Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of visual impairment worldwide. Aberrant DNA methylation within the promoter of IL17RC in peripheral blood mononuclear cells has recently been reported in AMD. To validate this association, we examined DNA methylation of the IL17RC promoter in peripheral blood. First, we used Illumina Human Methylation450 Bead Arrays, a widely accepted platform for measuring global DNA methylation. Second, methylation status at multiple sites within the IL17RC promoter was determined by bisulfite pyrosequencing in two cohorts. Third, a methylation-sensitive quantitative PCR-based assay was performed on a subset of samples. In contrast to previous findings, we did not find evidence of differential methylation between AMD cases and age-matched controls. We conclude that hypomethylation within the IL17RC gene promoter in peripheral blood is not suitable for use as a clinical biomarker of AMD. This study highlights the need for considerable replication of epigenetic association studies prior to clinical application.
Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.