Aim: Neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a deadly and unpredictable gastrointestinal disease, for which no biomarker exists. We aimed to describe the methylation patterns in stool and colon from infants with NEC. Methods: We performed a high-resolution genome-wide epigenomic analysis using solution-phase hybridization and next-generation sequencing of bisulfite-converted DNA. Results: Our data reveal significant genomic hypermethylation in NEC tissues compared with non-NEC controls. These changes were more pronounced in regions outside CpG islands and gene regulatory elements, suggesting that NEC-specific hypermethylation is not a nonspecific global phenomenon. Conclusions: This study provides evidence of a methylomic signature associated with NEC that is detectable noninvasively and provides a new opportunity for the development of a novel diagnostic method for NEC.
- DNA methylation
- necrotizing enterocolitis