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Genome-wide analysis of autosomal sex differences in human DNA methylome


ABSTRACT: Sex difference had been implicated in pathophysiology and prognosis of common diseases, such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia and coronary heart disease. It is well known that the disease phenotype is shaped by the interaction between the environment, genome, and epigenome. The environmental and the genetic components were extensively studied in the past. Unlike the formers, the role of epigenetics has only been recently investigated. To date, little has been known about differences in epigenetic makeup between the two sexes. Here we present a genome-wide study of sex-specific differences in DNA methylation in healthy individuals. We compared the methylation status of ~26,000 CpGs in the promoter of ~14,000 genes between age-matched males (n=12) and females (n=12). We identified 19 CpGs in 18 genes to have significant sex-specific methylation differences. Our finding was validated by a recent publication of Liu et al. 2010 where they found similar results (ie. 11 of their 12 CpGs overlapped with ours) using the same microarray platform. However, with further investigation we showed that the probes with sex-specific methylation differences displayed cross-reactive targets on the sex chromosomes. This data indicates that autosomal sex-specific methylation detected in this study and by Lui et al, 2010 using the Illumina array platform, is the result of technical artifacts or non-specificity of those microarray probes. Overall, our findings suggest that there is no sex-specific DNA methylation difference in human beyond the sex chromosomes using the Illumina Methylation 27 microarray. Overall design: Genome-wide DNA methylation data of sodium-bisulfite converted-genomic DNA obtained from whole blood lymphocytes of 12 healthy males compared to that of 12 age-matched healthy females

INSTRUMENT(S): Illumina HumanMethylation27 BeadChip (HumanMethylation27_270596_v.1.2)

ORGANISM(S): Homo sapiens  

SUBMITTER: Rosanna Weksberg  

PROVIDER: GSE23638 | GEO | 2011-08-22

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): PRJNA130945

REPOSITORIES: GEO

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