Browsing by Subject "METHYLATION"

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  • Prokopenko, Inga; Poon, Wenny; Maegi, Reedik; Prasad, Rashmi B.; Salehi, S. Albert; Almgren, Peter; Osmark, Peter; Bouatia-Naji, Nabila; Wierup, Nils; Fall, Tove; Stancakova, Alena; Barker, Adam; Lagou, Vasiliki; Osmond, Clive; Xie, Weijia; Lahti, Jari; Jackson, Anne U.; Cheng, Yu-Ching; Liu, Jie; O'Connell, Jeffrey R.; Blomstedt, Paul A.; Fadista, Joao; Alkayyali, Sami; Dayeh, Tasnim; Ahlqvist, Emma; Taneera, Jalal; Lecoeur, Cecile; Kumar, Ashish; Hansson, Ola; Hansson, Karin; Voight, Benjamin F.; Kang, Hyun Min; Levy-Marchal, Claire; Vatin, Vincent; Palotie, Aarno; Syvanen, Ann-Christine; Mari, Andrea; Weedon, Michael N.; Loos, Ruth J. F.; Ong, Ken K.; Nilsson, Peter; Isomaa, Bo; Tuomi, Tiinamaija; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Stumvoll, Michael; Widen, Elisabeth; Lakka, Timo A.; Langenberg, Claudia; Tonjes, Anke; Rauramaa, Rainer; Kuusisto, Johanna; Frayling, Timothy M.; Froguel, Philippe; Walker, Mark; Eriksson, Johan G.; Ling, Charlotte; Kovacs, Peter; Ingelsson, Erik; McCarthy, Mark I.; Shuldiner, Alan R.; Silver, Kristi D.; Laakso, Markku; Groop, Leif; Lyssenko, Valeriya (2014)
  • Kvist, Jouni; Athanasio, Camila Goncalves; Pfrender, Michael E.; Brown, James B.; Colbourne, John K.; Mirbahai, Leda (2020)
    Background Daphnia species reproduce by cyclic parthenogenesis involving both sexual and asexual reproduction. The sex of the offspring is environmentally determined and mediated via endocrine signalling by the mother. Interestingly, male and female Daphnia can be genetically identical, yet display large differences in behaviour, morphology, lifespan and metabolic activity. Our goal was to integrate multiple omics datasets, including gene expression, splicing, histone modification and DNA methylation data generated from genetically identical female and male Daphnia pulex under controlled laboratory settings with the aim of achieving a better understanding of the underlying epigenetic factors that may contribute to the phenotypic differences observed between the two genders. Results In this study we demonstrate that gene expression level is positively correlated with increased DNA methylation, and histone H3 trimethylation at lysine 4 (H3K4me3) at predicted promoter regions. Conversely, elevated histone H3 trimethylation at lysine 27 (H3K27me3), distributed across the entire transcript length, is negatively correlated with gene expression level. Interestingly, male Daphnia are dominated with epigenetic modifications that globally promote elevated gene expression, while female Daphnia are dominated with epigenetic modifications that reduce gene expression globally. For examples, CpG methylation (positively correlated with gene expression level) is significantly higher in almost all differentially methylated sites in male compared to female Daphnia. Furthermore, H3K4me3 modifications are higher in male compared to female Daphnia in more than 3/4 of the differentially regulated promoters. On the other hand, H3K27me3 is higher in female compared to male Daphnia in more than 5/6 of differentially modified sites. However, both sexes demonstrate roughly equal number of genes that are up-regulated in one gender compared to the other sex. Since, gene expression analyses typically assume that most genes are expressed at equal level among samples and different conditions, and thus cannot detect global changes affecting most genes. Conclusions The epigenetic differences between male and female in Daphnia pulex are vast and dominated by changes that promote elevated gene expression in male Daphnia. Furthermore, the differences observed in both gene expression changes and epigenetic modifications between the genders relate to pathways that are physiologically relevant to the observed phenotypic differences.
  • Flisikowski, Krzysztof; Venhoranta, Heli; Nowacka-Woszuk, Joanna; McKay, Stephanie D.; Flyckt, Antti; Taponen, Juhani; Schnabel, Robert; Schwarzenbacher, Hermann; Szczerbal, Izabela; Lohi, Hannes; Fries, Ruedi; Taylor, Jeremy F.; Switonski, Marek; Andersson, Magnus (2010)
  • Sulkava, Sonja; Ollila, Hanna M.; Alasaari, Jukka; Puttonen, Sampsa; Harma, Mikko; Viitasalo, Katriina; Lahtinen, Alexandra; Lindstrom, Jaana; Toivola, Auli; Sulkava, Raimo; Kivimaki, Mika; Vahtera, Jussi; Partonen, Timo; Silander, Kaisa; Porkka-Heiskanen, Tarja; Paunio, Tiina (2017)
    Study Objectives: Tolerance to shift work varies; only some shift workers suffer from disturbed sleep, fatigue, and job-related exhaustion. Our aim was to explore molecular genetic risk factors for intolerance to shift work. Methods: We assessed intolerance to shift work with job-related exhaustion symptoms in shift workers using the emotional exhaustion subscale of the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey, and carried out a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using Illumina's Human610-Quad BeadChip (n = 176). The most significant findings were further studied in three groups of Finnish shift workers (n = 577). We assessed methylation in blood cells with the Illumina HumanMethylation450K BeadChip, and examined gene expression levels in the publicly available eGWAS Mayo data. Results: The second strongest signal identified in the GWAS (p = 2.3 x 10E-6) was replicated in two of the replication studies with p Conclusions: These findings suggest that a variant near MTNR1A may be associated with job-related exhaustion in shift workers. The risk variant may exert its effect via epigenetic mechanisms, potentially leading to reduced melatonin signaling in the brain. These results could indicate a link between melatonin signaling, a key circadian regulatory mechanism, and tolerance to shift work.
  • Li, Shuxia; Wang, Weijing; Zhang, Dongfeng; Li, Weilong; Lund, Jesper; Kruse, Torben; Mengel-From, Jonas; Christensen, Kaare; Tan, Qihua (2021)
    Background: Extensive epidemiological studies have established the association between exposure to early-life adversity and health status and diseases in adults. Epigenetic regulation is considered as a key mediator for this phenomenon but analysis on humans is sparse. The Great Chinese Famine lasting from 1958 to 1961 is a natural string of disasters offering a precious opportunity for elucidating the underlying epigenetic mechanism of the long-term effect of early adversity. Methods: Using a high-throughput array platform for DNA methylome profiling, we conducted a case-control epigenome-wide association study on early-life exposure to Chinese famine in 79 adults born during 1959-1961 and compared to 105 unexposed subjects born 1963-1964. Results: The single CpG site analysis of whole epigenome revealed a predominant pattern of decreased DNA methylation levels associated with fetal exposure to famine. Four CpG sites were detected with p < 1e-06 (linked to EHMT1, CNR1, UBXN7 and ESM1 genes), 16 CpGs detected with 1e-06 < p < 1e-05 and 157 CpGs with 1e-05 < p < 1e-04, with a predominant pattern of hypomethylation. Functional annotation to genes and their enriched biological pathways mainly involved neurodevelopment, neuropsychological disorders and metabolism. Multiple sites analysis detected two top-rank differentially methylated regions harboring RNF39 on chromosome 6 and PTPRN2 on chromosome 7, both showing epigenetic association with stress-related conditions. Conclusion: Early-life exposure to famine could mediate DNA methylation regulations that persist into adulthood with broad impacts in the activities of genes and biological pathways. Results from this study provide new clues to the epigenetic embedding of early-life adversity and its impacts on adult health.
  • Hanninen, Ulrika A.; Wirta, Erkki-Ville; Katainen, Riku; Tanskanen, Tomas; Hamberg, Jiri; Taipale, Minna; Böhm, Jan; Renkonen-Sinisalo, Laura; Lepistö, Anna; Forsström, Linda M.; Pitkänen, Esa; Palin, Kimmo; Seppälä, Toni T.; Mäkinen, Netta; Mecklin, Jukka-Pekka; Aaltonen, Lauri A. (2019)
    BACKGROUND: Approximately 4% of colorectal cancer (CRC) patients have at least two simultaneous cancers in the colon. Due to the shared environment, these synchronous CRCs (SCRCs) provide a unique setting to study colorectal carcinogenesis. Understanding whether these tumours are genetically similar or distinct is essential when designing therapeutic approaches. METHODS: We performed exome sequencing of 47 primary cancers and corresponding normal samples from 23 patients. Additionally, we carried out a comprehensive mutational signature analysis to assess whether tumours had undergone similar mutational processes and the first immune cell score analysis (IS) of SCRC to analyse the interplay between immune cell invasion and mutation profile in both lesions of an individual. RESULTS: The tumour pairs shared only few mutations, favouring different mutations in known CRC genes and signalling pathways and displayed variation in their signature content. Two tumour pairs had discordant mismatch repair statuses. In majority of the pairs, IS varied between primaries. Differences were not explained by any clinicopathological variable or mutation burden. CONCLUSIONS: The study shows major diversity within SCRCs. Rather than rely on data from one tumour, our study highlights the need to evaluate both tumours of a synchronous pair for optimised targeted therapy.
  • Agarwal, Rahul; Narayan, Jitendra; Bhattacharyya, Amitava; Saraswat, Mayank; Tomar, Anil Kumar (2017)
    A very low 5-year survival rate among hepatocelluHar carcinoma (HCC) patients is mainly due to lack of early stage diagnosis, distant metastasis and high risk of postoperative recurrence. Hence ascertaining novel biomarkers for early diagnosis and patient specific therapeutics is crucial and urgent. Here, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of the expression data of 423 HCC patients (373 tumors and 50 controls) downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TOGA) followed by pathway enrichment by gene ontology annotations, subtype classification and overall survival analysis. The differential gene expression analysis using non-parametric Wilcoxon test revealed a total of 479 up-regulated and 91 down-regulated genes in HCC compared to controls. The list of top differentially expressed genes mainly consists of tumor/cancer associated genes, such as AFP, THBS4, LCN2, GPC3, NUF2, etc. The genes over-expressed in HCC were mainly associated with cell cycle pathways. In total, 59 kinases associated genes were found over expressed in HCC, including TTK, MELK, BUB1, NEK2, BUB1B, AURKB, PLK1, CDK1, PKMYT1, PBK, etc. Overall four distinct HCC subtypes were predicted using consensus clustering method. Each subtype was unique in terms of gene expression, pathway enrichment and median survival. Conclusively, this study has exposed a number of interesting genes which can be exploited in future as potential markers of HCC, diagnostic as well as prognostic and subtype classification may guide for improved and specific therapy.
  • Rajamäki, Kristiina; Taira, Aurora; Katainen, Riku; Välimäki, Niko; Kuosmanen, Anna; Plaketti, Roosa-Maria; Seppälä, Toni T.; Ahtiainen, Maarit; Wirta, Erkki-Ville; Vartiainen, Emilia; Sulo, Päivi; Ravantti, Janne; Lehtipuro, Suvi; Granberg, Kirsi J.; Nykter, Matti; Tanskanen, Tomas; Ristimäki, Ari; Koskensalo, Selja; Renkonen-Sinisalo, Laura; Lepistö, Anna; Böhm, Jan; Taipale, Jussi; Mecklin, Jukka-Pekka; Aavikko, Mervi; Palin, Kimmo; Aaltonen, Lauri A. (2021)
    BACKGROUND & AIMS: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic, relapsing inflammatory disorder associated with an elevated risk of colorectal cancer (CRC). IBD-associated CRC (IBD-CRC) may represent a distinct pathway of tumorigenesis compared to sporadic CRC (sCRC). Our aim was to comprehensively characterize IBD-associated tumorigenesis integrating multiple high-throughput approaches, and to compare the results with in-house data sets from sCRCs. METHODS: Whole-genome sequencing, single nucleotide polymorphism arrays, RNA sequencing, genome-wide methylation analysis, and immunohistochemistry were performed using fresh-frozen and formalin-fixed tissue samples of tumor and corresponding normal tissues from 31 patients with IBD-CRC. RESULTS: Transcriptome-based tumor subtyping revealed the complete absence of canonical epithelial tumor subtype associated with WNT signaling in IBD-CRCs, dominated instead by mesenchymal stroma-rich subtype. Negative WNT regulators AXIN2 and RNF43 were strongly down-regulated in IBD-CRCs and chromosomal gains at HNF4A, a negative regulator of WNTinduced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), were less frequent compared to sCRCs. Enrichment of hypomethylation at HNF4 alpha binding sites was detected solely in sCRC genomes. PIGR and OSMR involved in mucosal immunity were dysregulated via epigenetic modifications in IBD-CRCs. Genome-wide analysis showed significant enrichment of noncoding mutations to 50 untranslated region of TP53 in IBD-CRCs. As reported previously, somatic mutations in APC and KRAS were less frequent in IBD-CRCs compared to sCRCs. CONCLUSIONS: Distinct mechanisms of WNT pathway dysregulation skew IBD-CRCs toward mesenchymal tumor subtype, which may affect prognosis and treatment options. Increased OSMR signaling may favor the establishment of mesenchymal tumors in patients with IBD.
  • Välimäki, Niko; Schalin-Jäntti, Camilla; Karppinen, Atte; Paetau, Anders; Kivipelto, Leena; Aaltonen, Lauri A.; Karhu, Auli (2019)
    Somatic driver mechanisms of pituitary adenoma pathogenesis have remained incompletely characterized; apart from mutations in the stimulatory G alpha protein (G alpha(s) encoded by GNAS) causing activated cAMP synthesis, pathogenic variants are rarely found in growth hormone-secreting pituitary tumors (somatotropinomas). The purpose of the current work was to clarify how genetic and epigenetic alterations contribute to the development of somatotropinomas by conducting an integrated copy number alteration, whole-genome and bisulfite sequencing, and transcriptome analysis of 21 tumors. Somatic mutation burden was low, but somatotropinomas formed two subtypes associated with distinct aneuploidy rates and unique transcription profiles. Tumors with recurrent chromosome aneuploidy (CA) were GNAS mutation negative (Gsp(-)). The chromosome stable (CS) -group contained Gsp(+) somatotropinomas and two totally aneuploidy-free Gsp(-) tumors. Genes related to the mitotic G(1)-S-checkpoint transition were differentially expressed in CA- and CS-tumors, indicating difference in mitotic progression. Also, pituitary tumor transforming gene 1 (PTTG1), a regulator of sister chromatid segregation, showed abundant expression in CA-tumors. Moreover, somatotropinomas displayed distinct Gsp genotypespecific methylation profiles and expression quantitative methylation (eQTM) analysis revealed that inhibitory G alpha (G alpha(i)) signaling is activated in Gsp(+) tumors. These findings suggest that aneuploidy through modulated driver pathways may be a causative mechanism for tumorigenesis in Gsp(-) somatotropinomas, whereas Gsp(+) tumors with constitutively activated cAMP synthesis seem to be characterized by DNA methylation activated G alpha(i) signaling.
  • Kadalayil, Latha; Khan, Sofia; Nevanlinna, Heli; Fasching, Peter A.; Couch, Fergus J.; Hopper, John L.; Liu, Jianjun; Maishman, Tom; Durcan, Lorraine; Gerty, Sue; Blomqvist, Carl; Rack, Brigitte; Janni, Wolfgang; Collins, Andrew; Eccles, Diana; Tapper, William (2017)
    To identify genetic variants associated with breast cancer prognosis we conduct a meta-analysis of overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) in 6042 patients from four cohorts. In young women, breast cancer is characterized by a higher incidence of adverse pathological features, unique gene expression profiles and worse survival, which may relate to germline variation. To explore this hypothesis, we also perform survival analysis in 2315 patients aged
  • Sahu, Biswajyoti; Pihlajamaa, Päivi; Zhang, Kaiyang; Palin, Kimmo; Ahonen, Saija; Cervera, Alejandra; Ristimäki, Ari; Aaltonen, Lauri A.; Hautaniemi, Sampsa; Taipale, Jussi (2021)
    Cancer is the most complex genetic disease known, with mutations implicated in more than 250 genes. However, it is still elusive which specific mutations found in human patients lead to tumorigenesis. Here we show that a combination of oncogenes that is characteristic of liver cancer (CTNNB1, TERT, MYC) induces senescence in human fibroblasts and primary hepatocytes. However, reprogramming fibroblasts to a liver progenitor fate, induced hepatocytes (iHeps), makes them sensitive to transformation by the same oncogenes. The transformed iHeps are highly proliferative, tumorigenic in nude mice, and bear gene expression signatures of liver cancer. These results show that tumorigenesis is triggered by a combination of three elements: the set of driver mutations, the cellular lineage, and the state of differentiation of the cells along the lineage. Our results provide direct support for the role of cell identity as a key determinant in transformation and establish a paradigm for studying the dynamic role of oncogenic drivers in human tumorigenesis.
  • Maki, Koichiro; Nava, Michele M.; Villeneuve, Clementine; Chang, Minki; Furukawa, Katsuko S.; Ushida, Takashi; Wickström, Sara A. (2021)
    Articular cartilage protects and lubricates joints for smooth motion and transmission of loads. Owing to its high water content, chondrocytes within the cartilage are exposed to high levels of hydrostatic pressure, which has been shown to promote chondrocyte identity through unknown mechanisms. Here, we investigate the effects of hydrostatic pressure on chondrocyte state and behavior, and discover that application of hydrostatic pressure promotes chondrocyte quiescence and prevents maturation towards the hyperlrophic state. Mechanistically, hydrostatic pressure reduces the amount of trimethylated H3K9 (K3K9me3)-marked constitutive heterochromatin and concomitantly increases H3K27me3-marked facultative heterochromatin. Reduced levels of H3K9me3 attenuates expression of pre-hypertrophic genes, replication and transcription, thereby reducing replicative stress. Conversely, promoting replicative stress by inhibition of topoisomerase II decreases Sox9 expression, suggesting that it enhances chondrocyte maturation. Our results reveal how hydrostatic pressure triggers chromatin remodeling to impact cell fate and function. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
  • Gordevičius, Juozas; Narmontė, Milda; Gibas, Povilas; Kvederavičiūtė, Kotryna; Tomkutė, Vita; Paluoja, Priit; Krjutškov, Kaarel; Salumets, Andres; Kriukienė, Edita (2020)
    BackgroundMassively parallel sequencing of maternal cell-free DNA (cfDNA) is widely used to test fetal genetic abnormalities in non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). However, sequencing-based approaches are still of high cost. Building upon previous knowledge that placenta, the main source of fetal circulating DNA, is hypomethylated in comparison to maternal tissue counterparts of cfDNA, we propose that targeting either unmodified or 5-hydroxymethylated CG sites specifically enriches fetal genetic material and reduces numbers of required analytical sequencing reads thereby decreasing cost of a test.MethodsWe employed uTOPseq and hmTOP-seq approaches which combine covalent derivatization of unmodified or hydroxymethylated CG sites, respectively, with next generation sequencing, or quantitative real-time PCR.ResultsWe detected increased 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) levels in fetal chorionic villi (CV) tissue samples as compared with peripheral blood. Using our previously developed uTOP-seq and hmTOP-seq approaches we obtained whole-genome uCG and 5hmCG maps of 10 CV tissue and 38 cfDNA samples in total. Our results indicated that, in contrast to conventional whole genome sequencing, such epigenomic analysis highly specifically enriches fetal DNA fragments from maternal cfDNA. While both our approaches yielded 100% accuracy in detecting Down syndrome in fetuses, hmTOP-seq maintained such accuracy at ultra-low sequencing depths using only one million reads. We identified 2164 and 1589 placenta-specific differentially modified and 5-hydroxymethylated regions, respectively, in chromosome 21, as well as 3490 and 2002 Down syndrome-specific differentially modified and 5-hydroxymethylated regions, respectively, that can be used as biomarkers for identification of Down syndrome or other epigenetic diseases of a fetus.ConclusionsuTOP-seq and hmTOP-seq approaches provide a cost-efficient and sensitive epigenetic analysis of fetal abnormalities in maternal cfDNA. The results demonstrated that T21 fetuses contain a perturbed epigenome and also indicated that fetal cfDNA might originate from fetal tissues other than placental chorionic villi. Robust covalent derivatization followed by targeted analysis of fetal DNA by sequencing or qPCR presents an attractive strategy that could help achieve superior sensitivity and specificity in prenatal diagnostics.
  • Henningsen, A. A.; Gissler, M.; Rasmussen, S.; Opdahl, S.; Wennerholm, U. B.; Spangmose, A. L.; Tiitinen, A.; Bergh, C.; Romundstad, L. B.; Laivuori, H.; Forman, J. L.; Pinborg, A.; Lidegaard, O. (2020)
    STUDY QUESTION: Is the risk of imprinting disorders increased in children conceived after ART? SUMMARY ANSWER: We found an adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of 2.84 [95% CI: 1.34-6.01] for Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome in ART children, while the risk of Prader-Willi syndrome, Silver-Russell syndrome or Angelman syndrome was not increased in children conceived after ART. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Earlier studies, most of them small, have suggested an association between ART and imprinting disorders. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This was a binational register-based cohort study. All children conceived by ART in Denmark (n = 45 393, born between 1994 and 2014) and in Finland (n = 29 244, born between 1990 and 2014) were identified. The full background populations born during the same time periods in the two countries were included as controls. Odds ratios of imprinting disorders in ART children compared with naturally conceived (NC) children were calculated. The median follow-up time was 8 years and 9 months for ART children and 11 years and 9 months for NC children. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: From the national health registries in Denmark and Finland, we identified all children diagnosed with Prader-Willi syndrome (n = 143), Silver-Russell syndrome (n = 69), Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (n = 105) and Angelman syndrome (n = 72) born between 1994/1990 and 2014, respectively. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: We identified a total of 388 children diagnosed with imprinting disorders; 16 of these were conceived after ART. The overall AOR for the four imprinting disorders in ART children compared with NC children was 1.35 [95% CI: 0.80-2.29], but since eight ART children were diagnosed with Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome, the AOR for this specific imprinting disorder was 2.84 [95% CI: 1.34-6.01]. The absolute risk of Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome in children conceived after ART was still low: 10.7 out of 100 000 newborns. The risks of Prader-Willi syndrome, Silver-Russell syndrome and Angelman syndrome were not increased in children conceived after ART. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Imprinting disorders are rare events and our results are based on few ART children with imprinting disorders. The aetiology is complex and only partly clarified, and the clinical diagnoses are challenged by a broad phenotypic spectrum. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: In the existing studies, results on the risk of imprinting disorders in children conceived after ART are ambiguous. This study adds that the risk of imprinting disorders in ART children is very small and perhaps restricted to Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome.
  • Gaber, Alexander; Nodin, Bjorn; Hotakainen, Kristiina; Nilsson, Elise; Stenman, Ulf-Håkan; Bjartell, Anders; Birgisson, Helgi; Jirstrom, Karin (2010)
  • Rodriguez, Juanjo; Andersson, Agneta; Bjorn, Erik; Timonen, Sari; Brugel, Sonia; Skrobonja, Aleksandra; Rowe, Owen (2022)
    Methylmercury (MeHg) is a potent neurotoxin commonly found in aquatic environments and primarily formed by microbial methylation of inorganic divalent mercury (Hg(II)) under anoxic conditions. Recent evidence, however, points to the production of MeHg also in oxic pelagic waters, but the magnitude and the drivers for this process remain unclear. Here, we performed a controlled experiment testing the hypothesis that inputs of terrestrial dissolved organic matter (tDOM) to coastal waters enhance MeHg formation via increased bacterial activity. Natural brackish seawater from a coastal area of the Baltic Sea was exposed to environmentally relevant levels of Hg(II) and additions of tDOM according to climate change scenarios. MeHg formation was observed to be coupled to elevated bacterial production rates, which, in turn, was linked to input levels of tDOM. The increased MeHg formation was, however, not coupled to any specific change in bacterial taxonomic composition nor to an increased abundance of known Hg(II) methylation genes. Instead, we found that the abundance of genes for the overall bacterial carbon metabolism was higher under increased tDOM additions. The findings of this study may have important ecological implications in a changing global climate by pointing to the risk of increased exposure of MeHg to pelagic biota.
  • Kankaanpää, Anna; Tolvanen, Asko; Bollepalli, Sailalitha; Leskinen, Tuija; Kujala, Urho M.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Ollikainen, Miina; Sillanpää, Elina (2021)
    Purpose: Greater leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) associates with healthier lives, but knowledge regarding occupational physical activity (OPA) is more inconsistent. DNA methylation (DNAm) patterns capture age-related changes in different tissues. We aimed to assess how LTPA and OPA are associated with three DNAm-based epigenetic age estimates, namely, DNAm age, PhenoAge, and GrimAge. Methods: The participants were young adult (21-25 yr, n = 285) and older (55-74 yr, n = 235) twin pairs, including 16 pairs with documented long-term LTPA discordance. Genome-wide DNAm from blood samples was used to compute DNAm age, PhenoAge, and GrimAge Age acceleration (Acc), which describes the difference between chronological and epigenetic ages. Physical activity was assessed with sport, leisure-time, and work indices based on the Baecke Questionnaire. Genetic and environmental variance components of epigenetic age Acc were estimated by quantitative genetic modeling. Results: Epigenetic age Acc was highly heritable in young adult and older twin pairs (similar to 60%). Sport index was associated with slower and OPA with faster DNAm GrimAge Acc after adjusting the model for sex. Genetic factors and nonshared environmental factors in common with sport index explained 1.5%-2.7% and 1.9%-3.5%, respectively, of the variation in GrimAge Acc. The corresponding proportions considering OPA were 0.4%-1.8% and 0.7%-1.8%, respectively. However, these proportions were minor (
  • Abdel-Rahman, Wael Mohamed; Nieminen, Taina Tuulikki; Shoman, Soheir; Eissa, Saad; Peltomaki, Paivi (2014)
  • Pussila, Marjaana; Toronen, Petri; Einarsdottir, Elisabet; Katayama, Shintaro; Krjutskov, Kaarel; Holm, Liisa; Kere, Juha; Peltomäki, Paivi; Mäkinen, Markus J.; Linden, Jere; Nyström, Minna (2018)
    Colorectal cancer (CRC) genome is unstable and different types of instabilities, such as chromosomal instability (CIN) and microsatellite instability (MSI) are thought to reflect distinct cancer initiating mechanisms. Although 85% of sporadic CRC reveal CIN, 15% reveal mismatch repair (MMR) malfunction and MSI, the hallmarks of Lynch syndrome with inherited heterozygous germline mutations in MMR genes. Our study was designed to comprehensively follow genome-wide expression changes and their implications during colon tumorigenesis. We conducted a long-term feeding experiment in the mouse to address expression changes arising in histologically normal colonic mucosa as putative cancer preceding events, and the effect of inherited predisposition (Mlh1(+/-)) and Western-style diet (WD) on those. During the 21-month experiment, carcinomas developed mainly in WD-fed mice and were evenly distributed between genotypes. Unexpectedly, the heterozygote (B6.129-Mlh1tm1Rak) mice did not show MSI in their CRCs. Instead, both wildtype and heterozygote CRC mice showed a distinct mRNA expression profile and shortage of several chromosomal segregation gene-specific transcripts (Mlh1, Bub1, Mis18a, Tpx2, Rad9a, Pms2, Cenpe, Ncapd3, Odf2 and Dclre1b) in their colon mucosa, as well as an increased mitotic activity and abundant numbers of unbalanced/atypical mitoses in tumours. Our genome-wide expression profiling experiment demonstrates that cancer preceding changes are already seen in histologically normal colon mucosa and that decreased expressions of Mlh1 and other chromosomal segregation genes may form a field-defect in mucosa, which trigger MMR-proficient, chromosomally unstable CRC.
  • Olkinuora, Alisa; Gylling, Annette; Almusa, Henrikki; Eldfors, Samuli; Lepistö, Anna; Mecklin, Jukka-Pekka; Nieminen, Taina Tuulikki; Peltomäki, Päivi (2020)
    Some 10-50% of Lynch-suspected cases with abnormal immunohistochemical (IHC) staining remain without any identifiable germline mutation of DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes. MMR proteins form heterodimeric complexes, giving rise to distinct IHC patterns when mutant. Potential reasons for not finding a germline mutation include involvement of an MMR gene not predicted by the IHC pattern, epigenetic mechanism of predisposition, primary mutation in another DNA repair or replication-associated gene, and double somatic MMR gene mutations. We addressed these possibilities by germline and tumor studies in 60 Lynch-suspected cases ascertained through diagnostics (n= 55) or research (n= 5). All cases had abnormal MMR protein staining in tumors but no point mutation or large rearrangement of the suspected MMR genes in the germline. In diagnostic practice, MSH2/MSH6 (MutS Homolog 2/MutS Homolog 6) deficiency promptsMSH2mutation screening; in our study, 3/11 index individuals (27%) with this IHC pattern revealed pathogenic germline mutations inMSH6. Individuals with isolated absence of MSH6 are routinely screened forMSH6mutations alone; we found a predisposing mutation inMSH2in 1/7 such cases (14%). Somatic deletion of theMSH2-MSH6region, joint loss of MSH6 and MSH3 (MutS Homolog 3) proteins, and hindered MSH2/MSH6 dimerization offered explanations to misleading IHC patterns. Constitutional epimutation hypothesis was pursued in the MSH2 and/or MSH6-deficient cases plus 38 cases with MLH1 (MutL Homolog 1)-deficient tumors; a primaryMLH1epimutation was identified in one case with an MLH1-deficient tumor. We conclude that bothMSH2andMSH6should be screened in MSH2/6- and MSH6-deficient cases. In MLH1-deficient cases, constitutional epimutations ofMLH1warrant consideration.