Genetics, epigenetics, and environment may together affect the susceptibility for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Our aim was to dissect molecular mechanisms underlying T2D using genome-wide expression and DNA methylation data in adipose tissue from monozygotic twin pairs discordant for T2D and independent case-control cohorts. In adipose tissue from diabetic twins, we found decreased expression of genes involved in oxidative phosphorylation; carbohydrate, amino acid, and lipid metabolism; and increased expression of genes involved in inflammation and glycan degradation. The most differentially expressed genes included ELOVL6, GYS2, FADS1, SPP1 (OPN), CCL18, and IL1RN. We replicated these results in adipose tissue from an independent case-control cohort. Several candidate genes for obesity and T2D (e.g., IRS1 and VEGFA) were differentially expressed in discordant twins. We found a heritable contribution to the genome-wide DNA methylation variability in twins. Differences in methylation between monozygotic twin pairs discordant for T2D were subsequently modest. However, 15,627 sites, representing 7,046 genes including PPARG, KCNQ1, TCF7L2, and IRS1, showed differential DNA methylation in adipose tissue from unrelated subjects with T2D compared with control subjects. A total of 1,410 of these sites also showed differential DNA methylation in the twins discordant for T2D. For the differentially methylated sites, the heritability estimate was 0.28. We also identified copy number variants (CNVs) in monozygotic twin pairs discordant for T2D. Taken together, subjects with T2D exhibit multiple transcriptional and epigenetic changes in adipose tissue relevant to the development of the disease.
Diabetes, 2014, Vol 63, Issue 9, p. 2962-2976
Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Twin Study; Adipose Tissue; Aged; Case-Control Studies; Cohort Studies; CpG Islands; DNA Copy Number Variations; DNA Methylation; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Epigenesis, Genetic; Female; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Panniculitis; Transcriptome; Twins, Monozygotic