Abstract P098: An Epigenome-wide Study of Obesity in African American Youth and Young Adults: Novel Findings, Replication in Neutrophils and Relationship With Gene Expression
Background: Several large-scale epigenome wide association studies on obesity-related DNA methylation changes have been published and in total identified 46 CpG sites. These studies were conducted in middle-aged and older adults of Caucasians and African Americans (AAs) using leukocytes. To what extend these signals are independent of cell compositions as well as to what extend they may influence gene expression have not been systematically investigated. Furthermore, the high prevalence of obesity comorbidities in middle-aged or older population may hide or bias obesity itself related DNA methylation changes.
Methods: In this study of healthy AA youth and young adults, genome wide DNA methylation data from leukocytes were obtained from three independent studies: EpiGO study (96 obese cases vs. 92 lean controls, aged 14-21, 50% females, test of interest is obesity status), LACHY study (284 participants from general population, aged 14-18, 50% females, test of interest is BMI), and Georgia Stress and Heart study (298 participants from general population, aged 18-38, 52% females, test of interest is BMI) using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. Genome wide DNA methylation data from purified neutrophils as well as genome wide gene expression data from leukocytes using Illumina HT12 V4 array were also obtained for the EpiGO samples.
Results: The meta-analysis on the 3 cohorts identified 76 obesity related CpG sites in leukocytes with p<1х10-7. Out of the 46 previously identified CpG sites, 36 can be replicated in this AA youth and young adult sample with same direction and p<0.05. Out of the 107 CpG sites including the 36 replicated ones and the 71 newly identified ones, 71 CpG sites (66%) had their relationship with obesity replicated in purified neutrophils (p<0.05). The analysis on the cis regulation of the 107 CpG sites on gene expression showed that 59 CpG sites had at least one gene within 250kb having expression difference between obese cases and lean controls. Furthermore, out of the 59 CpG sites, 6 showed significantly negative correlations and 1 showed significantly positive correlation with the differentially expressed genes. These CpG sites located in SOCS3, CISH, ABCG1, PIM3 and PTGDS genes.
Conclusion: In this study of AA youth and young adults, we identified novel CpG sites associated with obesity and replicated majority of the CpG sites previously identified in middle-aged and older adults. For the first time, we showed that majority of the obesity related CpG sites identified from leukocytes are not driven by cell compositions and provided the direct link between DNA methylation-gene expression-obesity status for 7 CpG sites in 5 genes.
Author Disclosures: X. Wang: None. Y. Pan: None. H. Zhu: None. G. Hao: None. X. Wang:None. Y. Huang: None. G. Harshfield: None. V. Barnes: None. H. Shi: None. S. Su: None.
- © 2017 by American Heart Association, Inc.