Scientific reports

Genome-Wide Methylation Analysis Identifies Specific Epigenetic Marks In Severely Obese Children.

PMID 28387357


Obesity is a heterogeneous disease with many different subtypes. Epigenetics could contribute to these differences. The aim of this study was to investigate genome-wide DNA methylation searching for methylation marks associated with obesity in children and adolescents. We studied DNA methylation profiles in whole blood cells from 40 obese children and controls using Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChips. After correction for cell heterogeneity and multiple tests, we found that compared to lean controls, 31 CpGs are differentially methylated in obese patients. A greatest proportion of these CpGs is hypermethylated in obesity and located in CpG shores regions. We next focused on severely obese children and identified 151 differentially methylated CpGs among which 10 with a difference in methylation greater than 10%. The top pathways enriched among the identified CpGs included the "IRS1 target genes" and several pathways in cancer diseases. This study represents the first effort to search for differences in methylation in obesity and severe obesity, which may help understanding these different forms of obesity and their complications.