Role of DNA Methylation in Risk for Alzheimer's Disease and Type 2 Diabetes in a Mexican American Cohort




Barber, Robert C.
Abraham Daniel, Ann
Hall, Courtney
Sun, Jie
Phillips, Nicole
Silzer, Talisa


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PURPOSE: Age related diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are respectively the 6th and 7th leading cause of mortality in the US. Mexican Americans, the largest ethnic minority group in the US, have an increased likelihood of developing T2D compared to their Caucasian counterparts. With the elderly Mexican American population (≥65 years old) likely to multiply 7-fold by 2050, prevalence of AD alongside T2D is predicted to increase too. Mexican Americans have an earlier onset of AD and a metabolic heavy predisposition for AD compared to Caucasians who develop inflammation-based AD. The risk for T2D and AD is multifactorial involving epigenetic factors such as methylation, which is the addition of a methyl group to the cytosine base of DNA. We aim to establish an epigenetic association between AD and T2D unique to the Mexican American population. METHODS: Participants from the Texas Alzheimer's Research and Care Consortium (TARCC), which consists of Mexican American individuals diagnosed with either AD only, T2D only or AD and T2D matched with a Caucasian counterpart were selected. Peripheral blood was drawn from participants and individual methylation profiles collected using the Illumina Infinium MethylationEPIC chip array. Differential methylation will be assessed using the Chip Analysis Methylation Pipeline (ChAMP) package in R. RESULTS: Results obtained will be analyzed using pathway and gene set enrichment analysis tools. CONCLUSIONS: Identifying possible methylation sites associated with T2D and AD unique to the Mexican American population could contribute towards developing ethnicity-specific biomarkers and treatments.