Clinical epigenetics

Epigenome-wide association data implicates DNA methylation-mediated genetic risk in psoriasis.

PMID 27980695


Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disease characterized by epidermal hyperproliferation and altered keratinocyte differentiation and inflammation and is caused by the interplay of genetic and environmental factors. Previous studies have revealed that DNA methylation (DNAm) and genetic makers are closely associated with psoriasis, and strong evidences have shown that DNAm can be controlled by genetic factors, which attracted us to evaluate the relationship among DNAm, genetic makers, and disease status. We utilized the genome-wide methylation data of psoriatic skin (PP, N = 114) and unaffected control skin (NN, N = 62) tissue samples in our previous study, and we performed whole-genome genotyping with peripheral blood of the same samples to evaluate the underlying genetic effect on skin DNA methylation. Causal inference test (CIT) was used to assess whether DNAm regulate genetic variation and gain a better understanding of the epigenetic basis of psoriasis susceptibility. We identified 129 SNP-CpG pairs achieving the significant association threshold, which constituted 28 unique methylation quantitative trait loci (MethQTL) and 34 unique CpGs. There are 18 SNPs were associated with psoriasis at a Bonferoni-corrected P < 0.05, and these 18 SNPs formed 93 SNP-CpG pairs with 17 unique CpG sites. We found that 11 of 93 SNP-CpG pairs, composed of 5 unique SNPs and 3 CpG sites, presented a methylation-mediated relationship between SNPs and psoriasis. The 3 CpG sites were located on the body of C1orf106, the TSS1500 promoter region of DMBX1 and the body of SIK3. This study revealed that DNAm of some genes can be controlled by genetic factors and also mediate risk variation for psoriasis in Chinese Han population and provided novel molecular insights into the pathogenesis of psoriasis.