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DNA methylation in obesity and type 2 diabetes

de Mello, Vanessa Derenji Ferreira; Pulkkinen, Leena; Lalli, Marianne; Kolehmainen, Marjukka; Pihlajamäki, Jussi; Uusitupa, Matti

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PMID: 24779963


To elucidate the mechanisms related to the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and other degenerative diseases at a molecular level, a better understanding of the changes in the chromatin structure and the corresponding functional changes in molecular pathways is still needed. For example, persons with low birth weight are at a high risk for development of T2D later in life, suggesting that the intrauterine environment contributes to the disease. One of the hypotheses is that epigenetic regulation, including changes in DNA methylation leading to modifications in chromatin structure, are behind metabolic alterations, e.g. leading to the phenomenon termed metabolic memory. Altered DNA methylation has been shown to affect healthy aging and also to promote age-related health problems. There is suggestive evidence that lifestyle changes including weight loss can have an impact on DNA methylation and consequently gene expression. In this review we provide an overview of human studies investigating DNA methylation in obesity and T2D and associated risk factors behind these diseases.

Automatic Tags

Humans; Obesity; Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2; Hyperglycemia; Epigenesis, Genetic; DNA Methylation; Fetal Development

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