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An epigenome-wide association study identifies multiple DNA methylation markers of exposure to endocrine disruptors

BIOS Consortium, Lu, X., Fraszczyk, E., van der Meer, T. P., van Faassen, M., Bloks, V. W., Kema, I. P., van Beek, A. P., Li, S., Franke, L., Westra, H-J., Xu, X., Huo, X., Snieder, H., Wolffenbuttel, B. H. R. & van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, J. V., 8-Sep-2020, In : Environment international. 144, 8 p., 106016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Background: Exposure to environmental endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may play an important role in the epidemic of metabolic diseases. Epigenetic alterations may functionally link EDCs with gene expression and metabolic traits. Objectives: We aimed to evaluate metabolic-related effects of the exposure to endocrine disruptors including five parabens, three bisphenols, and 13 metabolites of nine phthalates as measured in 24-hour urine on epigenome-wide DNA methylation. Methods: A blood-based epigenome-wide association study was performed in 622 participants from the Lifelines DEEP cohort using Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 methylation data and EDC excretions in 24-hour urine. Out of the 21 EDCs, 13 compounds were detected in >75% of the samples and, together with bisphenol F, were included in these analyses. Furthermore, we explored the putative function of identified methylation markers and their correlations with metabolic traits. Results: We found 20 differentially methylated cytosine-phosphate-guanines (CpGs) associated with 10 EDCs at suggestive p-value < 1 × 10−6, of which four, associated with MEHP and MEHHP, were genome-wide significant (Bonferroni-corrected p-value < 1.19 × 10−7). Nine out of 20 CpGs were significantly associated with at least one of the tested metabolic traits, such as fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin, blood lipids, and/or blood pressure. 18 out of 20 EDC-associated CpGs were annotated to genes functionally related to metabolic syndrome, hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and glycemic traits. Conclusions: The identified DNA methylation markers for exposure to the most common EDCs provide suggestive mechanism underlying the contributions of EDCs to metabolic health. Follow-up studies are needed to unravel the causality of EDC-induced methylation changes in metabolic alterations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106016
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironment international
Volume144
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8-Sep-2020

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