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Protein glycosylation is a ubiquitous modification that affects the structure and function of proteins. Our recent genome wide association study identified transcription factor HNF1A as an important regulator of plasma protein glycosylation. To evaluate the potential impact of epigenetic regulation of HNF1A on protein glycosylation we analyzed CpG methylation in 810 individuals. The association between methylation of four CpG sites and the composition of plasma and IgG glycomes was analyzed. Several statistically significant associations were observed between HNF1A methylation and plasma glycans, while there were no significant associations with IgG glycans. The most consistent association with HNF1A methylation was observed with the increase in the proportion of highly branched glycans in the plasma N-glycome. The hypothesis that inactivation of HNF1A promotes branching of glycans was supported by the analysis of plasma N-glycomes in 61 patients with inactivating mutations in HNF1A, where the increase in plasma glycan branching was also observed. This study represents the first demonstration of epigenetic regulation of plasma glycome composition, suggesting a potential mechanism by which epigenetic deregulation of the glycome may contribute to disease development.

Original publication

DOI

10.4161/epi.7.2.18918

Type

Journal article

Journal

Epigenetics

Publication Date

02/2012

Volume

7

Pages

164 - 172

Keywords

Cell Line, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, CpG Islands, DNA Methylation, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Gene Silencing, Genetic Association Studies, Glycomics, Hepatocyte Nuclear Factor 1-alpha, Humans, Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions, Long Interspersed Nucleotide Elements, Polysaccharides