J Cancer. 2018 Jun 22;9(14):2532-2542. doi: 10.7150/jca.23535. eCollection 2018.
Association Analysis between Body Mass Index and Genomic DNA Methylation across 15 Major Cancer Types.
Cancer incidence and mortality increase with increasing body mass index (BMI), but BMI-associated epigenetic alterations in cancer remain elusive. We hypothesized that BMI would be associated with DNA methylation alterations in cancers. To test this hypothesis, here, we estimated the associations between DNA methylation and BMI through two different methods across 15 cancer types, at approximately 485,000 CpG sites and 2415 samples using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas. After comparing the DNA methylation levels in control BMI and high BMI individuals, we found differentially methylated CpG sites (DMSs) in cholangiocarcinoma (CHOL), colon adenocarcinoma (COAD), and uterine corpus endometrial carcinoma (UCEC) (False Discovery Rate < 0.05). The DMSs of COAD or UCEC were enriched in several obesity-induced and cancer-related pathways. Next, when BMI was used as a continuous variable, we identified BMI-associated methylated CpG sites (BMS) (P (Bonferroni) < 0.05) in CHOL (BMS = 1), COAD (BMS = 1), and UCEC (BMS = 4) using multivariable linear regression. In UCEC, three of the BMSs can predict the clinical outcomes and survival of patients with the tumors. Overall, we observed associations between DNA methylation and high BMI in CHOL, COAD, and UCEC. Furthermore, three BMI-associated CpGs were identified as potential biomarkers for UCEC prognosis.
Association analysis; Body mass index; Cancer; DNA methylation; Epigenetics