Implications of genomic signatures in the differential vulnerability to fetal alcohol exposure in C57BL/6 and DBA/2 mice

Amy C. Lossie, William M. Muir, Chiao Ling Lo, Floyd Timm, Yunlong Liu, Whitney Gray, Feng C. Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Maternal alcohol consumption inflicts a multitude of phenotypic consequences that range from undetectable changes to severe dysmorphology. Using tightly controlled murine studies that deliver precise amounts of alcohol at discrete developmental stages, our group and other labs demonstrated in prior studies that the C57BL/6 and DBA/2 inbred mouse strains display differential susceptibility to the teratogenic effects of alcohol. Since the phenotypic diversity extends beyond the amount, dosage and timing of alcohol exposure, it is likely that an individual's genetic background contributes to the phenotypic spectrum. To identify the genomic signatures associated with these observed differences in alcohol-induced dysmorphology, we conducted a microarray-based transcriptome study that also interrogated the genomic signatures between these two lines based on genetic background and alcohol exposure. This approach is called a gene x environment (GxE) analysis; one example of a GxE interaction would be a gene whose expression level increases in C57BL/6, but decreases in DBA/2 embryos, following alcohol exposure. We identified 35 candidate genes exhibiting GxE interactions. To identify cis-acting factors that mediated these interactions, we interrogated the proximal promoters of these 35 candidates and found 241 single nucleotide variants (SNVs) in 16 promoters. Further investigation indicated that 186 SNVs (15 promoters) are predicted to alter transcription factor binding. In addition, 62 SNVs created, removed or altered the placement of a CpG dinucleotide in 13 of the proximal promoters, 53 of which overlapped putative transcription factor binding sites. These 53 SNVs are also our top candidates for future studies aimed at examining the effects of alcohol on epigenetic gene regulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number173
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
Volume5
Issue numberJUN
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • Epigenetics
  • Fetal alcohol syndrome
  • Gene expression
  • Gene x environment interactions
  • Genetic association
  • Genomics
  • Next generation sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics(clinical)

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