Global DNA methylation levels in girls with and without a family history of breast cancer

Hui Chen Wu, Esther M. John, Jennifer S. Ferris, Theresa H Keegan, Wendy K. Chung, Irene Andrulis, Lissette Delgado-Cruzata, Maya Kappil, Karina Gonzalez, Regina M. Santella, Mary Beth Terry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lower levels of global DNA methylation in white blood cell (WBC) DNA have been associated with adult cancers. It is unknown whether individuals with a family history of cancer also have lower levels of global DNA methylation early in life. We examined global DNA methylation in WBC (measured in three repetitive elements, LINE1, Sat2 and Alu, by MethyLight and in LINE1 by pyrosequencing) in 51 girls aged 6-17 years. Compared to girls without a family history of breast cancer, methylation levels were lower for all assays in girls with a family history of breast cancer and statistically significantly lower for Alu and LINE1 pyrosequencing. After adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI) and Tanner stage, only methylation in Alu was associated with family history of breast cancer. If these findings are replicated in larger studies, they suggest that lower levels of global WBC DNA methylation observed later in life in adults with cancer may also be present early in life in children with a family history of cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalEpigenetics
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • Alu
  • DNA global methylation
  • Early life exposure
  • Epigenetics
  • LINE1
  • Methylight
  • Pyrosequencing
  • Sat2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research

Cite this

Wu, H. C., John, E. M., Ferris, J. S., Keegan, T. H., Chung, W. K., Andrulis, I., Delgado-Cruzata, L., Kappil, M., Gonzalez, K., Santella, R. M., & Terry, M. B. (2011). Global DNA methylation levels in girls with and without a family history of breast cancer. Epigenetics, 6(1), 29-33. https://doi.org/10.4161/epi.6.1.13393