This study explores the temporal dynamics and genetic control of transcription and DNA methylation in the human dorsolateral prefrontal... Show More
This study explores the temporal dynamics and genetic control of transcription and DNA methylation in the human dorsolateral prefrontal cortex in postmortem tissue. This study examines 269 subjects for gene expression (version 1) and 108 subjects for DNA methylation (version 2). The subjects are normal controls without neuropathological and neuropsychiatric diagnosis and range in age from fetal weeks 14-20 through old age (>80). We discover fast changes in gene expression occurring during early brain development. Later in life, the changes are considerably slower. Many genes reverse pattern of expression between fetal and early postnatal development. We identify thousands of strong associations of SNPs with gene expression. We examine DNA methylation in ~14,500 genes at ~27,000 CpG loci focused on 5' promoter regions. The fastest changes in DNA methylation also occur during the prenatal period, slow down markedly after birth and continue to slow further with aging. DNA methylation is strongly associated with genotypic variants and correlates with expression of a subset of genes. DNA for genotyping was obtained from the cerebella and applied to either Illumina 650K or 1 million BeadArrays - only genotypes common to both platforms are analyzed here. Genotypes were called using BeadExpress software. Doi: 10.1038/nature10524 Nature, 478:519-524, 2011; doi:10.1016/j.ajhg.2011.12.020, AJHG 90, 1-13, Feb 10, 2012. The methylation data can be downloaded at: BrainCloud.