Micronutrient status and global DNA methylation in school-age children

Wei Perng*, Laura S. Rozek, Mercedes Mora-Plazas, Ofra Duchin, Constanza Marin, Yibby Forero, Ana Baylin, Eduardo Villamor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Aberrations in global LINE-1 DNA methylation have been related to risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Micronutrients including methyl-donors and retinoids are involved in DNA methylation pathways. We investigated associations of micronutrient status and LINE-1 methylation in a cross-sectional study of school-age children from Bogot?, Colombia. Methylation of LINE-1 repetitive elements was quantified in 568 children 5-12 years of age using pyrosequencing technology. We examined the association of LINE-1 methylation with erythrocyte folate, plasma vitamin B12, vitamin A ferritin (an indicator of iron status) and serum zinc concentrations using multivariable linear regression. We also considered associations of LINE-1 methylation with socio-demographic and anthropometric characteristics. Mean (? SD) LINE-1 methylation was 80.25 (? 0.65) percentage of 5-mC (%5-mC). LINE-1 methylation was inversely related to plasma vitamin A. After adjustment for potential confounders, children with retinol levels higher than or equal to 1.05 ?mol/L showed 0.19% 5-mC lower LINE-1 methylation than children with retinol levels lower than 0.70 ?mol/L. LINE-1 methylation was also inversely associated with C-reactive protein, a marker of chronic inflammation, and female sex. We identified positive associations of maternal body mass index and socioeconomic status with LINE-1 methylation. These associations were not significantly different by sex. Whether modification of these exposures during school-age years leads to changes in global DNA methylation warrants further investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1133-1141
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • LINE-1
  • global DNA methylation
  • methyl-donor nutrients
  • vitamin A
  • maternal BMI
  • C-reactive protein
  • inflammation
  • socioeconomic status
  • children

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