Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley Previously Published Works bannerUC Berkeley

PON1 as a model for integration of genetic, epigenetic, and expression data on candidate susceptibility genes


Recent genome- and epigenome-wide studies demonstrate that the DNA methylation is controlled in part by genetics, highlighting the importance of integrating genetic and epigenetic data. To better understand molecular mechanisms affecting gene expression, we used the candidate susceptibility gene paraoxonase 1 (PON1) as a model to assess associations of PON1 genetic polymorphisms with DNA methylation and arylesterase activity, a marker of PON1 expression. PON1 has been associated with susceptibility to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and pesticide exposure. In this study, we assessed DNA methylation in 18 CpG sites located along PON1 shores, shelves, and its CpG island in blood specimens collected from newborns and 9-year-old children participating (n = 449) in the CHAMACOS birth cohort study. The promoter polymorphism, PON1-108 , was strongly associated with methylation, particularly for CpG sites located near the CpG island (P << 0.0005). Among newborns, these relationships were even more pronounced after adjusting for blood cell composition. We also observed significant decreases in arylesterase activity with increased methylation at the same nine CpG sites at both ages. Using causal mediation analysis, we found statistically significant indirect effects of methylation (β(95% confidence interval): 6.9(1.5, 12.4)) providing evidence that DNA methylation mediates the relationship between PON1-108 genotype and PON1 expression. Our findings show that integration of genetic, epigenetic, and expression data can shed light on the functional mechanisms involving genetic and epigenetic regulation of candidate susceptibility genes like PON1.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View