UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine

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Document Type



Cardiology | Cardiovascular Diseases | Molecular Biology | Molecular Genetics


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, but little is known about the molecular mechanisms associated with AF arrhythmogenesis. DNA methylation is an important epigenetic mechanism that regulates gene expression and downstream biological processes. We hypothesize that DNA methylation might play an important role in the susceptibility to develop AF. A total of 2,639 participants from the Offspring Cohort of Framingham Heart Study were enrolled in the current study. These participants included 183 participants with prevalent AF and 220 with incident AF during up to 9 years follow up. Genome-wide methylation was profiled using the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChip on blood-derived DNA collected during the eighth examination cycle (2005-2008). Two CpG sites were significantly associated with prevalent AF, and five CpGs were associated with incident AF after correction for multiple testing (FDR < 0.05). Fourteen previously reported genome-wide significant AF-related SNP were each associated with at least one CpG site; the most significant association was rs6490029 at the CUX2 locus and cg10833066 (P = 9.5 x 10-279). In summary, we performed genome-wide methylation profiling in a community-based cohort and identified seven methylation signatures associated with AF. Our study suggests that DNA methylation might play an important role in AF arrhythmogenesis.


Atrial fibrillation, Cardiovascular genetics

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Copyright © 2017, The Author(s).

DOI of Published Version



Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 9;7:40377. doi: 10.1038/srep40377. Link to article on publisher's site

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Scientific reports

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.