DNA methylation of MMPs and TIMPs in atherothrombosis process in carotid plaques and blood tissues

Cristina Gallego-Fabrega, Natalia Cullell, Carolina Soriano-Tárraga, Caty Carrera, Nuria P Torres-Aguila, Elena Muiño, Jara Cárcel-Márquez, Manuel Castro de Moura, Alba Fernández-Sanlés, Manel Esteller, Roberto Elosua, Jordi Jiménez-Conde, Jaume Roquer, Joan Montaner, Jerzy Krupinski, Israel Fernandez-Cadenas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background and Purpose: Polymorphisms and serum levels of Matrix Metalloproteinases (MMP) and Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinases (TIMP) have been studied with regard to atheromatous plaques and ischemic stroke, while no studies of DNA methylation (DNAm) patterns of MMP or TIMP have been performed to that end. Here, we evaluate DNAm levels of the MMP and TIMP gene families in human carotid plaques and blood samples of atherothrombotic stroke patients.

Methods: We profiled the DNAm status of stable and ulcerated atherosclerotic plaques obtained as pair sets from three patients who underwent carotid endarterectomy surgery. We selected 415 CpG sites, mapping into MMPs and TIMPs genes for further study. Secondly, the statistically associated CpG sites were analyzed in blood samples from two separate atherothrombotic stroke cohorts (total sample size = 307), ischemic stroke-cohort 1 (ISC-1): 37 atherothrombotic patients and 6 controls, ischemic stroke-cohort 2 (ISC-2): 80 atherothrombotic patients and 184 controls. DNAm levels from plaque tissue and blood samples were evaluated using a high-density microarray Infinium, HumanMethylation450 BeadChip and Infinium MethylationEPIC BeadChip.

Results: Three CpG sites were statistically significantly associated with unstable plaque portions; cg02969624, q-value = 0.035 (TIMP2), and cg04316754, q-value = 0.037 (MMP24) were hypermethylated, while cg24211657 q-value = 0.035 (TIMP2) was hypomethylated. Association of cg04316754 (MMP24) methylation levels with atherothrombotic risk was also observed in blood tissue: ISC-1 p-values = 0.03, ISC-2 p-value = 1.9 × 10-04.

Conclusions: The results suggest different DNAm status of MMP24 between stable and unstable atherothrombotic carotid plaques, and between atherothrombotic stroke and controls in blood samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-912
Number of pages8
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2020


  • Atherosclerotic plaque
  • Epigenetics
  • DNA methylation
  • Matrix metalloproteinases


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