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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Genome-wide DNA methylation patterns in discordant sib pairs with alcohol dependence

Alcohol dependence is a complex disease caused by a confluence of environmental and genetic factors. Epigenetic mechanisms have been shown to play an important role in the pathogenesis of alcohol dependence.
To determine if alterations in gene-specific methylation were associated with alcohol dependence, a genome-wide DNA methylation analysis was performed on peripheral blood mononuclear cells from alcohol-dependent patients and siblings without alcohol dependence as controls. The Illumina Infinium Human Methylation450 BeadChip was used and gene-specific methylation of DNA isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells was assessed. Genes ALDH1L2, GAD1, DBH and GABRP were selected to validate beadchip results by pyrosequencing.
Compared to normal controls, 865 hypomethylated and 716 hypermethylated CG sites in peripheral blood mononuclear cell DNA in alcohol-dependent patients were identified. The most hypomethylated CG site is located in the promoter of SSTR4 (somatostatin receptor 4) and the most hypermethylated CG site is GABRP (gamma-aminobutyric acid A receptor). The results from beadchip analysis were consistent with that of pyrosequencing.
DNA methylation might be associated with alcohol dependence. Genes SSTR4, ALDH1L2, GAD1, DBH and GABRP may participate in the biological process of alcohol dependence.

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