Low-grade Inflammation: DNA Methylation Sites and the Pursuit for Potential Therapeutic Targets

In this podcast, Symen Ligthart, a Ph.D. student at Erasmus university, Rotterdam, discusses the association between DNA methylation sites and inflammation with a particular focus on sites that strongly associate with CRP levels. Symen believes that we need to understand more about these sites and the genes they influence in order to identify potential therapeutic targets and develop an understanding of low-grade inflammation.

Symen Ligthart and his team at the Erasmus University Medical Centre in Rotterdam are looking at DNA methylation and identifying genetic loci that may be associated with these sites. Regarded as the first meta-analysis of epigenome-wide association studies focusing on C-reactive protein (a general marker of inflammation), his team identified 58 sites that are associated with CRP levels in both African-American and European individuals.

Low-grade inflammation forms the basis of many diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. It is important, therefore, that we understand the causes of this inflammation. Here, Symen discusses his paper that was published in Genome Biology late last year.

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