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DNA Methylation of Candidate Genes (ACE II, IFN-γ, AGTR 1, CKG, ADD1, SCNN1B and TLR2) in Essential Hypertension: A Systematic Review and Quantitative Evidence Synthesis

Abstract: Physical, chemical, and social environments adversely affect the molecular process and results in cell signal transduction and the subsequent transcription factor dysregulation, leading to impaired gene expression and abnormal protein synthesis. Stressful environments such as social adversity, isolation, sustained social threats, physical inactivity, and highly methylated diets predispose individuals to molecular level alterations such as aberrant epigenomic modulations that affect homeostasis and hemodynamics. With cardiovascular disease as the leading cause of mortality in the US and blacks/African Americans being disproportionately affected by hypertension (HTN) which contributes substantially to these deaths, reflecting the excess mortality and survival disadvantage of this sub-population relative to whites, understanding the molecular events, including epigenomic and socio-epigenomic modulations, is relevant to narrowing the black-white mortality risk differences. We aimed to synthesize epigenomic findings in HTN namely (a) angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE II) gene, (b) Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) gene, (c) interferon γ (IFN-γ) gene, and (d) Capping Actin Protein, Gelosin-Like (CAPG) gene, adducin 1(ADD1) gene, (e) Tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3), (f) mesoderm specific transcript (MEST) loci, (g) sodium channel epithelial 1 alpha subunit 2 (SCNN1B), (h) glucokinase (CKG) gene (i) angiotensin II receptor, type1 (AGTR1), and DNA methylation (mDNA). A systematic review and quantitative evidence synthesis (QES) was conducted using Google Scholar and PubMed with relevant search terms. Data were extracted from studies on: (a) Epigenomic modulations in HTN based on ACE II (b) TLR2, (c) IFN-γ gene, (d) CAPG, ADD1, TIMP3, MEST loci, and mDNA. The random-effect meta-analysis method was used for a pooled estimate of the common effect size, while z statistic and I^2 were used for the homogeneity of the common effect size and between studies on heterogeneity respectively. Of the 642 studies identified, five examined hypermethylation while seven studies assessed hypomethylation in association with HTN. The hypermethylation of ACE II, SCNN1B, CKG, IFN-γ gene, and miR-510 promoter were associated with hypertension, the common effect size (CES) = 6.0%, 95% CI, −0.002–11.26. In addition, the hypomethylation of TLR2, IFN-γ gene, ADD1, AGTR1, and GCK correlated with hypertension, the CES = 2.3%, 95% CI, −2.51–7.07. The aberrant epigenomic modulation of ACE II, TLR2, IFN-γ, AGTR1, and GCK correlated with essential HTN. Transforming the environments resulting from these epigenomic lesions will facilitate early intervention mapping in reducing HTN in the US population, especially among socially disadvantaged individuals, particularly racial/ethnic minorities.
Keywords: essential hypertension / DNA methylation and hypertension / hypertension candidate genes / epigenomics / socio-epigenomics

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