Methylation status of nc886 epiallele reflects periconceptional conditions and is associated with glucose metabolism through nc886 RNAs

Saara Marttila, Leena E. Viiri, Pashupati P. Mishra, Brigitte Kühnel, Pamela R. Matias-Garcia, Leo Pekka Lyytikäinen, Tiina Ceder, Nina Mononen, Wolfgang Rathmann, Juliane Winkelmann, Annette Peters, Mika Kähönen, Nina Hutri-Kähönen, Markus Juonala, Katriina Aalto-Setälä, Olli Raitakari, Terho Lehtimäki, Melanie Waldenberger, Emma Raitoharju

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Background: Non-coding RNA 886 (nc886) is coded from a maternally inherited metastable epiallele. We set out to investigate the determinants and dynamics of the methylation pattern at the nc886 epiallele and how this methylation status associates with nc886 RNA expression. Furthermore, we investigated the associations between the nc886 methylation status or the levels of nc886 RNAs and metabolic traits in the YFS and KORA cohorts. The association between nc886 epiallele methylation and RNA expression was also validated in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines. Results: We confirm that the methylation status of the nc886 epiallele is mostly binomial, with individuals displaying either a non- or hemi-methylated status, but we also describe intermediately and close to fully methylated individuals. We show that an individual’s methylation status is associated with the mother’s age and socioeconomic status, but not with the individual’s own genetics. Once established, the methylation status of the nc886 epiallele remains stable for at least 25 years. This methylation status is strongly associated with the levels of nc886 non-coding RNAs in serum, blood, and iPSC lines. In addition, nc886 methylation status associates with glucose and insulin levels during adolescence but not with the indicators of glucose metabolism or the incidence of type 2 diabetes in adulthood. However, the nc886-3p RNA levels also associate with glucose metabolism in adulthood. Conclusions: These results indicate that nc886 metastable epiallele methylation is tuned by the periconceptional conditions and it associates with glucose metabolism through the expression of the ncRNAs coded in the epiallele region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number143
JournalClinical Epigenetics
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Genomic imprinting
  • miR-886
  • nc886
  • Population studies
  • vtRNA2-1

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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