Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology

Breadcrumb Navigation


Genome-wide mapping of genetic determinants influencing DNA methylation and gene expression in human hippocampus.

Nat Commun. 2017 Nov 15;8(1):1511. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-01818-4.

Authors/Editors: Schulz H, Ruppert AK, Herms S, Wolf C, Mirza-Schreiber N, Stegle O, Czamara D, Forstner AJ, Sivalingam S, Schoch S, Moebus S, Pütz B, Hillmer A, Fricker N, Vatter H, Müller-Myhsok B, Nöthen MM, Becker AJ, Hoffmann P, Sander T, Cichon S.
Publication Date: 2017



Emerging evidence emphasizes the strong impact of regulatory genomic elements in neurodevelopmental processes and the complex pathways of brain disorders. The present genome-wide quantitative trait loci analyses explore the cis-regulatory effects of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on DNA methylation (meQTL) and gene expression (eQTL) in 110 human hippocampal biopsies. We identify cis-meQTLs at 14,118 CpG methylation sites and cis-eQTLs for 302 3′-mRNA transcripts of 288 genes. Hippocampal cis-meQTL-CpGs are enriched in flanking regions of active promoters, CpG island shores, binding sites of the transcription factor CTCF and brain eQTLs. Cis-acting SNPs of hippocampal meQTLs and eQTLs significantly overlap schizophrenia-associated SNPs. Correlations of CpG methylation and RNA expression are found for 34 genes. Our comprehensive maps of cis-acting hippocampal meQTLs and eQTLs provide a link between disease-associated SNPs and the regulatory genome that will improve the functional interpretation of non-coding genetic variants in the molecular genetic dissection of brain disorders.

Related Links