Aim: We compared predictive modeling approaches to estimate placental methylation using cord blood methylation. Materials & methods: We performed locus-specific methylation prediction using both linear regression and support vector machine models with 174 matched pairs of 450k arrays. Results: At most CpG sites, both approaches gave poor predictions in spite of a misleading improvement in array-wide correlation. CpG islands and gene promoters, but not enhancers, were the genomic contexts where the correlation between measured and predicted placental methylation levels achieved higher values. We provide a list of 714 sites where both models achieved an R2 ≥0.75. Conclusion: The present study indicates the need for caution in interpreting cross-tissue predictions. Few methylation sites can be predicted between cord blood and placenta.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-240
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • 450k arrays
  • DNA methylation
  • cord blood
  • epigenetics
  • methylation prediction
  • placenta
  • support vector machine


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