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Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis reveals loci that distinguish different types of adipose tissue in obese individuals

Abstract

Epigenetic mechanisms provide an interface between environmental factors and the genome and are known to play a role in complex diseases such as obesity. These mechanisms, including DNA methylation, influence the regulation of development, differentiation and the establishment of cellular identity. Here we employ two approaches to identify differential methylation between two white adipose tissue depots in obese individuals before and after gastric bypass and significant weight loss. We analyse genome-wide DNA methylation data using (a) traditional paired t tests to identify significantly differentially methylated loci (Bonferroni-adjusted P ≤ 1 × 10−7) and (b) novel combinatorial algorithms to identify loci that differentiate between tissue types.

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