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Parent of origin genetic effects on methylation in humans are common and influence complex trait variation

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Parent-of-origin effects (POE) exist when there is differential expression of alleles inherited from the two parents. A genome-wide scan for POE on DNA methylation at 639,238 CpGs in 5,101 individuals identifies 733 independent methylation CpGs potentially influenced by POE at a false discovery rate ≤ 0.05 of which 331 had not previously been identified. Cis and trans methylation quantitative trait loci (mQTL) regulate methylation variation through POE at 54% (399/733) of the identified POE-influenced CpGs. The combined results provide strong evidence for previously unidentified POE- influenced CpGs at 171 independent loci. Methylation variation at 14 of the POE-influenced CpGs is associated with multiple metabolic traits. A phenome-wide association analysis using the POE mQTL SNPs identifies a previously unidentified imprinted locus associated with waist circumference. These results provide a high resolution population-level map for POE on DNA methylation sites, their local and distant regulators and potential consequences for complex traits.

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ID: 80581905