Decreased p66Shcpromoter methylation in patients with end-stage renal disease

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Background:p66Shc is a stress response protein and partially regulated by epigenetic modifications. Mice lacking p66Shc have reduced atherosclerosis, increased resistance to oxidative stress and a prolonged life time. The aim of the present study was to compare promoter methylation of the p66Shc gene between healthy controls and patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD). There are two reasons for studying patients with ESRD. First, patients with ESRD have a disturbed homocysteine metabolism, and second an increased risk of morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease is a constant finding in these patients.Methods:In our study, we measured fasting levels of homocysteine, S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) and 8-isoprostane in 22 patients and in 26 healthy, age- and sex-matched controls. The methylation of the p66Shc promoter and Line-1, as surrogate marker of whole genome methylation was quantified in peripheral blood mononuclear cells.Results:In comparison to the control group, homocysteine, SAM, SAH, 8-isoprostane and whole genome methylation were significantly elevated in ESRD patients, while the p66Shc promoter methylation was significantly reduced. A significant correlation was found between SAH and p66Shc promoter methylation in the patient group. This observation underlines the role of SAH as a potent inhibitor of methyltransferases. Using backward regression analysis, we demonstrated that 8-isoprostane has a significant influence on p66Shc promoter methylation. In the control group and in patients with ESRD, increasing 8-isoprostane levels were linked to an elevated promoter methylation.Conclusions:Under physiological conditions, based on the results of the control group, the p66Shc expression is more silenced through epigenetic modifications. The atherosclerotic risk is dramatically increased in ESRD patients; therefore, our experimental results of methylation are in accordance with the clinical situation.

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