Although there are some epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) of insulin resistance, most of them did not replicate their findings and are focused in populations of European ancestry limiting the generalizability. In EPIPREG (294 Europeans and 162 South Asians), we conducted an EWAS of insulin resistance in maternal peripheral blood leukocytes, with replication in Born in Bradford (n=879; 430 Europeans and 449 South Asians), MENA (n=320) and Botnia (n=56) cohorts. In EPIPREG, we identified six CpG sites inversely associated with insulin resistance across ancestry, whereof five were replicated in independent cohorts (cg02988288, cg19693031, and cg26974062 in TXNIP, cg06690548 in SLC7A11, cg04861640 in ZSCAN26). From methylation quantitative trait loci analysis in EPIPREG, we identified gene variants related to all five replicated cross-ancestry CpG sites, which were associated with several cardiometabolic phenotypes. Mediation analyses suggested that the gene variants regulate insulin resistance through DNA methylation. To conclude, our cross-ancestry EWAS identified five CpG sites related with lower insulin resistance.
This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.21733004.