Association of cigarette smoking and CRP levels with DNA methylation in α-1 antitrypsin deficiency

Mateusz Siedlinski, Barbara Klanderman, Robert A. Sandhaus, Alan F. Barker, Mark L. Brantly, Edward Eden, N. Gerard McElvaney, Stephen I. Rennard, James M. Stocks, James K. Stoller, Charlie Strange, Gerard M. Turino, Edward J. Campbell, Dawn L. DeMeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Alpha-1 antitrypsin (AA T) deficiency and tobacco smoking are confirmed risk factors for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. We hypothesized that variable DNA methylation would be associated with smoking and inflammation, as reflected by the level of C-Reactive Protein (CRP) in AA T-deficient subjects. Methylation levels of 1,411 autosomal CpG sites from the Illumina GoldenGate Methylation Cancer Panel I were analyzed in 316 subjects. Associations of five smoking behaviors and CRP levels with individual CpG sites and average methylation levels were assessed using non-parametric testing, linear regression and linear mixed effect models, with and without adjustment for age and gender. Univariate linear regression analysis revealed that methylation levels of 16 CpG sites significantly associated with ever-smoking status. A CpG site in the TGFBI gene was the only site associated with ever-smoking after adjustment for age and gender. No highly significant associations existed between age at smoking initiation, pack-years smoked, duration of smoking and time since quitting smoking as predictors of individual CpG site methylation levels. However, ever-smoking and younger age at smoking initiation associated with lower methylation level averaged across all sites. DNA methylation at CpG sites in the RUNX3, JAK3 and KRT1 genes associated with CRP levels. The most significantly associated CpG sites with gender and age mapped to the CASP6 and FZD9 genes, respectively. In summary, this study identified multiple potential candidate CpG sites associated with ever-smoking and CRP level in AA T-deficient subjects. Phenotypic variability in Mendelian diseases may be due to epigenetic factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)720-728
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2012


  • 68 kDa (TGFBI)
  • Alpha-1 Antitrypsin (AAT) deficiency
  • Beta-induced
  • C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Illumina goldengate methylation cancer panel I
  • Methylation
  • Smoking behaviors
  • Transforming growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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