Previous studies have now demonstrated that both genic and global hypomethylation characterizes the multiple myeloma (MM) epigenome. Whether these methylation changes are associated with global and corresponding increases (or decreases) in transcriptional activity are poorly understood. The purpose of our current study was to correlate DNA methylation levels in MM to gene expression. We analyzed matching datasets generated by the GoldenGate methylation BeadArray and Affymetrix gene expression platforms in 193 MM samples. We subsequently utilized two independent statistical approaches to identify methylation-expression correlations. In the first approach, we used a linear correlation parameter by computing a Pearson correlation coefficient. In the second approach, we discretized samples into low and high methylation groups and then compared the gene expression differences between the groups. Only methylation of 2.1% and 25.3% of CpG sites on the methylation array correlated to gene expression by Pearson correlation or the discretization method, respectively. Among the genes with methylation-expression correlations were IGF1R, DLC1, p16, and IL17RB. In conclusion, DNA methylation may directly regulate relatively few genes and suggests that additional studies are needed to determine the effects of genome-wide methylation changes in MM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences