Investigating the DNA methylation profile of e-cigarette use

Richmond, Rebecca C, Sillero-Rejon, Carlos, Khouja, Jasmine N, Prince, Claire, Board, Alexander, Sharp, Gemma, Suderman, Matthew, Relton, Caroline L, Munafo, Marcus and Gage, Suzanne H ORCID: 0000-0002-2368-1115
(2021) Investigating the DNA methylation profile of e-cigarette use. CLINICAL EPIGENETICS, 13 (1). 183-.

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<h4>Background</h4>Little evidence exists on the health effects of e-cigarette use. DNA methylation may serve as a biomarker for exposure and could be predictive of future health risk. We aimed to investigate the DNA methylation profile of e-cigarette use.<h4>Results</h4>Among 117 smokers, 117 non-smokers and 116 non-smoking vapers, we evaluated associations between e-cigarette use and epigenome-wide methylation from saliva. DNA methylation at 7 cytosine-phosphate-guanine sites (CpGs) was associated with e-cigarette use at p < 1 × 10<sup>-5</sup> and none at p < 5.91 × 10<sup>-8</sup>. 13 CpGs were associated with smoking at p < 1 × 10<sup>-5</sup> and one at p < 5.91 × 10<sup>-8</sup>. CpGs associated with e-cigarette use were largely distinct from those associated with smoking. There was strong enrichment of known smoking-related CpGs in the smokers but not the vapers. We also tested associations between e-cigarette use and methylation scores known to predict smoking and biological ageing. Methylation scores for smoking and biological ageing were similar between vapers and non-smokers. Higher levels of all smoking scores and a biological ageing score (GrimAge) were observed in smokers. A methylation score for e-cigarette use showed poor prediction internally (AUC 0.55, 0.41-0.69) and externally (AUC 0.57, 0.36-0.74) compared with a smoking score (AUCs 0.80) and was less able to discriminate lung squamous cell carcinoma from adjacent normal tissue (AUC 0.64, 0.52-0.76 versus AUC 0.73, 0.61-0.85).<h4>Conclusions</h4>The DNA methylation profile for e-cigarette use is largely distinct from that of cigarette smoking, did not replicate in independent samples, and was unable to discriminate lung cancer from normal tissue. The extent to which methylation related to long-term e-cigarette use translates into chronic effects requires further investigation.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: e-cigarettes, DNA methylation, Smoking, SEE-Cigs, ALSPAC
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Life Sciences
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences > Institute of Population Health
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 17 Nov 2021 09:38
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2023 21:24
DOI: 10.1186/s13148-021-01174-7
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