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Susceptibility to hormone-mediated cancer is reflected by different tick rates of the epithelial and general epigenetic clock

Barrett, James E; Herzog, Chiara; Kim, Yoo-Na; Bartlett, Thomas E; Jones, Allison; Evans, Iona; Cibula, David; ... Widschwendter, Martin; + view all (2022) Susceptibility to hormone-mediated cancer is reflected by different tick rates of the epithelial and general epigenetic clock. Genome Biology , 23 (1) , Article 52. 10.1186/s13059-022-02603-3. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: A variety of epigenetic clocks utilizing DNA methylation changes have been developed; these clocks are either tissue-independent or designed to predict chronological age based on blood or saliva samples. Whether discordant tick rates between tissue-specific and general epigenetic clocks play a role in health and disease has not yet been explored. RESULTS: Here we analyze 1941 cervical cytology samples, which contain a mixture of hormone-sensitive cervical epithelial cells and immune cells, and develop the WID general clock (Women's IDentification of risk), an epigenetic clock that is shared by epithelial and immune cells and optimized for cervical samples. We then develop the WID epithelial clock and WID immune clock, which define epithelial- and immune-specific clocks, respectively. We find that the WID-relative-epithelial-age (WID-REA), defined as the difference between the epithelial and general clocks, is significantly reduced in cervical samples from pre-menopausal women with breast cancer (OR 2.7, 95% CI 1.28-5.72). We find the same effect in normal breast tissue samples from pre-menopausal women at high risk of breast cancer and show that potential risk reducing anti-progesterone drugs can reverse this. In post-menopausal women, this directionality is reversed. Hormone replacement therapy consistently leads to a significantly lower WID-REA in cancer-free women, but not in post-menopausal women with breast or ovarian cancer. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings imply that there are multiple epigenetic clocks, many of which are tissue-specific, and that the differential tick rate between these clocks may be an informative surrogate measure of disease risk.

Type: Article
Title: Susceptibility to hormone-mediated cancer is reflected by different tick rates of the epithelial and general epigenetic clock
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13059-022-02603-3
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13059-022-02603-3
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 licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence 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 licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health > Womens Cancer
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL EGA Institute for Womens Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10144482
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