Suicide is among the leading causes of death worldwide. The polyamine system has been increasingly implicated in the neurobiology of suicide. Previous research has indicated that epigenetic mechanisms play a role in explaining dysregulation of polyamine genes in suicide completers. Nevertheless, regulatory mechanisms explaining polyamine biosynthetic genes displaying dysregulated expression in suicide completers, including ornithine decarboxylase antizymes 1 and 2 (OAZ1 and OAZ2), S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (AMD1), and arginase 2 (ARG2), have yet to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated methylation patterns in the promoter region of OAZ1, OAZ2, AMD1, and ARG2 in Brodmann area 44 from a group of 33 suicide completers and 31 non-suicide controls. We found significant site-specific differences in methylation in the promoter of ARG2 and AMD1 that were also significantly negatively correlated with gene expression. These findings provide further support for a role for the involvement of epigenetic modifications in the regulation of genes associated with polyamine biosynthesis, and which may contribute to the complexity of suicidal behaviors.
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