DNA methylation is globally disrupted and associated with expression changes in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease small airways.

TitleDNA methylation is globally disrupted and associated with expression changes in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease small airways.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsVucic, EA, Chari, R, Thu, KL, Wilson, IM, Cotton, AM, Kennett, JY, Zhang, M, Lonergan, KM, Steiling, K, Brown, CJ, McWilliams, A, Ohtani, K, Lenburg, ME, Sin, DD, Spira, A, MacAulay, CE, Lam, S, Lam, WL
JournalAm J Respir Cell Mol Biol
Volume50
Issue5
Pagination912-22
Date Published2014 May
ISSN1535-4989
KeywordsAged, Bronchi, DNA, DNA Methylation, Epithelium, Female, Gene Expression, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, NF-E2-Related Factor 2, Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive, RNA, Smoking
Abstract

DNA methylation is an epigenetic modification that is highly disrupted in response to cigarette smoke and involved in a wide spectrum of malignant and nonmalignant diseases, but surprisingly not previously assessed in small airways of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Small airways are the primary sites of airflow obstruction in COPD. We sought to determine whether DNA methylation patterns are disrupted in small airway epithelia of patients with COPD, and evaluate whether changes in gene expression are associated with these disruptions. Genome-wide methylation and gene expression analysis were performed on small airway epithelial DNA and RNA obtained from the same patient during bronchoscopy, using Illumina's Infinium HM27 and Affymetrix's Genechip Human Gene 1.0 ST arrays. To control for known effects of cigarette smoking on DNA methylation, methylation and gene expression profiles were compared between former smokers with and without COPD matched for age, pack-years, and years of smoking cessation. Our results indicate that aberrant DNA methylation is (1) a genome-wide phenomenon in small airways of patients with COPD, and (2) associated with altered expression of genes and pathways important to COPD, such as the NF-E2-related factor 2 oxidative response pathway. DNA methylation is likely an important mechanism contributing to modulation of genes important to COPD pathology. Because these methylation events may underlie disease-specific gene expression changes, their characterization is a critical first step toward the development of epigenetic markers and an opportunity for developing novel epigenetic therapeutic interventions for COPD.

DOI10.1165/rcmb.2013-0304OC
Alternate JournalAm. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol.
PubMed ID24298892
PubMed Central IDPMC4068945
Grant List1R01CA164783-01 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
MOP 230517 / / Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Canada
MOP 77,903 / / Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Canada
MOP-110949 / / Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Canada