There has recently been a growing interest in examining the role of epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation, in the etiology of type 1 diabetes (T1D) . This study aimed to delineate differences in methylation patterns between T1D-affected and healthy individuals by examining the genome-wide methylation of individuals from three Arab families from Kuwait with T1D-affected mono-/dizygotic twins and non-twinned siblings. Bisulfite sequencing of DNA from the peripheral blood of affected and healthy individuals from each of the three families was performed. Methylation profiles of the affected individuals were compared to those of healthy individuals. The principal component analysis on methylation profiling based on base-pair resolution clustered the T1D-affected twins together family-wide. Sites/regions that were differentially methylated between T1D and healthy samples harbored 84 genes, of which 18 were known to be differentially methylated in T1D individuals compared to healthy individuals in publicly available gene expression data resources. We further validated two of the 18 genes—namely ICA1 and DRAM1 that were hypermethylated in T1D samples compared to healthy samples—for upregulation in T1D samples from an extended study cohort of familial T1D. The ICA1 is well-known to have a role in the development of autoimmune beta-cell destruction.
M.H.Dashti: None. R.Nizam: None. P.Hebbar: None. S.Jacob: None. S.E.John: None. A.M.Channanath: None. H.Alkandari: None. A.T.Thangavel: None. F.Almulla: None.
Kuwait Foundation for Advancement in Sciences funding RA-2014-024