Human Genetics

, Volume 127, Issue 6, pp 651–658 | Cite as

Comparison of the DNA methylation profiles of human peripheral blood cells and transformed B-lymphocytes

  • Yan V. Sun
  • Stephen T. Turner
  • Jennifer A. Smith
  • Pamela I. Hammond
  • Alicia Lazarus
  • Jodie L. Van De Rostyne
  • Julie M. Cunningham
  • Sharon L. R. Kardia
Original Investigation

Abstract

Epidemiological studies of DNA methylation (DNAm) profiles may hold substantial promise for identifying mechanisms through which genetic and environmental factors jointly contribute to disease risk. Different cell types are likely to have different DNAm patterns. We investigate the DNAm differences between two types of biospecimens available in many genetic epidemiology studies. We compared DNAm patterns in two different DNA samples from each of 34 participants in the Genetic Epidemiology Network of Arteriopathy study (20 Caucasians and 14 African-Americans). One was extracted from peripheral blood cells (PBC) and the other from transformed B-lymphocytes (TBL). The genome-wide DNAm profiles were compared at over 27,000 genome-wide methylation sites. We found that 26 out of the 34 participants had correlation coefficients higher than 0.9 between methylation profiles of PBC and TBL. Although a high correlation was observed in the DNAm profile between PBC and TBL, we also observed variation across samples from different DNA resources and donors. Using principal component analysis of the DNAm profiles, the two sources of the DNA samples could be accurately predicted. We also identified 3,723 autosomal DNAm sites that had significantly different methylation statuses in PBC compared to TBL (Bonferroni corrected p value <0.05). Both PBC and TBL provide a rich resource for understanding the DNAm profiles in humans participating in epidemiologic studies. While the majority of DNAm findings in PBC and TBL may be consistent, caution must be used when interpreting results because of the possibility of cell type-specific methylation modification.

Supplementary material

439_2010_810_MOESM1_ESM.xls (472 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 (XLS 472 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan V. Sun
    • 1
  • Stephen T. Turner
    • 2
  • Jennifer A. Smith
    • 1
  • Pamela I. Hammond
    • 2
  • Alicia Lazarus
    • 1
  • Jodie L. Van De Rostyne
    • 2
  • Julie M. Cunningham
    • 3
  • Sharon L. R. Kardia
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology, School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Division of Nephrology and HypertensionMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Division of Experimental PathologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA

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