showed small but significant associations with asthma, both in adults and in children, and to related traits such as allergy and certain environmental exposures. Both genetic variation and the methylated state of CpG sites seem to have an effect on the binding of nuclear proteins in the regulatory region of NPSR1 suggesting complex regulation of this gene in asthma and allergy.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e53877. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epigenetic mechanisms integrate genetic and environmental causes of disease, but comprehensive genome-wide analyses of epigenetic modifications have not yet demonstrated robust association with common diseases. Using Illumina HumanMethylation450 arrays on 354 anti-citrullinated protein antibody-associated rheumatoid arthritis cases and 337 controls, we identified two clusters within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) region whose differential methylation potentially mediates genetic risk for rheumatoid arthritis. To reduce confounding factors that have hampered previous epigenome-wide studies, we corrected for cellular heterogeneity by estimating and adjusting for cell-type proportions in our blood-derived DNA samples and used mediation analysis to filter out associations likely to be a consequence of disease. Four CpGs also showed an association between genotype and variance of methylation. The associations for both clusters replicated at least one CpG (P < 0.01), with the rest showing suggestive association, in monocyte cell fractions in an independent cohort of 12 cases and 12 controls. Thus, DNA methylation is a potential mediator of genetic risk.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methylation of cytosines at CpG sites is a common epigenetic DNA modification that can be measured by a large number of methods, now even in a genome-wide manner for hundreds of thousands of sites. The application of DNA methylation analysis is becoming widely popular in complex disorders, for example, to understand part of the ''missing heritability''. The DNA samples most readily available for methylation studies are derived from whole blood. However, blood consists of many functionally and developmentally distinct cell populations in varying proportions. We studied whether such variation might affect the interpretation of methylation studies based on whole blood DNA. We found in healthy male blood donors there is important variation in the methylation profiles of whole blood, mononuclear cells, granulocytes, and cells from seven selected purified lineages. CpG methylation between mononuclear cells and granulocytes differed for 22% of the 8252 probes covering the selected 343 genes implicated in immune-related disorders by genome-wide association studies, and at least one probe was differentially methylated for 85% of the genes, indicating that whole blood methylation results might be unintelligible. For individual genes, even if the overall methylation patterns might appear similar, a few CpG sites in the regulatory regions may have opposite methylation patterns (i.e., hypo/hyper) in the main blood cell types. We conclude that interpretation of whole blood methylation profiles should be performed with great caution and for any differences implicated in a disorder, the differences resulting from varying proportions of white blood cell types should be considered.
PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(7):e41361. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epigenetic regulation has been suggested to be a link between environmental intrauterine exposures and development of asthma and allergy. The placenta is an essential part of the intrauterine environment. We have previously found the innate immune receptor CD14 to be differentially expressed on the mRNA level in placentas in relation to lifestyle and parental allergen sensitization. We here hypothesized that the promoter region of CD14 may be subject to differential DNA methylation and therefore a link between intrauterine exposure and mRNA expression.
Ninety-four placentas from the ALADDIN (Assessment of Lifestyle and Allergic Disease During Infancy) study were investigated. We used methylation-sensitive high-resolution melting (MS-HRM) analysis to semi-quantitatively analyze the DNA methylation of the promoter region of CD14 in 36 placentas known to have different CD14 mRNA expression. EpiTYPER was used to validate the MS-HRM data and to analyze an additional 58 placentas selected on mothers living on a farm or not.
MS-HRM analysis on 36 placenta samples revealed a relation between methylation of the CD14 promoter region with the level of CD14 mRNA expression. The MS-HRM and EpiTYPER data correlated highly significantly. EpiTYPER analysis of the additional 58 placentas demonstrated that DNA methylation in the CD14 promoter was significantly lower in placentas of mothers living on a farm compared with mothers not living on a farm.
Our data suggest that epigenetic regulation of CD14 in placenta might be involved in the protective effect of 'living on a farm', with regard to allergy development.