Promoter DNA hypermethylation - Implications for Alzheimer's disease

Neurosci Lett. 2019 Oct 15:711:134403. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2019.134403. Epub 2019 Jul 24.


Recent methylome-wide association studies (MWAS) in humans have solidified the concept that aberrant DNA methylation is associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD). We summarize these findings to improve the understanding of mechanisms governing DNA methylation pertinent to transcriptional regulation, with an emphasis of AD-associated promoter DNA hypermethylation, which establishes an epigenetic barrier for transcriptional activation. By considering brain cell type specific expression profiles that have been published only for non-demented individuals, we detail functional activities of selected neuron, microglia, and astrocyte-enriched genes (AGAP2, DUSP6 and GPR37L1, respectively), which are DNA hypermethylated at promoters in AD. We highlight future directions in MWAS including experimental confirmation, functional relevance to AD, cell type-specific temporal characterization, and mechanism investigation.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; DNA methylation; Promoter DNA hypermethylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Animals
  • DNA Methylation / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics