Genome-wide DNA methylation in mixed ancestry individuals with diabetes and prediabetes from South Africa

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International Journal of Endocrinology

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Aims. To conduct a genome-wide DNA methylation in individuals with type 2 diabetes, individuals with prediabetes, and control mixed ancestry individuals from South Africa. Methods. We used peripheral blood to perform genome-wide DNA methylation analysis in 3 individuals with screen detected diabetes, 3 individuals with prediabetes, and 3 individuals with normoglycaemia from the Bellville South Community, Cape Town, South Africa, who were age-, gender-, body mass index-, and duration of residency-matched. Methylated DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) was performed by Arraystar Inc. (Rockville, MD, USA). Results. Hypermethylated DMRs were 1160 (81.97%) and 124 (43.20%), respectively, in individuals with diabetes and prediabetes when both were compared to subjects with normoglycaemia. Our data shows that genes related to the immune system, signal transduction, glucose transport, and pancreas development have altered DNA methylation in subjects with prediabetes and diabetes. Pathway analysis based on the functional analysis mapping of genes to KEGG pathways suggested that the linoleic acid metabolism and arachidonic acid metabolism pathways are hypomethylated in prediabetes and diabetes. Conclusions. Our study suggests that epigenetic changes are likely to be an early process that occurs before the onset of overt diabetes. Detailed analysis of DMRs that shows gradual methylation differences from control versus prediabetes to prediabetes versus diabetes in a larger sample size is required to confirm these findings.