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  • 1
    Abstract: AIM OF THE STUDY: A vast majority of human malignancies are associated with ageing, and age is a strong predictor of cancer risk. Recently, DNA methylation-based marker of ageing, known as 'epigenetic clock', has been linked with cancer risk factors. This study aimed to evaluate whether the epigenetic clock is associated with breast cancer risk susceptibility and to identify potential epigenetics-based biomarkers for risk stratification. METHODS: Here, we profiled DNA methylation changes in a nested case-control study embedded in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort (n = 960) using the Illumina HumanMethylation 450K BeadChip arrays and used the Horvath age estimation method to calculate epigenetic age for these samples. Intrinsic epigenetic age acceleration (IEAA) was estimated as the residuals by regressing epigenetic age on chronological age. RESULTS: We observed an association between IEAA and breast cancer risk (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.007-1.076, P = 0.016). One unit increase in IEAA was associated with a 4% increased odds of developing breast cancer (OR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.007-1.076). Stratified analysis based on menopausal status revealed that IEAA was associated with development of postmenopausal breast cancers (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.020-1.11, P = 0.003). In addition, methylome-wide analyses revealed that a higher mean DNA methylation at cytosine-phosphate-guanine (CpG) islands was associated with increased risk of breast cancer development (OR per 1 SD = 1.20; 95 %CI: 1.03-1.40, P = 0.02) whereas mean methylation levels at non-island CpGs were indistinguishable between cancer cases and controls. CONCLUSION: Epigenetic age acceleration and CpG island methylation have a weak, but statistically significant, association with breast cancer susceptibility.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 28259012
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  • 2
    Abstract: Epidemiological studies have reported inconsistent findings for the association between B vitamins and breast cancer (BC) risk. We investigated the relationship between biomarkers of folate and vitamin B12 and the risk of BC in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohort. Plasma concentrations of folate and vitamin B12 were determined in 2,491 BC cases individually matched to 2,521 controls among women who provided baseline blood samples. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios by quartiles of either plasma B vitamin. Subgroup analyses by menopausal status, hormone receptor status of breast tumors (ER, PR, and HER2), alcohol intake, and MTHFR polymorphisms (677C〉T and 1298A〉C) were also performed. Plasma levels of folate and vitamin B12 were not significantly associated with the overall risk of BC or by hormone receptor status. A marginally positive association was found between vitamin B12 status and BC risk in women consuming above the median level of alcohol (ORQ4-Q1 = 1.26; 95% CI 1.00-1.58; Ptrend = 0.05). Vitamin B12 status was also positively associated with BC risk in women with plasma folate levels below the median value (ORQ4-Q1 = 1.29; 95% CI 1.02-1.62; Ptrend = 0.03). Overall, folate and vitamin B12 status was not clearly associated with BC risk in this prospective cohort study. However, potential interactions between vitamin B12 and alcohol or folate on the risk of BC deserve further investigation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 27905104
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  • 3
    Abstract: Background: Methylation measures quantified by microarray techniques can be affected by systematic variation due to the technical processing of samples, which may compromise the accuracy of the measurement process and contribute to bias the estimate of the association under investigation. The quantification of the contribution of the systematic source of variation is challenging in datasets characterized by hundreds of thousands of features.In this study, we introduce a method previously developed for the analysis of metabolomics data to evaluate the performance of existing normalizing techniques to correct for unwanted variation. Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450K was used to acquire methylation levels in over 421,000 CpG sites for 902 study participants of a case-control study on breast cancer nested within the EPIC cohort. The principal component partial R-square (PC-PR2) analysis was used to identify and quantify the variability attributable to potential systematic sources of variation. Three correcting techniques, namely ComBat, surrogate variables analysis (SVA) and a linear regression model to compute residuals were applied. The impact of each correcting method on the association between smoking status and DNA methylation levels was evaluated, and results were compared with findings from a large meta-analysis. Results: A sizeable proportion of systematic variability due to variables expressing 'batch' and 'sample position' within 'chip' was identified, with values of the partial R(2) statistics equal to 9.5 and 11.4% of total variation, respectively. After application of ComBat or the residuals' methods, the contribution was 1.3 and 0.2%, respectively. The SVA technique resulted in a reduced variability due to 'batch' (1.3%) and 'sample position' (0.6%), and in a diminished variability attributable to 'chip' within a batch (0.9%). After ComBat or the residuals' corrections, a larger number of significant sites (k = 600 and k = 427, respectively) were associated to smoking status than the SVA correction (k = 96). Conclusions: The three correction methods removed systematic variation in DNA methylation data, as assessed by the PC-PR2, which lent itself as a useful tool to explore variability in large dimension data. SVA produced more conservative findings than ComBat in the association between smoking and DNA methylation.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 29588806
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  • 4
    ISSN: 1420-9136
    Keywords: Key Words: Spontaneous potential, capillary flow, soil physics, magnetotelluric sounding, streaming potentials, earthquake precursors.
    Source: Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
    Topics: Geosciences , Physics
    Notes: Abstract —Electrical daily variations without an associated magnetic field were observed for a period of six weeks on independent parallel dipoles during the one-year electrode inter comparison experiment that took place in Garchy, France, from April 1995 to April 1996. These daily variations appeared suddenly during summer when the soil was dry on the surface. Their amplitude ranged from 0.1 to 1.5 mV for 50-m long dipoles, and characteristic relative phases. The amplitude of the variations was found to be related to soil temperature. These daily variations are accounted for in a model where streaming potentials are produced by coherent capillary flow in the non-saturated zone. Such daily variations are important to control in long-period magnetotelluric sounding and may be of practical use for agricultural applications. As their amplitude strongly depends on time-varying soil conditions, they may also lead to erroneous interpretations as earthquake precursors.
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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  • 5
    ISSN: 1476-4687
    Source: Nature Archives 1869 - 2009
    Topics: Biology , Chemistry and Pharmacology , Medicine , Natural Sciences in General , Physics
    Notes: [Auszug] Two of the most often cited earthquake precursors are radon emanation and electric potential variations, but these few reported examples have generally been deemed questionable. If a mechanism relating crustal deformation to radon emanation or electrical signals does indeed exist, it is thought ...
    Type of Medium: Electronic Resource
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