Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Liver Disease, Mutational Homogeneity Modulated by Epigenetic Heterogeneity With Links to Obesity

Liguo Wang, George W. Marek, Ryan A. Hlady, Ryan T. Wagner, Xia Zhao, Virginia C. Clark, Alex Xiucheng Fan, Chen Liu, Mark Brantly, Keith D. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) liver disease is characterized by marked heterogeneity in presentation and progression, despite a common underlying gene mutation, strongly suggesting the involvement of other genetic and/or epigenetic modifiers. Variation in clinical phenotype has added to the challenge of detection, diagnosis, and testing of new therapies in patients with AATD. We examined the contribution of DNA methylation (5-methylcytosine [5mC]) to AATD liver disease heterogeneity because 5mC responds to environmental and genetic cues and its deregulation is a major driver of liver disease. Using liver biopsies from adults with early-stage AATD and the ZZ genotype, genome-wide 5mC patterns were interrogated. We compared DNA methylation among patients with early AATD, and among patients with normal liver, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma derived from multiple etiologic exposures, and linked patient clinical/demographic features. Global analysis revealed significant genomic hypomethylation in AATD liver–impacting genes related to liver cancer, cell cycle, and fibrosis, as well as key regulatory molecules influencing growth, migration, and immune function. Further analysis indicated that 5mC changes are localized, with hypermethylation occurring within a background of genome-wide 5mC loss and with patients with AATD manifesting distinct epigenetic landscapes despite their mutational homogeneity. By integrating clinical data with 5mC landscapes, we observed that CpGs differentially methylated among patients with AATD disease are linked to hallmark clinical features of AATD (e.g., hepatocyte degeneration and polymer accumulation) and further reveal links to well-known sex-specific effects of liver disease progression. Conclusion: Our data reveal molecular epigenetic signatures within this mutationally homogeneous group that point to ways to stratify patients for liver disease risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHepatology
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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alpha 1-Antitrypsin Deficiency
Deficiency Diseases
Epigenomics
5-Methylcytosine
Liver Diseases
Obesity
DNA Methylation
Genome
Autosomal Recessive alpha-1-Antitrypsin Deficiency
Liver
Liver Neoplasms
Liver Cirrhosis
Genes
Cues
Disease Progression
Hepatocytes
Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Cell Cycle
Polymers
Fibrosis

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology

Cite this

Wang, Liguo ; Marek, George W. ; Hlady, Ryan A. ; Wagner, Ryan T. ; Zhao, Xia ; Clark, Virginia C. ; Fan, Alex Xiucheng ; Liu, Chen ; Brantly, Mark ; Robertson, Keith D. / Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Liver Disease, Mutational Homogeneity Modulated by Epigenetic Heterogeneity With Links to Obesity. In: Hepatology. 2019.
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abstract = "Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) liver disease is characterized by marked heterogeneity in presentation and progression, despite a common underlying gene mutation, strongly suggesting the involvement of other genetic and/or epigenetic modifiers. Variation in clinical phenotype has added to the challenge of detection, diagnosis, and testing of new therapies in patients with AATD. We examined the contribution of DNA methylation (5-methylcytosine [5mC]) to AATD liver disease heterogeneity because 5mC responds to environmental and genetic cues and its deregulation is a major driver of liver disease. Using liver biopsies from adults with early-stage AATD and the ZZ genotype, genome-wide 5mC patterns were interrogated. We compared DNA methylation among patients with early AATD, and among patients with normal liver, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma derived from multiple etiologic exposures, and linked patient clinical/demographic features. Global analysis revealed significant genomic hypomethylation in AATD liver–impacting genes related to liver cancer, cell cycle, and fibrosis, as well as key regulatory molecules influencing growth, migration, and immune function. Further analysis indicated that 5mC changes are localized, with hypermethylation occurring within a background of genome-wide 5mC loss and with patients with AATD manifesting distinct epigenetic landscapes despite their mutational homogeneity. By integrating clinical data with 5mC landscapes, we observed that CpGs differentially methylated among patients with AATD disease are linked to hallmark clinical features of AATD (e.g., hepatocyte degeneration and polymer accumulation) and further reveal links to well-known sex-specific effects of liver disease progression. Conclusion: Our data reveal molecular epigenetic signatures within this mutationally homogeneous group that point to ways to stratify patients for liver disease risk.",
author = "Liguo Wang and Marek, {George W.} and Hlady, {Ryan A.} and Wagner, {Ryan T.} and Xia Zhao and Clark, {Virginia C.} and Fan, {Alex Xiucheng} and Chen Liu and Mark Brantly and Robertson, {Keith D.}",
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Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Liver Disease, Mutational Homogeneity Modulated by Epigenetic Heterogeneity With Links to Obesity. / Wang, Liguo; Marek, George W.; Hlady, Ryan A.; Wagner, Ryan T.; Zhao, Xia; Clark, Virginia C.; Fan, Alex Xiucheng; Liu, Chen; Brantly, Mark; Robertson, Keith D.

In: Hepatology, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Marek, George W.

AU - Hlady, Ryan A.

AU - Wagner, Ryan T.

AU - Zhao, Xia

AU - Clark, Virginia C.

AU - Fan, Alex Xiucheng

AU - Liu, Chen

AU - Brantly, Mark

AU - Robertson, Keith D.

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N2 - Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) liver disease is characterized by marked heterogeneity in presentation and progression, despite a common underlying gene mutation, strongly suggesting the involvement of other genetic and/or epigenetic modifiers. Variation in clinical phenotype has added to the challenge of detection, diagnosis, and testing of new therapies in patients with AATD. We examined the contribution of DNA methylation (5-methylcytosine [5mC]) to AATD liver disease heterogeneity because 5mC responds to environmental and genetic cues and its deregulation is a major driver of liver disease. Using liver biopsies from adults with early-stage AATD and the ZZ genotype, genome-wide 5mC patterns were interrogated. We compared DNA methylation among patients with early AATD, and among patients with normal liver, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma derived from multiple etiologic exposures, and linked patient clinical/demographic features. Global analysis revealed significant genomic hypomethylation in AATD liver–impacting genes related to liver cancer, cell cycle, and fibrosis, as well as key regulatory molecules influencing growth, migration, and immune function. Further analysis indicated that 5mC changes are localized, with hypermethylation occurring within a background of genome-wide 5mC loss and with patients with AATD manifesting distinct epigenetic landscapes despite their mutational homogeneity. By integrating clinical data with 5mC landscapes, we observed that CpGs differentially methylated among patients with AATD disease are linked to hallmark clinical features of AATD (e.g., hepatocyte degeneration and polymer accumulation) and further reveal links to well-known sex-specific effects of liver disease progression. Conclusion: Our data reveal molecular epigenetic signatures within this mutationally homogeneous group that point to ways to stratify patients for liver disease risk.

AB - Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) liver disease is characterized by marked heterogeneity in presentation and progression, despite a common underlying gene mutation, strongly suggesting the involvement of other genetic and/or epigenetic modifiers. Variation in clinical phenotype has added to the challenge of detection, diagnosis, and testing of new therapies in patients with AATD. We examined the contribution of DNA methylation (5-methylcytosine [5mC]) to AATD liver disease heterogeneity because 5mC responds to environmental and genetic cues and its deregulation is a major driver of liver disease. Using liver biopsies from adults with early-stage AATD and the ZZ genotype, genome-wide 5mC patterns were interrogated. We compared DNA methylation among patients with early AATD, and among patients with normal liver, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma derived from multiple etiologic exposures, and linked patient clinical/demographic features. Global analysis revealed significant genomic hypomethylation in AATD liver–impacting genes related to liver cancer, cell cycle, and fibrosis, as well as key regulatory molecules influencing growth, migration, and immune function. Further analysis indicated that 5mC changes are localized, with hypermethylation occurring within a background of genome-wide 5mC loss and with patients with AATD manifesting distinct epigenetic landscapes despite their mutational homogeneity. By integrating clinical data with 5mC landscapes, we observed that CpGs differentially methylated among patients with AATD disease are linked to hallmark clinical features of AATD (e.g., hepatocyte degeneration and polymer accumulation) and further reveal links to well-known sex-specific effects of liver disease progression. Conclusion: Our data reveal molecular epigenetic signatures within this mutationally homogeneous group that point to ways to stratify patients for liver disease risk.

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