Epigenome-wide association studies identify DNA methylation associated with kidney function

Audrey Y. Chu, Adrienne Tin, Pascal Schlosser, Yi An Ko, Chengxiang Qiu, Chen Yao, Roby Joehanes, Morgan E. Grams, Liming Liang, Caroline A. Gluck, Chunyu Liu, Josef Coresh, Shih Jen Hwang, Daniel Levy, Eric Boerwinkle, James S. Pankow, Qiong Yang, Myriam Fornage, Caroline S. Fox, Katalin SusztakAnna Köttgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is defined by reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Previous genetic studies have implicated regulatory mechanisms contributing to CKD. Here we present epigenome-wide association studies of eGFR and CKD using whole-blood DNA methylation of 2264 ARIC Study and 2595 Framingham Heart Study participants to identify epigenetic signatures of kidney function. Of 19 CpG sites significantly associated (P < 1e-07) with eGFR/CKD and replicated, five also associate with renal fibrosis in biopsies from CKD patients and show concordant DNA methylation changes in kidney cortex. Lead CpGs at PTPN6/PHB2, ANKRD11, and TNRC18 map to active enhancers in kidney cortex. At PTPN6/PHB2 cg19942083, methylation in kidney cortex associates with lower renal PTPN6 expression, higher eGFR, and less renal fibrosis. The regions containing the 243 eGFR-associated (P < 1e-05) CpGs are significantly enriched for transcription factor binding sites of EBF1, EP300, and CEBPB (P < 5e-6). Our findings highlight kidney function associated epigenetic variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1286
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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