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PLoS One. 2013 May 17;8(5):e63812. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063812. Print 2013.

Tobacco smoking leads to extensive genome-wide changes in DNA methylation.

Author information

1
Research Unit of Molecular Epidemiology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany.

Abstract

Environmental factors such as tobacco smoking may have long-lasting effects on DNA methylation patterns, which might lead to changes in gene expression and in a broader context to the development or progression of various diseases. We conducted an epigenome-wide association study (EWAs) comparing current, former and never smokers from 1793 participants of the population-based KORA F4 panel, with replication in 479 participants from the KORA F3 panel, carried out by the 450K BeadChip with genomic DNA obtained from whole blood. We observed wide-spread differences in the degree of site-specific methylation (with p-values ranging from 9.31E-08 to 2.54E-182) as a function of tobacco smoking in each of the 22 autosomes, with the percent of variance explained by smoking ranging from 1.31 to 41.02. Depending on cessation time and pack-years, methylation levels in former smokers were found to be close to the ones seen in never smokers. In addition, methylation-specific protein binding patterns were observed for cg05575921 within AHRR, which had the highest level of detectable changes in DNA methylation associated with tobacco smoking (-24.40% methylation; p = 2.54E-182), suggesting a regulatory role for gene expression. The results of our study confirm the broad effect of tobacco smoking on the human organism, but also show that quitting tobacco smoking presumably allows regaining the DNA methylation state of never smokers.

PMID:
23691101
PMCID:
PMC3656907
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0063812
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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