Regional distribution of body fat in relation to DNA methylation within the LPL, ADIPOQ and PPARγ promoters in subcutaneous adipose tissue


  • D. Drogan
  • H. Boeing
  • J. Janke
  • B. Schmitt
  • Y. Zhou
  • J. Walter
  • T. Pischon
  • S. Tierling


  • Nutrition & Diabetes


  • Nutr Diabetes 5: e168


  • Obesity may be related to differential DNA methylation and thus to differential expression of key genes in adipose tissue metabolism, such as LPL, ADIPOQ and PPAR{gamma}. Using subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) from 59 individuals of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition-Potsdam study, we performed quantitative DNA methylation analysis within the promoters of LPL (LPL-CG1 and -CG2), ADIPOQ (ADIPOQ-CG1 and-CG2) and PPAR{gamma} (PPAR{gamma}-CG1). We then studied DNA methylation in relation to SAT gene expression, body composition measured using whole-body magnetic resonance imaging, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and long-term changes in BMI and WC. For LPL-CG1 and LPL-CG2, higher methylation levels were associated with lower LPL expression, but with higher past WC gain. LPL-CG1 was also positively associated with BMI, WC, and visceral and subcutaneous fat mass. ADIPOQ-CG1 or -CG2 methylation exhibited no association with ADIPOQ expression or with anthropometric parameters. PPAR{gamma}-CG1 methylation was significantly higher in individuals with higher visceral fat mass. Among the investigated sites, LPL-CG1 methylation showed the strongest association with gene expression and regional body fat distribution, thereby possibly linking the degree of obesity with major metabolic processes in SAT.