The placenta undergoes DNA methylation (DNAm) programming that is unique compared with all other fetal tissues. We aim to decipher some of the physiologic roles of the placenta by comparing its DNAm profile with that of another fetal tissue. We performed a comparative analysis of genome-wide DNAm of 444 placentas paired with cord blood samples collected at birth. Gene ontology term analyses were conducted on the resulting differentially methylated regions. Genomic regions upstream of transcription start sites showing lower DNAm in the placenta were enriched with terms related to miRNA functions and genes encoding G protein-coupled receptors. These results highlight genomic regions that are differentially methylated in the placenta in contrast to fetal blood.
Comparative epigenome-wide analysis highlights placenta-specific differentially methylated regions.