Hidradenitis suppurativa associated telomere-methylome dysregulations in blood

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2024 Feb;38(2):393-403. doi: 10.1111/jdv.19586. Epub 2023 Dec 6.


Background: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic debilitating disease with a significant burden of both organic and psychological comorbidities. It has been shown that certain telomere-related genes (TRGs) affect a wide range of diseases, including HS and its associated comorbidities, but their exact role in HS pathogenesis is still unknown.

Objectives: To determine whether TRG methylomes can be used as biomarkers in HS.

Methods: Using the Illumina HumanMethylation450 BeadChip array, we examined methylation variations associated with TRGs in HS cases and age-, sex- and ethnicity-matched healthy controls. The study utilized integrated bioinformatics statistical methods, such as a false discovery rate (FDR), the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) and principal component analysis.

Results: There were a total of 585 different differentially methylated CpG sites identified in 585 TRGs associated with HS (474 hypomethylated and 111 hypermethylated) (FDR p-value < 0.05). A number of these CpGs have been identified as being involved in increased pain sensitivity including EPAS1, AHR, CSNK1D, DNMT1, IKBKAP, NOS3, PLCB1 and PRDM16 genes; GABRB3 as a potential alcohol addiction marker; DDB1, NSMCE2 and HNRNPA2B1 associated with cancers. Pathway analysis identified 67 statistically significant pathways, including DNA repair, telomere maintenance, mismatch repair and cell cycle control (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: The disruption of TRGs leads to the shortening of telomeres, which is associated with HS progression, ageing, cellular senescence and an increased risk of various diseases, including cancer and associated comorbidities, such as metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease and inflammatory disorders. Further research is necessary to better understand the underlying mechanisms and establish causal links between TRGs and HS. The present study is the first effort to comprehend potential pathomechanisms of sporadic HS cases concentrating on PBMC methylome since ours.

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Epigenome
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa* / epidemiology
  • Hidradenitis Suppurativa* / genetics
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear
  • Ligases
  • Neoplasms*
  • Telomere / genetics


  • NSMCE2 protein, human
  • Ligases