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Epigenetic Analysis Of Paget’s Disease Of Bone Identifies Differentially Methylated Loci That Predict Disease Status

Ilhame Diboun, Sachin Wani, Stuart H Ralston, Omar ME Albagha

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Paget’s disease of bone (PDB) is characterized by focal increases in disorganized bone remodeling. This study aims to characterize PDB-associated changes in DNA methylation profiles in patients’ blood. Meta-analysis of data from the discovery and cross-validation set, each comprising 116 PDB cases and 130 controls, revealed significant differences in DNA methylation at 14 CpG sites, 4 CpG islands, and 6 gene-body regions. These loci, including two characterized as functional through expression quantitative trait-methylation analysis, were associated with functions related to osteoclast differentiation, mechanical loading, immune function, and viral infection. A multivariate classifier based on discovery samples was found to discriminate PDB cases and controls from the cross-validation with a sensitivity of 0.84, specificity of 0.81, and an area under curve of 92.8%. In conclusion, this study has shown for the first time that epigenetic factors contribute to the pathogenesis of PDB and may offer diagnostic markers for prediction of the disease.