Mutated CpG sites (CpG-SNPs) are potential hotspots for human diseases because in addition to the sequence variation they may show individual differences in DNA methylation. We performed methylome-wide association studies (MWAS) to test whether methylation differences at those sites were associated with schizophrenia. We assayed all common CpGSNPs with methyl-CpG binding domain protein-enriched genome sequencing (MBD-seq) using DNA extracted from 1408 blood samples and 66 postmortem brain samples (BA10) of schizophrenia cases and controls. Seven CpG-SNPs passed our FDR threshold of 0.1 in the blood MWAS. Of the CpGSNPs methylated in brain, 94% were also methylated in blood. This significantly exceeded the 46.2% overlap expected by chance (P-value < 1.0 × 10?8) and justified replicating findings from blood in brain tissue. CpG-SNP rs3796293 in IL1RAP replicated (P-value = .003) with the same direction of effects. This site was further validated through targeted bisulfite pyrosequencing in 736 independent case-control blood samples (P-value < 9.5 × 10?4). Our top result in the brain MWAS (P-value = 8.8 × 10?7) was CpG-SNP rs16872141 located in the potential promoter of ENC1. Overall, our results suggested that CpG-SNP methylation may reflect effects of environmental insults and can provide biomarkers in blood that could potentially improve disease management.
- DNA methylation
- methylome-wide association study
- postmortem brain samples