AIM: Epigenetic changes may occur in response to environmental stressors, and an altered epigenome pattern may represent a stable signature of environmental exposure. MATERIALS & METHODS: Here, we examined the potential of DNA methylation changes in 910 prediagnostic peripheral blood samples as a marker of exposure to tobacco smoke in a large multinational cohort. RESULTS: We identified 748 CpG sites that were differentially methylated between smokers and nonsmokers, among which we identified novel regionally clustered CpGs associated with active smoking. Importantly, we found a marked reversibility of methylation changes after smoking cessation, although specific genes remained differentially methylated up to 22 years after cessation. CONCLUSION: Our study has comprehensively cataloged the smoking-associated DNA methylation alterations and showed that these alterations are reversible after smoking cessation.

Original publication

DOI

10.2217/epi-2016-0001

Type

Journal article

Journal

Epigenomics

Publication Date

05/2016

Volume

8

Pages

599 - 618

Keywords

DNA methylome, epigenetic signature, prospective cohort, tobacco smoking