DNA methylation: An epigenetic risk factor in preterm birth

Ramkumar Menon, Karen N. Conneely, Alicia K. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

34 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Spontaneous preterm birth (PTB; birth prior to 37 weeks of gestation) is a complex phenotype with multiple risk factors that complicate our understanding of its etiology. A number of recent studies have supported the hypothesis that epigenetic modifications such as DNA methylation induced by pregnancy-related risk factors may influence the risk of PTB or result in changes that predispose a neonate to adult-onset diseases. The critical role of timing of gene expression in the etiology of PTB makes it a highly relevant disorder in which to examine the potential role of epigenetic changes. Because changes in DNA methylation patterns can result in long-term consequences, it is of critical interest to identify the epigenetic patterns associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. This review examines the potential role of DNA methylation as a risk factor for PTB and discusses several issues and limitations that should be considered when planning DNA methylation studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6-13
Number of pages8
JournalReproductive Sciences
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2012

Fingerprint

Premature Birth
DNA Methylation
Epigenomics
Pregnancy
Pregnancy Outcome
Parturition
Phenotype
Gene Expression

Keywords

  • DNA
  • epigenetics
  • genetics
  • prematurity
  • preterm labor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

Cite this

DNA methylation : An epigenetic risk factor in preterm birth. / Menon, Ramkumar; Conneely, Karen N.; Smith, Alicia K.

In: Reproductive Sciences, Vol. 19, No. 1, 01.2012, p. 6-13.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Menon, Ramkumar ; Conneely, Karen N. ; Smith, Alicia K. / DNA methylation : An epigenetic risk factor in preterm birth. In: Reproductive Sciences. 2012 ; Vol. 19, No. 1. pp. 6-13.
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