Birth Defects Res. 2022 Oct 13. doi: 10.1002/bdr2.2105. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: There is emerging evidence that children with complex congenital heart defects (CHDs) are at increased risk for childhood lymphoma, but the mechanisms underlying this association are unclear. Thus, we sought to evaluate the role of DNA methylation patterns on “CHD-lymphoma” associations.
METHODS: From >3 million live births (1988-2004) in California registry linkages, we obtained newborn dried bloodspots from eight children with CHD-lymphoma through the California BioBank. We performed case-control epigenome-wide association analyses (EWAS) using two comparison groups with reciprocal discovery and validation to identify differential methylation associated with CHD-lymphoma.
RESULTS: After correction for multiple testing at the discovery and validation stages, individuals with CHD-lymphoma had differential newborn methylation at six sites relative to two comparison groups. Our top finding was significant in both EWAS and indicates PPFIA1 cg25574765 was hypomethylated among individuals with CHD-lymphoma (mean beta = 0.04) relative to both unaffected individuals (mean beta = 0.93, p = 1.5 × 10-12 ) and individuals with complex CHD (mean beta = 0.95, p = 3.8 × 10-8 ). PPFIA1 encodes a ubiquitously expressed liprin protein in one of the most commonly amplified regions in many cancers (11q13). Further, cg25574765 is a proposed marker of pre-eclampsia, a maternal CHD risk factor that has not been fully evaluated for lymphoma risk in offspring, and the tumor microenvironment that may drive immune cell malignancies.
CONCLUSIONS: We identified associations between molecular changes present in the genome at birth and risk of childhood lymphoma among those with CHD. Our findings also highlight novel perinatal exposures that may underlie methylation changes in CHD predisposing to lymphoma.