The potential use of DNA methylation biomarkers to identify risk and progression of type 2 diabetes

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Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) is a slowly progressive disease that can be postponed or even avoided through lifestyle changes. Recent data demonstrate highly significant correlations between DNA methylation and the most important risk factors of T2D, including age and body mass index, in blood and human tissues relevant to insulin resistance and T2D. Also, T2D patients and individuals with increased risk of the disease display differential DNA methylation profiles and plasticity compared to controls. Accordingly, the novel clues to DNA methylation fingerprints in blood and tissues with deteriorated metabolic capacity indicate that blood-borne epigenetic biomarkers of T2D progression might become a reality. This Review will address the most recent associations between DNA methylation and diabetes-related traits in human tissues and blood. The overall focus is on the potential of future epigenome-wide studies, carried out across tissues and populations with correlations to pre-diabetes and T2D risk factors, to build up a library of epigenetic markers of risk and early progression of T2D. These markers may, tentatively in combination with other predictors of T2D development, increase the possibility of individual-based lifestyle prevention of T2D and associated metabolic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00043
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Issue numberMAR
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

    Research areas

  • Biomarkers, DNA methylation, Epigenetics, Prediction, Prevention, Type 2 diabetes

ID: 243012782