ISSN: 0034-8376
eISSN: 2564-8896






Brain Gene Expression-DNA Methylation Correlation in Suicide Completers: Preliminary Results



Brenda Cabrera-Mendoza, Genomics of Psychiatric and Neurodegenerative Diseases Laboratory, Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica, SSA; Combined Studies Program in Medicine MD/PhD, Faculty of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; Mexico City, Mexico
José J. Martínez-Magaña, Genomics of Psychiatric and Neurodegenerative Diseases Laboratory, Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica, SSA, Mexico City, Mexico
Alma D. Genis-Mendoza, Genomics Laboratory of Psychiatric and Neurodegenerative Diseases, Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica, Mexico City; Psychiatric Care Services, Hospital Psiquiátrico Infantil
Nancy Monroy-Jaramillo, Department of Neurogenetics, Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía Manuel Velasco Suárez, Mexico City, Mexico
Consuelo Walss-Bass, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Texas, USA
Gabriel R. Fries, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Texas, USA
Fernando García-Dolores, Institute of Forensic Science, Mexico City, Mexico
Mauro López-Armenta, Institute of Forensic Science, Mexico City, Mexico
Gonzalo Flores, Neuropsychiatry Laboratory, Institute of Physiology, Benemérita Universidad de Puebla, Mexico
Rubén A. Vázquez-Roque, Neuropsychiatry Laboratory, Institute of Physiology, Benemérita Universidad de Puebla, Mexico
Humberto Nicolini, Genomics Laboratory of Psychiatric and Neurodegenerative Diseases, Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica, Mexico City, Grupo de Estudios Médicos y Familiares, Mexico City, Mexico


Background: Gene expression alterations have been implicated in suicide pathology. However, the study of the regulatory effect of DNA methylation on gene expression in the suicidal brain has been restricted to candidate genes. Objective: The objective of the study was to identify genes whose expression levels are correlated with DNA methylation in the prefrontal cortex of suicides. Methods: Postmortem prefrontal cortex samples from 21 suicides and six non-suicides were collected. Transcriptomic and DNA methylation profiles were evaluated with microarrays; cis correlations between gene expression and CpG methylation were screened. We then analyzed the presence of transcription factor (TF) binding sites (TFBS) at CpG sites correlated with gene expression. Gene expression of TFs involved in neurodevelopmental binding to predicted TFBS was determined in the BrainSpan database. Results: We identified 22 CpG sites whose methylation levels correlated with gene expression in the prefrontal cortex of suicides. Genes annotated to identified CpG sites were involved in neurodevelopment (BBS4, NKX6-2, AXL, CTNND1, and MBP) and polyamine metabolism (polyamine oxidase [PAOX]). Such correlations were not detected in the nonsuicide group. Nine TFs (USF1, TBP, SF1, NRF1, RFX1, SP3, PKNOX1, MAZ, and POU3F2) showed differential expression in pre- and post-natal developmental periods, according to BrainSpan database. Conclusions: The integration of different omic technologies provided novel candidates for the investigation of genes whose expression is altered in the suicidal brain and their potential regulatory mechanisms. (REV INVEST CLIN. [AHEAD OF PRINT])



Keywords: Suicide. DNA methylation. Gene expression. Cerebral cortex. Microarrays. Transcription factors. Neurodevelopment.