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Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 5;8(1):14862. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-33238-9.

Genome-wide methylation analysis identifies ELOVL5 as an epigenetic biomarker for the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Author information

1
Center for Genome Science, National Institute of Health, Osong Health Technology Administration Complex, Chungcheongbuk-do, Republic of Korea.
2
Center for Biomedical Science, National Institute of Health, Osong Health Technology Administration Complex, Chungcheonbuk-do, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Twin Research & Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, London, SE1 7EH, UK.
4
Center for Biomedical Science, National Institute of Health, Osong Health Technology Administration Complex, Chungcheonbuk-do, Republic of Korea. hyejalee@yahoo.co.kr.
5
Center for Genome Science, National Institute of Health, Osong Health Technology Administration Complex, Chungcheongbuk-do, Republic of Korea. kbj6181@cdc.go.kr.

Abstract

Genome-wide DNA methylation has been implicated in complex human diseases. Here, we identified epigenetic biomarkers for type 2 diabetes (T2D) underlying obesogenic environments. In a blood-based DNA methylation analysis of 11 monozygotic twins (MZTW) discordant for T2D, we discovered genetically independent candidate methylation sites. In a follow-up replication study (17 MZTW pairs) for external validation, we replicated the T2D-association at a novel CpG signal in the ELOVL fatty acid elongase 5 (ELOVL5) gene specific to T2D-discordant MZTW. For concordant DNA methylation signatures in tissues, we further confirmed that a CpG site (cg18681426) was associated with adipogenic differentiation between human preadipocytes and adipocytes isolated from the same biopsy sample. In addition, the ELOVL5 gene was significantly differentially expressed in adipose tissues from unrelated T2D patients and in human pancreatic islets. Our results demonstrate that blood-derived DNA methylation is associated with T2D risk as a proxy for cumulative epigenetic status in human adipose and pancreatic tissues. Moreover, ELOVL5 expression was increased in cellular and mouse models of induced obesity-related diabetes. These findings may provide new insights into epigenetic architecture by uncovering methylation-based biomarkers.

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