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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

UAB-Led Team Assesses Association of DNA Methylation with Metabolic Syndrome in GOLDN

Dr. Ryan Irvin, assistant professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in collaboration with Dr. Mithun Das, former visiting scientist at UAB (from the department of anthropology at Sree Chaitanya College, Habra in West Bengal, India), recently led an epigenome-wide association study of metabolic syndrome (MetS), using data from 846 participants of European descent in the Genetics of Lipid Lowering Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN). UAB co-investigators are department colleagues Mr. Jin Sha, statistician; Dr. Bertha Hidalgo, assistant professor; Dr. Stella Aslibekyan, assistant professor; and Ms. Anh N. Do; as well as Dr. Degui Zhi, associate professor, and Dr. Hemant K. Tiwari, professor, in the department of biostatistics. Dr. Donna K. Arnett, former chair and professor in UAB’s department of epidemiology and current dean of the University of Kentucky’s School of Public Health, also contributed to the study.

[Photo: Dr. Ryan Irvin]

“DNA was isolated from CD4+ T cells and methylation at ~470,000 cytosine-phosphate-guanine dinucleotide (CpG) pairs was assayed using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. We modeled the percentage methylation at individual CpGs as a function of MetS using linear mixed models. A Bonferroni-corrected P-value of 1.1 x 10−7was considered significant. Methylation at two CpG sites in CPT1A on chromosome 11 was significantly associated with MetS (P for cg00574958 = 2.6×10-14 and P for cg17058475 = 1.2×10-9),” note Drs. Irvin and Das. Additionally, substantial links were made between participants of European and African ancestry in the on-going Bogalusa Heart Study, which is one of the longest-running studies of a biracial, semi-rural community in the U.S. South.

Findings indicate that methylation in CPT1A is a promising epigenetic marker for MetS risk, which could prove to be a future treatment target.

“Association of DNA Methylation at CPT1A Locus with Metabolic Syndrome in the Genetics of Lipid Lowery Drugs and Diet Network (GOLDN) Study” was published in January in PloS One.

Journal article: