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Sci Transl Med. 2010 Sep 15;2(49):49ra67. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3001262.

Personalized epigenomic signatures that are stable over time and covary with body mass index.

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  • 1Center for Epigenetics, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. afeinberg@jhu.edu

Erratum in

  • Sci Transl Med. 2011 Jan 12;3(65):65er1.

Abstract

The epigenome consists of non-sequence-based modifications, such as DNA methylation, that are heritable during cell division and that may affect normal phenotypes and predisposition to disease. Here, we have performed an unbiased genome-scale analysis of ~4 million CpG sites in 74 individuals with comprehensive array-based relative methylation (CHARM) analysis. We found 227 regions that showed extreme interindividual variability [variably methylated regions (VMRs)] across the genome, which are enriched for developmental genes based on Gene Ontology analysis. Furthermore, half of these VMRs were stable within individuals over an average of 11 years, and these VMRs defined a personalized epigenomic signature. Four of these VMRs showed covariation with body mass index consistently at two study visits and were located in or near genes previously implicated in regulating body weight or diabetes. This work suggests an epigenetic strategy for identifying patients at risk of common disease.

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PMID:
20844285
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3137242
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