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Characterisation of ethnic differences in DNA methylation between UK-resident South Asians and Europeans

Elliott, HR; Burrows, K; Min, JL; Tillin, T; Mason, D; Wright, J; Santorelli, G; ... Relton, CL; + view all (2022) Characterisation of ethnic differences in DNA methylation between UK-resident South Asians and Europeans. Clinical Epigenetics , 14 , Article 130. 10.1186/s13148-022-01351-2. Green open access

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Abstract

Ethnic differences in non-communicable disease risk have been described between individuals of South Asian and European ethnicity that are only partially explained by genetics and other known risk factors. DNA methylation is one underexplored mechanism that may explain differences in disease risk. Currently, there is little knowledge of how DNA methylation varies between South Asian and European ethnicities. This study characterised differences in blood DNA methylation between individuals of self-reported European and South Asian ethnicity from two UK-based cohorts: Southall and Brent Revisited and Born in Bradford. DNA methylation differences between ethnicities were widespread throughout the genome (n = 16,433 CpG sites, 3.4% sites tested). Specifically, 76% of associations were attributable to ethnic differences in cell composition with fewer effects attributable to smoking and genetic variation. Ethnicity-associated CpG sites were enriched for EWAS Catalog phenotypes including metabolites. This work highlights the need to consider ethnic diversity in epigenetic research.

Type: Article
Title: Characterisation of ethnic differences in DNA methylation between UK-resident South Asians and Europeans
Location: Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13148-022-01351-2
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13148-022-01351-2
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.
Keywords: Ancestry, DNA methylation, Epigenetics, Ethnicity, mQTLs
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
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 Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10158154
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