Differential DNA methylation has been suggested to contribute to differential activity of alleles C and T and thereby to genetic associations between the C/T(102) polymorphism in the 5-HT2A receptor gene (5HT2AR) and psychiatric disorders. We surveyed methylation in two CpG sites, which are specific to allele C. The majority of allele C-specific CpG sites were methylated in human temporal cortex and peripheral leukocytes and levels of methylation varied between individuals. Levels of methylation in the promoter correlated significantly with the expression of 5HT2AR. Methylation of allele C-specific CpG sites in the first exon correlated significantly with the expression of DNA methylase 1 (DNMT1) but not S-adenosylhomocysteine hydrolase (AHCY). These findings support the hypothesis that allele-specific DNA methylation is involved in regulation of 5HT2AR expression, influencing expression differences between alleles C and T.
Copyright 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.