Created on 11th July 2016
Increasing evidence suggests that epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation might play a role in Parkinson's disease etiology. In a population-based case control study of PD, we investigated whole blood methylation profiles for 335 PD patients and 237 controls and saliva methylation profiles for another 128 patients and 131 controls using Illumina 450k microarrays. Employing correlation analysis and a systems biology approach, weighted gene co-methylation network analysis (WGCNA), our study provides the first evidence for epigenetic differences related to mitochondrial and immune-related genes in PD, and additionally in cytoskeleton organization, Wnt signaling, and iron handling pathways, likely also important in PD. Our study also suggests that while adjusting for cell composition in DNA methylation studies of blood is standard, this approach misses signals when immunologic factors reflected in cell composition play a role.Show more
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