Alteration of Gene Expression, DNA Methylation, and Histone Methylation in Free Radical Scavenging Networks in Adult Mouse Hippocampus following Fetal Alcohol Exposure.
ABSTRACT: The molecular basis of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) is poorly understood; however, epigenetic and gene expression changes have been implicated. We have developed a mouse model of FASD characterized by learning and memory impairment and persistent gene expression changes. Epigenetic marks may maintain expression changes over a mouse's lifetime, an area few have explored. Here, mice were injected with saline or ethanol on postnatal days four and seven. At 70 days of age gene expression microarray, methylated DNA immunoprecipitation microarray, H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 chromatin immunoprecipitation microarray were performed. Following extensive pathway analysis of the affected genes, we identified the top affected gene expression pathway as "Free radical scavenging". We confirmed six of these changes by droplet digital PCR including the caspase Casp3 and Wnt transcription factor Tcf7l2. The top pathway for all methylation-affected genes was "Peroxisome biogenesis"; we confirmed differential DNA methylation in the Acca1 thiolase promoter. Altered methylation and gene expression in oxidative stress pathways in the adult hippocampus suggests a novel interface between epigenetic and oxidative stress mechanisms in FASD.
Project description:Alcohol exposure during development can cause variable neurofacial deficit and growth retardation known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD). The mechanism underlying FASD is not fully understood. However, alcohol, which is known to affect methyl donor metabolism, may induce aberrant epigenetic changes contributing to FASD. Using a tightly controlled whole-embryo culture, we investigated the effect of alcohol exposure (88mM) at early embryonic neurulation on genome-wide DNA methylation and gene expression in the C57BL/6 mouse. The DNA methylation landscape around promoter CpG islands at early mouse development was analyzed using MeDIP (methylated DNA immunoprecipitation) coupled with microarray (MeDIP-chip). At early neurulation, genes associated with high CpG promoters (HCP) had a lower ratio of methylation but a greater ratio of expression. Alcohol-induced alterations in DNA methylation were observed, particularly in genes on chromosomes 7, 10, and X; remarkably, a >10 fold increase in the number of genes with increased methylation on chromosomes 10 and X was observed in alcohol-exposed embryos with a neural tube defect phenotype compared to embryos without a neural tube defect. Significant changes in methylation were seen in imprinted genes, genes known to play roles in cell cycle, growth, apoptosis, cancer, and in a large number of genes associated with olfaction. Altered methylation was associated with significant (p<0.01) changes in expression for 84 genes. Sequenom EpiTYPER DNA methylation analysis was used for validation of the MeDIP-chip data. Increased methylation of genes known to play a role in metabolism (Cyp4f13) and decreased methylation of genes associated with development (Nlgn3, Elavl2, Sox21 and Sim1), imprinting (Igf2r) and chromatin (Hist1h3d) was confirmed. In a mouse model for FASD, we show for the first time that alcohol exposure during early neurulation can induce aberrant changes in DNA methylation patterns with associated changes in gene expression, which together may contribute to the observed abnormal fetal development.
Project description:Fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) is characterized by developmental and behavioral deficits caused by maternal drinking during pregnancy. Children born with FASD often face additional stresses, including maternal separation, that add yet additional deficits. The mechanism associated with this interaction is not known. We have used a mouse model for prenatal ethanol exposure and maternal separation to demonstrate that the combination of the two treatments results in more than additive deficits. Furthermore, the behavioral deficits are associated with changes in hippocampal gene expression that persist into adulthood. What initiates and maintains these changes remains to be established and forms the focus of this report. Specifically, MeDIP-Seq was used to assess if changes in promoter DNA methylation are affected by exposure to prenatal ethanol and maternal separation including its relationship to gene expression. The novel results show that different sets of genes implicated by promoter DNA methylation are affected by both treatments independently, and a relatively unique set of genes are affected by the combination of the two treatments. Prenatal ethanol exposure leads to altered promoter DNA methylation at genes important for transcriptional regulation. Maternal separation leads to changes at genes important for histone methylation and immune response, and the combination of two treatments results in DNA methylation changes at genes important for neuronal migration and immune response. Our dual results from the same hippocampal samples suggest there is minimal complementarity between changes in promoter DNA methylation and gene expression, although genes involved tend to be critical for brain development and function. While remaining to be validated, such results argue that mechanisms beyond promoter DNA methylation must be involved in lasting gene expression alterations leading to behavioral deficits implicated in FASD. They may facilitate early and reliable diagnosis, as well as novel strategies for the amelioration of FASD-related deficits.
Project description:Prenatal alcohol exposure is the leading preventable cause of behavioral and cognitive deficits, which may affect between 2 and 5 % of children in North America. While the underlying mechanisms of alcohol's effects on development remain relatively unknown, emerging evidence implicates epigenetic mechanisms in mediating the range of symptoms observed in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). Thus, we investigated the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on genome-wide DNA methylation in the NeuroDevNet FASD cohort, the largest cohort of human FASD samples to date.Genome-wide DNA methylation patterns of buccal epithelial cells (BECs) were analyzed using the Illumina HumanMethylation450 array in a Canadian cohort of 206 children (110 FASD and 96 controls). Genotyping was performed in parallel using the Infinium HumanOmni2.5-Quad v1.0 BeadChip.After correcting for the effects of genetic background, we found 658 significantly differentially methylated sites between FASD cases and controls, with 41 displaying differences in percent methylation change >5 %. Furthermore, 101 differentially methylated regions containing two or more CpGs were also identified, overlapping with 95 different genes. The majority of differentially methylated genes were highly expressed at the level of mRNA in brain samples from the Allen Brain Atlas, and independent DNA methylation data from cortical brain samples showed high correlations with BEC DNA methylation patterns. Finally, overrepresentation analysis of genes with up-methylated CpGs revealed a significant enrichment for neurodevelopmental processes and diseases, such as anxiety, epilepsy, and autism spectrum disorders.These findings suggested that prenatal alcohol exposure is associated with distinct DNA methylation patterns in children and adolescents, raising the possibility of an epigenetic biomarker of FASD.
Project description:Mechanisms underlying the development of virus-induced asthma exacerbations remain unclear. To investigate if epigenetic mechanisms could be involved in virus-induced asthma exacerbations, we undertook DNA methylation profiling in asthmatic and healthy nasal epithelial cells (NECs) during Human Rhinovirus (HRV) infection in vitro.Global and loci-specific methylation profiles were determined via Alu element and Infinium Human Methylation 450 K microarray, respectively. Principal components analysis identified the genomic loci influenced the most by disease-status and infection. Real-time PCR and pyrosequencing were used to confirm gene expression and DNA methylation, respectively.HRV infection significantly increased global DNA methylation in cells from asthmatic subjects only (43.6% to 44.1%, p?=?0.04). Microarray analysis revealed 389 differentially methylated loci either based on disease status, or caused by virus infection. There were disease-associated DNA methylation patterns that were not affected by HRV infection as well as HRV-induced DNA methylation changes that were unique to each group. A common methylation locus stood out in response to HRV infection in both groups, where the small nucleolar RNA, H/ACA box 12 (SNORA12) is located. Further analysis indicated that a relationship existed between SNORA12 DNA methylation and gene expression in response to HRV infection.We describe for the first time that Human rhinovirus infection causes DNA methylation changes in airway epithelial cells that differ between asthmatic and healthy subjects. These epigenetic differences may possibly explain the mechanism by which respiratory viruses cause asthma exacerbations.
Project description:Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, or FASD, represent a range of adverse developmental conditions caused by prenatal ethanol exposure (PrEE) from maternal consumption of alcohol. PrEE induces neurobiological damage in the developing brain leading to cognitive-perceptual and behavioral deficits in the offspring. Alcohol-mediated alterations to epigenetic function may underlie PrEE-related brain dysfunction, with these changes potentially carried across generations to unexposed offspring. To determine the transgenerational impact of PrEE on neocortical development, we generated a mouse model of FASD and identified numerous stable phenotypes transmitted via the male germline to the unexposed third generation. These include alterations in ectopic intraneocortical connectivity, upregulation of neocortical Rzr? and Id2 expression accompanied by both promoter hypomethylation of these genes and decreased global DNA methylation levels. DNMT expression was also suppressed in newborn PrEE cortex, providing further insight into how ethanol perturbs DNA methylation leading to altered regulation of gene transcription. These PrEE-induced, transgenerational phenotypes may be responsible for cognitive, sensorimotor, and behavioral deficits seen in humans with FASD. Thus, understanding the possible epigenetic mechanisms by which these phenotypes are generated may reveal novel targets for therapeutic intervention of FASD and lead to advances in human health.
Project description:Genetic and epigenetic changes contribute to deregulation of gene expression and development of human cancer. Changes in DNA methylation are key epigenetic factors regulating gene expression and genomic stability. Recent progress in microarray technologies resulted in developments of high resolution platforms for profiling of genetic, epigenetic and gene expression changes. OS is a pediatric bone tumor with characteristically high level of numerical and structural chromosomal changes. Furthermore, little is known about DNA methylation changes in OS. Our objective was to develop an integrative approach for analysis of high-resolution epigenomic, genomic, and gene expression profiles in order to identify functional epi/genomic differences between OS cell lines and normal human osteoblasts. A combination of Affymetrix Promoter Tilling Arrays for DNA methylation, Agilent array-CGH platform for genomic imbalance and Affymetrix Gene 1.0 platform for gene expression analysis was used. As a result, an integrative high-resolution approach for interrogation of genome-wide tumour-specific changes in DNA methylation was developed. This approach was used to provide the first genomic DNA methylation maps, and to identify and validate genes with aberrant DNA methylation in OS cell lines. This first integrative analysis of global cancer-related changes in DNA methylation, genomic imbalance, and gene expression has provided comprehensive evidence of the cumulative roles of epigenetic and genetic mechanisms in deregulation of gene expression networks.
Project description:B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a heterogeneous malignancy that clinically ranges from indolent to rapidly progressive. CLL, like other cancers, can be affected by epigenetic alterations.A microarray discovery-based study was initiated to determine DNA methylation in CLL cases with a range of CD38 expression (1–92%).Many loci were either methylated or unmethylated across all CD38 levels, but differential methylation was also observed for some genes. Genomic sequencing of DLEU7 confirmed extensive cytosine methylation preferentially in patient samples with low CD38 expression, whereas NRP2, SFRP2 and ADAM12 were more commonly methylated in those with high CD38 expression.This study demonstrates that CLL is affected by CpG island methylation in some genes that segregate with CD38 expression levels, while most others show similar methylation patterns across all levels. The CpG island methylation in certain functional gene groups and pathway-associated genes that are known to be deregulated in CLL provides additional insights into the CLL methylome and epigenetic contribution to cellular dysfunction. It will now be useful to investigate the effectiveness of epigenetic therapeutic reversal of these alterations to develop effective treatments for the disease.
Project description:The process of aging results in a host of changes at the cellular and molecular levels, which include senescence, telomere shortening, and changes in gene expression. Epigenetic patterns also change over the lifespan, suggesting that epigenetic changes may constitute an important component of the aging process. The epigenetic mark that has been most highly studied is DNA methylation, the presence of methyl groups at CpG dinucleotides. These dinucleotides are often located near gene promoters and associate with gene expression levels. Early studies indicated that global levels of DNA methylation increase over the first few years of life and then decrease beginning in late adulthood. Recently, with the advent of microarray and next-generation sequencing technologies, increases in variability of DNA methylation with age have been observed, and a number of site-specific patterns have been identified. It has also been shown that certain CpG sites are highly associated with age, to the extent that prediction models using a small number of these sites can accurately predict the chronological age of the donor. Together, these observations point to the existence of two phenomena that both contribute to age-related DNA methylation changes: epigenetic drift and the epigenetic clock. In this review, we focus on healthy human aging throughout the lifetime and discuss the dynamics of DNA methylation as well as how interactions between the genome, environment, and the epigenome influence aging rates. We also discuss the impact of determining 'epigenetic age' for human health and outline some important caveats to existing and future studies.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: Identification of gene expression based breast cancer subtypes is considered as a critical means of prognostication. Genetic mutations along with epigenetic alterations contribute to gene expression changes occurring in breast cancer. So far, these epigenetic contributions to sporadic breast cancer subtypes have not been well characterized, and there is only a limited understanding of the epigenetic mechanisms affected in those particular breast cancer subtypes. The present study was undertaken to dissect the breast cancer methylome and deliver specific epigenotypes associated with particular breast cancer subtypes. METHODS: Using a microarray approach we analyzed DNA methylation in regulatory regions of 806 cancer related genes in 28 breast cancer paired samples. We subsequently performed substantial technical and biological validation by Pyrosequencing, investigating the top qualifying 19 CpG regions in independent cohorts encompassing 47 basal-like, 44 ERBB2+ overexpressing, 48 luminal A and 48 luminal B paired breast cancer/adjacent tissues. Using all-subset selection method, we identified the most subtype predictive methylation profiles in multivariable logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: The approach efficiently recognized 15 individual CpG loci differentially methylated in breast cancer tumor subtypes. We further identify novel subtype specific epigenotypes which clearly demonstrate the differences in the methylation profiles of basal-like and human epidermal growth factor 2 (HER2)-overexpressing tumors. CONCLUSIONS: Our results provide evidence that well defined DNA methylation profiles enables breast cancer subtype prediction and support the utilization of this biomarker for prognostication and therapeutic stratification of patients with breast cancer.
Project description:Epilepsy is a frequent neurological disorder, although onset and progression of seizures remain difficult to predict in affected patients, irrespective of their epileptogenic condition. Previous studies in animal models as well as human epileptic brain tissue revealed a remarkably diverse pattern of gene expression implicating epigenetic changes to contribute to disease progression. Here we mapped for the first time global DNA methylation patterns in chronic epileptic rats and controls. Using methyl-CpG capture associated with massive parallel sequencing (Methyl-Seq) we report the genomic methylation signature of the chronic epileptic state. We observed a predominant increase, rather than loss of DNA methylation in chronic rat epilepsy. Aberrant methylation patterns were inversely correlated with gene expression changes using mRNA sequencing from same animals and tissue specimens. Administration of a ketogenic, high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet attenuated seizure progression and ameliorated DNA methylation mediated changes in gene expression. This is the first report of unsupervised clustering of an epigenetic mark being used in epilepsy research to separate epileptic from non-epileptic animals as well as from animals receiving anti-convulsive dietary treatment. We further discuss the potential impact of epigenetic changes as a pathogenic mechanism of epileptogenesis.