Epigenetic signature in persons with Down Syndrome

Fontanesi, Elisa (2015) Epigenetic signature in persons with Down Syndrome , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Oncologia e patologia sperimentale, 26 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6821.
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Persons affected by Down Syndrome show a heterogeneous phenotype that includes developmental defects and cognitive and haematological disorders. Premature accelerated aging and the consequent development of age associated diseases like Alzheimer Disease (AD) seem to be the cause of higher mortality late in life of DS persons. Down Syndrome is caused by the complete or partial trisomy of chromosome 21, but it is not clear if the molecular alterations of the disease are triggered by the specific functions of a limited number of genes on chromosome 21 or by the disruption of genetic homeostasis due the presence of a trisomic chromosome. As epigenomic studies can help to shed light on this issue, here we used the Infinium HumanMethilation450 BeadChip to analyse blood DNA methylation patterns of 29 persons affected by Down syndrome (DSP), using their healthy siblings (DSS) and mothers (DSM) as controls. In this way we obtained a family-based model that allowed us to monitor possible confounding effects on DNA methylation patterns deriving from genetic and environmental factors. We showed that defects in DNA methylation map in genes involved in developmental, neurological and haematological pathways. These genes are enriched on chromosome 21 but localize also in the rest of the genome, suggesting that the trisomy of specific genes on chromosome 21 induces a cascade of events that engages many genes on other chromosomes and results in a global alteration of genomic function. We also analysed the methylation status of three target regions localized at the promoter (Ribo) and at the 5’ sequences of 18S and 28S regions of the rDNA, identifying differently methylated CpG sites. In conclusion, we identified an epigenetic signature of Down Syndrome in blood cells that sustains a link between developmental defects and disease phenotype, including segmental premature aging.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Fontanesi, Elisa
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Down Syndrome, DNA methylation, Infinium HumanMethilation450 BeadChip, epigenetics, development, heaematological defects, leukaemia, aging
Data di discussione
11 Maggio 2015

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