Exposure to arsenic at different life-stages and DNA methylation meta-analysis in buccal cells and leukocytes

  • Anne K. Bozack (Creator)
  • Philippe Boileau (Creator)
  • Linqing Wei (Creator)
  • Alan E. Hubbard (Creator)
  • Fenna C.M. Sillé (Creator)
  • Catterina Ferreccio (Creator)
  • Johanna Acevedo (Creator)
  • Lifang Hou (Creator)
  • Vesna Ilievski (Creator)
  • Craig M. Steinmaus (Creator)
  • Martyn T. Smith (Creator)
  • Ana Navas-Acien (Creator)
  • Mary V. Gamble (Creator)
  • Andres Cardenas (Creator)
  • Alan E. Hubbard (Creator)
  • Ana Navas-Acien (Creator)
  • Andres Cardenas (Creator)



Abstract Background Arsenic (As) exposure through drinking water is a global public health concern. Epigenetic dysregulation including changes in DNA methylation (DNAm), may be involved in arsenic toxicity. Epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) of arsenic exposure have been restricted to single populations and comparison across EWAS has been limited by methodological differences. Leveraging data from epidemiological studies conducted in Chile and Bangladesh, we use a harmonized data processing and analysis pipeline and meta-analysis to combine results from four EWAS. Methods DNAm was measured among adults in Chile with and without prenatal and early-life As exposure in PBMCs and buccal cells (N = 40, 850K array) and among men in Bangladesh with high and low As exposure in PBMCs (N = 32, 850K array; N = 48, 450K array). Linear models were used to identify differentially methylated positions (DMPs) and differentially variable positions (DVPs) adjusting for age, smoking, cell type, and sex in the Chile cohort. Probes common across EWAS were meta-analyzed using METAL, and differentially methylated and variable regions (DMRs and DVRs, respectively) were identified using comb-p. KEGG pathway analysis was used to understand biological functions of DMPs and DVPs. Results In a meta-analysis restricted to PBMCs, we identified one DMP and 23 DVPs associated with arsenic exposure; including buccal cells, we identified 3 DMPs and 19 DVPs (FDR
Date made available2021

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