Integrated DNA Methylation/RNA Profiling in Middle Temporal Gyrus of Alzheimer’s Disease

Ignazio S. Piras, Danielle Brokaw, Yinfei Kong, Daniel J. Weisenberger, Jonida Krate, Elaine Delvaux, Swapna Mahurkar, Adam Blattler, Kimberly D. Siegmund, Lucia Sue, Geidy E. Serrano, Thomas G. Beach, Peter W. Laird, Matthew J. Huentelman, Paul D. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder clinically defined by gradual cognitive impairment and alteration in executive function. We conducted an epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) of a clinically and neuropathologically characterized cohort of 296 brains, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and non-demented controls (ND), exploring the relationship with the RNA expression from matched donors. We detected 5246 CpGs and 832 regions differentially methylated, finding overlap with previous EWAS but also new associations. CpGs previously identified in ANK1, MYOC, and RHBDF2 were differentially methylated, and one of our top hits (GPR56) was not previously detected. ANK1 was differentially methylated at the region level, along with APOE and RHBDF2. Only a small number of genes showed a correlation between DNA methylation and RNA expression statistically significant. Multiblock partial least-squares discriminant analysis showed several CpG sites and RNAs discriminating AD and ND (AUC = 0.908) and strongly correlated with each other. Furthermore, the CpG site cg25038311 was negatively correlated with the expression of 22 genes. Finally, with the functional epigenetic module analysis, we identified a protein–protein network characterized by inverse RNA/DNA methylation correlation and enriched for “Regulation of insulin-like growth factor transport”, with IGF1 as the hub gene. Our results confirm and extend the previous EWAS, providing new information about a brain region not previously explored in AD DNA methylation studies. The relationship between DNA methylation and gene expression is not significant for most of the genes in our sample, consistently with the complexities in the gene expression regulation. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCellular and Molecular Neurobiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenomics
  • Multi-omics
  • RNA expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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