Epigenetic modification of the pentose phosphate pathway and the IGF-axis in women with gestational diabetes mellitus

Angela Steyn, Nigel J. Crowther, Shane A. Norris, Raquel Rabionet, Xavier Estivill, Michèle Ramsay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim: Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) has been linked with adverse long-term health outcomes for the fetus and mother. These effects may be mediated by epigenetic modifications. Materials & methods: Genome-wide RNA sequencing was performed in placental tissue and maternal blood in six GDM and six non-GDM pregnancies. Promoter region DNA methylation was examined for selected genes and correlated with gene expression to examine an epigenetic modulator mechanism. Results: Reductions of mRNA expression and increases in promoter methylation were observed for G6PD in GDM women, and for genes encoding IGF-binding proteins in GDM-exposed placenta. Conclusion: GDM involves epigenetic attenuation of G6PD, which may lead to hyperglycemia and oxidative stress, and the IGF-axis, which may modulate fetal macrosomia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1371-1385
Number of pages15
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019



  • DNA methylation
  • epigenetics
  • gestational diabetes mellitus
  • glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase
  • IGF binding protein
  • pentose phosphate pathway
  • RNA sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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