Methylation on the circadian gene BMAL1 is associated with the effects of a weight loss intervention on serum lipid levels

Autores: Samblas García, Mirian; Milagro Yoldi, Fermín Ignacio; Gómez-Abellán, P.; Martínez Hernández, Alfredo; Garaulet, M.
ISSN: 0748-7304
Volumen: 31
Número: 3
Páginas: 308 - 317
Fecha de publicación: 2016
The circadian clock system has been linked to the onset and development of obesity and some accompanying comorbidities. Epigenetic mechanisms, such as DNA methylation, are putatively involved in the regulation of the circadian clock system. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of a weight loss intervention based on an energy-controlled Mediterranean dietary pattern in the methylation levels of 3 clock genes, BMAL1, CLOCK, and NR1D1, and the association between the methylation levels and changes induced in the serum lipid profile with the weight loss treatment. The study sample enrolled 61 women (body mass index = 28.6 ± 3.4 kg/m(2); age: 42.2 ± 11.4 years), who followed a nutritional program based on a Mediterranean dietary pattern. DNA was isolated from whole blood obtained at the beginning and end point. Methylation levels at different CpG sites of BMAL1, CLOCK, and NR1D1 were analyzed by Sequenom's MassArray. The energy-restricted intervention modified the methylation levels of different CpG sites in BMAL1 (CpGs 5, 6, 7, 9, 11, and 18) and NR1D1 (CpGs 1, 10, 17, 18, 19, and 22). Changes in cytosine methylation in the CpG 5 to 9 region of BMAL1 with the intervention positively correlated with the eveningness profile (p = 0.019). The baseline methylation of the CpG 5 to 9 region in BMAL1 positively correlated with energy (p = 0.047) and carbohydrate (p = 0.017) intake and negatively correlated with the effect of the weight loss intervention on total cholesterol (p = 0.032) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p = 0.005). Similar significant and positive correlations were found between changes in methylation levels in the CpG 5 to 9 region of BMAL1 due to the intervention and changes in serum lipids (p < 0.05). This research describes apparently for the first time an association between changes in the methylation of the BMAL1 gene with the intervention and the effects of a weight loss intervention on blood lipids levels.