Type 2 diabetes mellitus in relation to global LINE-1 DNA methylation in peripheral blood: A cohort study

<div><p>In the last years, epigenetic processes have emerged as a promising area of complex diseases research. DNA methylation measured in Long Interspersed Nucleotide Element 1 (LINE-1) sequences has been considered a surrogate marker for global genome methylation. New findings have suggested the potential involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) as a crucial interface between the effects of genetic predisposition and environmental influences. Our study evaluated whether global DNA methylation predicted increased risk from T2DM or other carbohydrate metabolism disorders in a cohort study. We used a prospective cohort intervention study and a control group. We collected phenotypic, anthropometric, biochemical, and nutritional information from all subjects. Global LINE-1 DNA methylation was quantified by pyrosequencing technology. Subjects that did not improve their carbohydrate metabolism status showed lower levels of global LINE-1 DNA methylation (63.9 ± 1.7 vs. 64.7 ± 2.4) and they practiced less intense physical activity (5.8% vs. 21.5%). Logistic regression analyses showed a significant association between LINE-1 DNA methylation and metabolic status after adjustment for sex, age, BMI, and physical activity. Our study showed that lower LINE-1 DNA methylation levels were associated with a higher risk metabolic status worsening, independent of other classic risk factors. This finding highlights the potential role for epigenetic biomarkers as predictors of T2DM risk or other related metabolic disorders.</p></div>