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author:("began, Huriya")
1.  Adult-Onset Autoimmune Diabetes in Europe Is Prevalent With a Broad Clinical Phenotype 
Diabetes Care  2013;36(4):908-913.
Specific autoantibodies characterize type 1 diabetes in childhood but are also found in adult-onset diabetes, even when initially non–insulin requiring, e.g., with latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA). We aimed to characterize adult-onset autoimmune diabetes.
We consecutively studied 6,156 European diabetic patients attending clinics within 5 years of diagnosis (age range, 30–70 years) examined cross-sectionally clinically and for GAD antibodies (GADA) and antibodies to insulinoma-associated antigen-2 (IA-2A) and zinc-transporter 8 (ZnT8A).
Of 6,156 patients, 541 (8.8%) had GADA and only 57 (0.9%) IA-2A or ZnT8A alone. More autoantibody-positive than autoantibody-negative patients were younger, leaner, on insulin (49.5 vs. 13.2%), and female (P < 0.0001 for each), though LADA patients (9.7% of total) did not show categorically distinct clinical features from autoantibody-negative type 2 diabetes. Similarly, more GADA patients with high (>200 World Health Organization IU) (n = 403) compared with low (n = 138) titer were female, lean, and insulin treated (54.6 vs. 39.7%) (P < 0.02 for each). Autoantibody-positive patients usually had GADA (541 of 598; 90.5%) and had LADA more often than type 1 autoimmune diabetes (odds ratio 3.3).
Adult-onset autoimmune diabetes emerges as a prevalent form of autoimmune diabetes. Our results indicate that adult-onset autoimmune diabetes in Europe encompasses type 1 diabetes and LADA in the same broad clinical and autoantibody-positive spectrum. At diagnosis, patients with adult-onset autoimmune diabetes are usually non–insulin requiring and clinically indistinguishable from patients with type 2 diabetes, though they tend to be younger and leaner. Only with screening for autoantibodies, especially GADA, can they be identified with certainty.
PMCID: PMC3609504  PMID: 23248199
2.  Buccals are likely to be a more informative surrogate tissue than blood for epigenome-wide association studies 
Epigenetics  2013;8(4):445-454.
There is increasing evidence that interindividual epigenetic variation is an etiological factor in common human diseases. Such epigenetic variation could be genetic or non-genetic in origin, and epigenome-wide association studies (EWASs) are underway for a wide variety of diseases/phenotypes. However, performing an EWAS is associated with a range of issues not typically encountered in genome-wide association studies (GWASs), such as the tissue to be analyzed. In many EWASs, it is not possible to analyze the target tissue in large numbers of live humans, and consequently surrogate tissues are employed, most commonly blood. But there is as yet no evidence demonstrating that blood is more informative than buccal cells, the other easily accessible tissue. To assess the potential of buccal cells for use in EWASs, we performed a comprehensive analysis of a buccal cell methylome using whole-genome bisulfite sequencing. Strikingly, a buccal vs. blood comparison reveals > 6X as many hypomethylated regions in buccal. These tissue-specific differentially methylated regions (tDMRs) are strongly enriched for DNaseI hotspots. Almost 75% of these tDMRs are not captured by commonly used DNA methylome profiling platforms such as Reduced Representational Bisulfite Sequencing and the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip, and they also display distinct genomic properties. Buccal hypo-tDMRs show a statistically significant enrichment near SNPs associated to disease identified through GWASs. Finally, we find that, compared with blood, buccal hypo-tDMRs show significantly greater overlap with hypomethylated regions in other tissues. We propose that for non-blood based diseases/phenotypes, buccal will be a more informative tissue for EWASs.
PMCID: PMC3674053  PMID: 23538714
BS-seq; buccal; complex disease; epigenome wide association study; human
3.  Inactive or moderately active human promoters are enriched for inter-individual epialleles 
Genome Biology  2013;14(5):R43.
Inter-individual epigenetic variation, due to genetic, environmental or random influences, is observed in many eukaryotic species. In mammals, however, the molecular nature of epiallelic variation has been poorly defined, partly due to the restricted focus on DNA methylation. Here we report the first genome-scale investigation of mammalian epialleles that integrates genomic, methylomic, transcriptomic and histone state information.
First, in a small sample set, we demonstrate that non-genetically determined inter-individual differentially methylated regions (iiDMRs) can be temporally stable over at least 2 years. Then, we show that iiDMRs are associated with changes in chromatin state as measured by inter-individual differences in histone variant H2A.Z levels. However, the correlation of promoter iiDMRs with gene expression is negligible and not improved by integrating H2A.Z information. We find that most promoter epialleles, whether genetically or non-genetically determined, are associated with low levels of transcriptional activity, depleted for housekeeping genes, and either depleted for H3K4me3/enriched for H3K27me3 or lacking both these marks in human embryonic stem cells. The preferential enrichment of iiDMRs at regions of relative transcriptional inactivity validates in a larger independent cohort, and is reminiscent of observations previously made for promoters that undergo hypermethylation in various cancers, in vitro cell culture and ageing.
Our work identifies potential key features of epiallelic variation in humans, including temporal stability of non-genetically determined epialleles, and concomitant perturbations of chromatin state. Furthermore, our work suggests a novel mechanistic link among inter-individual epialleles observed in the context of normal variation, cancer and ageing.
PMCID: PMC4053860  PMID: 23706135
Epigenetics; DNA methylation; epialleles
4.  Glycotoxin and Autoantibodies Are Additive Environmentally Determined Predictors of Type 1 Diabetes 
Diabetes  2012;61(5):1192-1198.
In type 1 diabetes, diabetes-associated autoantibodies, including islet cell antibodies (ICAs), reflect adaptive immunity, while increased serum Nε-carboxymethyl-lysine (CML), an advanced glycation end product, is associated with proinflammation. We assessed whether serum CML and autoantibodies predicted type 1 diabetes and to what extent they were determined by genetic or environmental factors. Of 7,287 unselected schoolchildren screened, 115 were ICA+ and were tested for baseline CML and diabetes autoantibodies and followed (for median 7 years), whereas a random selection (n = 2,102) had CML tested. CML and diabetes autoantibodies were determined in a classic twin study of twin pairs discordant for type 1 diabetes (32 monozygotic, 32 dizygotic pairs). CML was determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, autoantibodies were determined by radioimmunoprecipitation, ICA was determined by indirect immunofluorescence, and HLA class II genotyping was determined by sequence-specific oligonucleotides. CML was increased in ICA+ and prediabetic schoolchildren and in diabetic and nondiabetic twins (all P < 0.001). Elevated levels of CML in ICA+ children were a persistent, independent predictor of diabetes progression, in addition to autoantibodies and HLA risk. In twins model fitting, familial environment explained 75% of CML variance, and nonshared environment explained all autoantibody variance. Serum CML, a glycotoxin, emerged as an environmentally determined diabetes risk factor, in addition to autoimmunity and HLA genetic risk, and a potential therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC3331747  PMID: 22396204
5.  Metabolomics Makes a Mark: Early Changes Associated With Autoimmune Diabetes 
Diabetes  2011;60(11):2688-2690.
PMCID: PMC3198102  PMID: 22025776
6.  Identification of Type 1 Diabetes–Associated DNA Methylation Variable Positions That Precede Disease Diagnosis 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(9):e1002300.
Monozygotic (MZ) twin pair discordance for childhood-onset Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is ∼50%, implicating roles for genetic and non-genetic factors in the aetiology of this complex autoimmune disease. Although significant progress has been made in elucidating the genetics of T1D in recent years, the non-genetic component has remained poorly defined. We hypothesized that epigenetic variation could underlie some of the non-genetic component of T1D aetiology and, thus, performed an epigenome-wide association study (EWAS) for this disease. We generated genome-wide DNA methylation profiles of purified CD14+ monocytes (an immune effector cell type relevant to T1D pathogenesis) from 15 T1D–discordant MZ twin pairs. This identified 132 different CpG sites at which the direction of the intra-MZ pair DNA methylation difference significantly correlated with the diabetic state, i.e. T1D–associated methylation variable positions (T1D–MVPs). We confirmed these T1D–MVPs display statistically significant intra-MZ pair DNA methylation differences in the expected direction in an independent set of T1D–discordant MZ pairs (P = 0.035). Then, to establish the temporal origins of the T1D–MVPs, we generated two further genome-wide datasets and established that, when compared with controls, T1D–MVPs are enriched in singletons both before (P = 0.001) and at (P = 0.015) disease diagnosis, and also in singletons positive for diabetes-associated autoantibodies but disease-free even after 12 years follow-up (P = 0.0023). Combined, these results suggest that T1D–MVPs arise very early in the etiological process that leads to overt T1D. Our EWAS of T1D represents an important contribution toward understanding the etiological role of epigenetic variation in type 1 diabetes, and it is also the first systematic analysis of the temporal origins of disease-associated epigenetic variation for any human complex disease.
Author Summary
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a complex autoimmune disease affecting >30 million people worldwide. It is caused by a combination of genetic and non-genetic factors, leading to destruction of insulin-secreting cells. Although significant progress has recently been made in elucidating the genetics of T1D, the non-genetic component has remained poorly defined. Epigenetic modifications, such as methylation of DNA, are indispensable for genomic processes such as transcriptional regulation and are frequently perturbed in human disease. We therefore hypothesized that epigenetic variation could underlie some of the non-genetic component of T1D aetiology, and we performed a genome-wide DNA methylation analysis of a specific subset of immune cells (monocytes) from monozygotic twins discordant for T1D. This revealed the presence of T1D–specific methylation variable positions (T1D–MVPs) in the T1D–affected co-twins. Since these T1D–MVPs were found in MZ twins, they cannot be due to genetic differences. Additional experiments revealed that some of these T1D–MVPs are found in individuals before T1D diagnosis, suggesting they arise very early in the process that leads to overt T1D and are not simply due to post-disease associated factors (e.g. medication or long-term metabolic changes). T1D–MVPs may thus potentially represent a previously unappreciated, and important, component of type 1 diabetes risk.
PMCID: PMC3183089  PMID: 21980303
7.  Monocyte Gene-Expression Profiles Associated With Childhood-Onset Type 1 Diabetes and Disease Risk: A Study of Identical Twins 
Diabetes  2010;59(7):1751-1755.
Monocytes in childhood-onset type 1 diabetes show distinct gene expression. We hypothesize that monocyte activation in monozygotic (MZ) twin pairs discordant for childhood-onset type 1 diabetes could reflect distinct stages of the disease process including diabetes susceptibility (differences between twins, both diabetic and nondiabetic, and control subjects) and/or disease progression (differences between diabetic and nondiabetic twins).
We studied patterns of inflammatory gene expression in peripheral blood monocytes of MZ twin pairs (n = 10 pairs) discordant for childhood-onset type 1 diabetes, normal control twin pairs (n = 10 pairs), and healthy control subjects (n = 51) using quantitative-PCR (Q-PCR). We tested the 24 genes previously observed by whole genome analyses and verified by Q-PCR in autoimmune diabetes and performed a hierarchical cluster analysis.
Of 24 genes abnormally expressed in childhood-onset type 1 diabetes, we revalidated abnormal expression in 16 of them in diabetic twins including distinct sets of downregulated (P < 0.03) and upregulated (P < 0.02) genes. Of these 16 genes, 13 were abnormally expressed in nondiabetic twins, implicating these genes in diabetes susceptibility (P < 0.044 for all). Cluster analysis of monocyte gene-expression in nondiabetic twins identified two distinct, mutually exclusive clusters, while diabetic twins had a network of positively correlated genes.
Patients with childhood-onset type 1 diabetes show abnormal monocyte gene–expression levels with an altered gene–expression network due to gene-environment interaction. Importantly, perturbed gene–expression clusters were also detected in nondiabetic twins, implicating monocyte abnormalities in susceptibility to diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2889775  PMID: 20393150
8.  Distinct Monocyte Gene-Expression Profiles in Autoimmune Diabetes 
Diabetes  2008;57(10):2768-2773.
OBJECTIVE—There is evidence that monocytes of patients with type 1 diabetes show proinflammatory activation and disturbed migration/adhesion, but the evidence is inconsistent. Our hypothesis is that monocytes are distinctly activated/disturbed in different subforms of autoimmune diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—We studied patterns of inflammatory gene expression in monocytes of patients with type 1 diabetes (juvenile onset, n = 30; adult onset, n = 30) and latent autoimmune diabetes of the adult (LADA) (n = 30) (controls subjects, n = 49; type 2 diabetic patients, n = 30) using quantitative PCR. We tested 25 selected genes: 12 genes detected in a prestudy via whole-genome analyses plus an additional 13 genes identified as part of a monocyte inflammatory signature previously reported.
RESULTS—We identified two distinct monocyte gene expression clusters in autoimmune diabetes. One cluster (comprising 12 proinflammatory cytokine/compound genes with a putative key gene PDE4B) was detected in 60% of LADA and 28% of adult-onset type 1 diabetic patients but in only 10% of juvenile-onset type 1 diabetic patients. A second cluster (comprising 10 chemotaxis, adhesion, motility, and metabolism genes) was detected in 43% of juvenile-onset type 1 diabetic and 33% of LADA patients but in only 9% of adult-onset type 1 diabetic patients.
CONCLUSIONS—Subgroups of type 1 diabetic patients show an abnormal monocyte gene expression with two profiles, supporting a concept of heterogeneity in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes only partly overlapping with the presently known diagnostic categories.
PMCID: PMC2551688  PMID: 18599519
9.  Incomplete penetrance of susceptibility genes for MHC-determined immunoglobulin deficiencies in monozygotic twins discordant for type 1 diabetes 
Journal of autoimmunity  2006;27(2):89-95.
Incomplete intrinsic penetrance is the failure of some genetically susceptible individuals (e.g., monozygotic twins of those who have a trait) to exhibit that trait. For the first time, we examine penetrance of susceptibility genes for multiple MHC gene-determined traits in the same subjects. Serum levels of IgA, IgD, IgG3, but not IgG4, in 50 pairs of monozygotic twins discordant for type 1 diabetes (T1D) correlated more closely in the twins than in random paired controls. The frequencies of subjects deficient in IgA (6%), IgD (33%) and IgG4 (12%), but not in IgG3, were higher in the twins than in controls. We postulate that this was because the MHC haplotypes (and possible non-MHC genes) that predispose to T1D also carry susceptibility genes for certain immunoglobulin deficiencies. Immunoglobulin deficiencies were not associated with T1D. Pairwise concordance for the deficiencies in the twins was 50% for IgA, 57% for IgD and 50% for IgG4. There were no significant associations among the specific immunoglobulin deficiencies except that all IgA-deficient subjects had IgD deficiency. Thus, intrinsic penetrance is a random process independently affecting different MHC susceptibility genes. Because multiple different external triggers would be required to explain the results, differential environmental determinants appear unlikely.
PMCID: PMC1810396  PMID: 17029885
Immunoglobulin deficiency; Type 1 diabetes; Incomplete penetrance; Major histocompatibility complex

Results 1-9 (9)