Characterization of Sex-Based DNA Methylation Signatures in the Airways during Early Life

Cesar L. Nino, Geovanny F. Perez, Natalia Isaza, Maria Gutierrez, Jose L. Gomez, Gustavo Nino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Human respiratory conditions are largely influenced by the individual's sex resulting in overall higher risk for males. Sex-based respiratory differences are present at birth suggesting a strong genetic component. Our objective was to characterize early life sex-based genomic signatures determined by variable X-chromosome methylation in the airways. We compared male versus female genome-wide DNA methylation in nasal airway samples from newborns and infants aged 1-6 months (N = 12). We analyzed methylation signals across CpG sites mapped to each X-linked gene using an unsupervised classifier (principal components) followed by an internal evaluation and an exhaustive cross-validation. Results were validated in an independent population of children (N = 72) following the same algorithm. X-linked genes with significant sex-based differential methylation in the nasal airway of infants represented only about 50% of the unique protein coding transcripts. X-linked genes without significant sex-based differential methylation included genes with evidence of escaping X-inactivation and female-biased airway expression. These genes showed similar methylation patterns in males and females suggesting unbalanced X-chromosome dosage. In conclusion, we identified that the human airways have already sex-based DNA methylation signatures at birth. These early airway epigenomic marks may determine sex-based respiratory phenotypes and overall predisposition to develop respiratory disorders later in life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5526
JournalScientific Reports
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

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DNA Methylation
Methylation
X-Linked Genes
X Chromosome
Nose
Parturition
X Chromosome Inactivation
Epigenomics
Genes
Newborn Infant
Genome
Phenotype
Population
Proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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Characterization of Sex-Based DNA Methylation Signatures in the Airways during Early Life. / Nino, Cesar L.; Perez, Geovanny F.; Isaza, Natalia; Gutierrez, Maria; Gomez, Jose L.; Nino, Gustavo.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, No. 1, 5526, 01.12.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nino, Cesar L. ; Perez, Geovanny F. ; Isaza, Natalia ; Gutierrez, Maria ; Gomez, Jose L. ; Nino, Gustavo. / Characterization of Sex-Based DNA Methylation Signatures in the Airways during Early Life. In: Scientific Reports. 2018 ; Vol. 8, No. 1.
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