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A machine learning case–control classifier for schizophrenia based on DNA methylation in blood

Gunasekara, CJ; Hannon, E; MacKay, H; Coarfa, C; McQuillin, A; Clair, DS; Mill, J; (2021) A machine learning case–control classifier for schizophrenia based on DNA methylation in blood. Translational Psychiatry , 11 (1) , Article 412. 10.1038/s41398-021-01496-3. Green open access

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Abstract

Epigenetic dysregulation is thought to contribute to the etiology of schizophrenia (SZ), but the cell type-specificity of DNA methylation makes population-based epigenetic studies of SZ challenging. To train an SZ case–control classifier based on DNA methylation in blood, therefore, we focused on human genomic regions of systemic interindividual epigenetic variation (CoRSIVs), a subset of which are represented on the Illumina Human Methylation 450K (HM450) array. HM450 DNA methylation data on whole blood of 414 SZ cases and 433 non-psychiatric controls were used as training data for a classification algorithm with built-in feature selection, sparse partial least squares discriminate analysis (SPLS-DA); application of SPLS-DA to HM450 data has not been previously reported. Using the first two SPLS-DA dimensions we calculated a “risk distance” to identify individuals with the highest probability of SZ. The model was then evaluated on an independent HM450 data set on 353 SZ cases and 322 non-psychiatric controls. Our CoRSIV-based model classified 303 individuals as cases with a positive predictive value (PPV) of 80%, far surpassing the performance of a model based on polygenic risk score (PRS). Importantly, risk distance (based on CoRSIV methylation) was not associated with medication use, arguing against reverse causality. Risk distance and PRS were positively correlated (Pearson r = 0.28, P = 1.28 × 10−12), and mediational analysis suggested that genetic effects on SZ are partially mediated by altered methylation at CoRSIVs. Our results indicate two innate dimensions of SZ risk: one based on genetic, and the other on systemic epigenetic variants.

Type: Article
Title: A machine learning case–control classifier for schizophrenia based on DNA methylation in blood
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41398-021-01496-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-021-01496-3
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: Personalized medicine, Schizophrenia
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10133071
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