Electrophoresis, Vol.36, No.15, 1775-1780, 2015
Evaluation of DNA methylation markers and their potential to predict human aging
We present epigenetic methylation data for two genetic loci, GRIA2, and NPTX2, which were tested for prediction of age from different donors of biofluids. We analyzed 44 saliva samples and 23 blood samples from volunteers with ages ranging from 5 to 72 years. DNA was extracted and bisulfite modified using commercial kits. Specific primers were used for amplification and methylation profiles were determined by pyrosequencing. Methylation data from both markers and their relationship with age were determined using linear regression analysis, which indicates a positive correlation between methylation and age. Older individuals tend to have increased methylation in both markers compared to younger individuals and this trend was more pronounced in the GRIA2 locus when compared to NPTX2. The epigenetic predicted age, calculated using a GRIA2 regression analysis model, was strongly correlated to chronological age (R-2 = 0.801), with an average difference of 6.9 years between estimated and observed ages. When using a NPTX2 regression model, we observed a lower correlation between predicted and chronological age (R-2 = 0.654), with an average difference of 9.2 years. These data indicate these loci can be used as a novel tool for age prediction with potential applications in many areas, including clinical and forensic investigations.