CpG-SNP site methylation regulates allele-specific expression of MTHFD1 gene in type 2 diabetes

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Laboratory Investigation


The interaction of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms is one of the underlying causes of phenotypic variability in complex diseases such as type 2 diabetes (T2D). To explore the influence of genetic and epigenetic changes in T2D, we examined the effect of methylation of CpG-SNP sites on allele-specific expression (ASE) in one-carbon metabolism pathway genes in T2D. Case-control study was conducted on 860 individuals (430 T2D and 430 controls). CpG-SNPs shortlisted through in silico analysis were genotyped using tetra ARMS PCR and validated using Sanger DNA sequencing. Global DNA methylation was carried out using RP-HPLC. Promoter DNA methylation and CpG site-specific methylation were carried out using bisulfite sequencing. mRNA expression and ASE were examined by SYBR green and TaqMan assay, respectively. Four exonic CpG-SNPs of MTHFD1, MTRR, and GGH genes were identified in folate pathway genes. Among these, MTHFD1 rs2236225 showed significant association with T2D independent of obesity, displayed ASE, and correlated with CpG-SNP site-specific methylation when compared with controls. Our results demonstrate that SNP rs2236225 in the CpG site of MTHFD1, which regulates allele-specific gene expression in PBMCs is methylation dependent and may perturb one-carbon metabolism pathway in T2D subjects.

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