New EWAS in Alzheimer’s brains published

This month a new epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) led by the LIGA team was published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy. The study was based on generating genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in nearly 200 brain samples from patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and controls with the aim to identify novel genomic regions showing differential methylation. By combining our novel DNAm data with those from two previous studies we identified 12 loci showing epigenome-wide significant association with AD. Four of these loci, near the genes CNFN/LIPE, TENT5A, PALD1/PRF1, and DIRAS1, represent novel findings. Integrating DNAm levels with RNA sequencing-based mRNA expression data generated in the same individuals showed significant DNAm-mRNA correlations for 6 of the 12 significant CpGs. Our study represents the hitherto most comprehensive EWAS in AD using tissue from the entorhinal cortex and highlights several novel differentially methylated loci with potential effects on gene expression. The study was conducted with collaborators in Oxford and Kiel and represents the third publication of the doctoral thesis work of first author Yasmine Sommerer from the LIGA team.