Identical twins carry a persistent epigenetic signature of early genome programming

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Genetics of DNA Methylation Consortium , BIOS Consortium , van Dongen , J , Lundgren , S , Ollikainen , M & Kaprio , J 2021 , ' Identical twins carry a persistent epigenetic signature of early genome programming ' , Nature Communications , vol. 12 , no. 1 , 5618 . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25583-7

Title: Identical twins carry a persistent epigenetic signature of early genome programming
Author: Genetics of DNA Methylation Consortium; BIOS Consortium; van Dongen, Jenny; Lundgren, Sara; Ollikainen, Miina; Kaprio, Jaakko
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
University of Helsinki, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
University of Helsinki, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Date: 2021-09-28
Language: eng
Number of pages: 14
Belongs to series: Nature Communications
ISSN: 2041-1723
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/335783
Abstract: The mechanisms underlying how monozygotic (or identical) twins arise are yet to be determined. Here, the authors investigate this in an epigenome-wide association study, showing that monozygotic twinning has a characteristic DNA methylation signature in adult somatic tissues. Monozygotic (MZ) twins and higher-order multiples arise when a zygote splits during pre-implantation stages of development. The mechanisms underpinning this event have remained a mystery. Because MZ twinning rarely runs in families, the leading hypothesis is that it occurs at random. Here, we show that MZ twinning is strongly associated with a stable DNA methylation signature in adult somatic tissues. This signature spans regions near telomeres and centromeres, Polycomb-repressed regions and heterochromatin, genes involved in cell-adhesion, WNT signaling, cell fate, and putative human metastable epialleles. Our study also demonstrates a never-anticipated corollary: because identical twins keep a lifelong molecular signature, we can retrospectively diagnose if a person was conceived as monozygotic twin.
Subject: 3112 Neurosciences
1184 Genetics, developmental biology, physiology
3141 Health care science
112 Statistics and probability
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
PROBE DESIGN BIAS
DNA METHYLATION
VANISHING TWIN
REGISTER
CELLS
NORMALIZATION
ASSOCIATION
ONTOLOGY
MOTHERS
FAMILY
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