Physical Exercise-Induced DNA Methylation in Disease-Related Genes in Healthy Adults A Systematic Review With Bioinformatic Analysis

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This study aimed to systematically review the existing literature regarding physical exercise (PE) and DNA methylation (DNAm) in healthy adults. Specific goals were to (a) identify differently methylated genes (DMGs) after PE intervention, their imprinting status, chromosome and genomic location, function, and related diseases; and (b) to screen for core genes and identify methylation changes of the core genes that can be modified by PE intervention. Our search identified 2,869 articles from which 8 were finally included. We identified 1851 DMGs (p,0.05) after PE intervention, although 45 of them were imprinted. Aerobic exercise (AE) seems to induce more DNA hypermethylation rather than hypomethylation, whereas anaerobic exercise (AN) seems to induce more DNA hypomethylation rather than hypermethylation. Aerobic exercise induced the highest % of methylation changes on chromosome 6, whereas AN and mixed type (MT) were on chromosome 1. Mixed type induced a higher % of methylation changes close to the transcription start site in comparison to AE and AN. After PE intervention, DMGs were mainly involved in fat metabolism, cell growth, and neuronal differentiation, whereas diseases regulated by those genes were mainly chronic diseases (metabolic, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative). Finally, 19 core genes were identified among DMGs, all related to protein metabolism. In conclusion, our findings may shed some light on the mechanisms explaining PE-induced health benefits such as the potential role that PE-induced DNAm may have in disease prevention and disease treatment ​
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