Methods for the Genome-Wide and Gene-Specific Analysis of DNA Methylation Levels and Patterns
from: Epigenetics (Edited by: Jörg Tost). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)
DNA methylation has experienced a large increase in interest in the last years and the analysis of DNA methylation either on a genome-wide or gene-specific scale has come to center stage for many biological and medical questions. Realizing the importance of epigenetic changes in development and disease and the potential of DNA methylation as reliable biomarker, a large variety of techniques for the study of DNA methylation has been developed in the last years. No single method has emerged as the "gold" standard unifying quantitative accuracy and high sensitivity or possibilities for whole-genome analysis and precise investigation of individual CpG positions. In this review I summarize most of the developed methods that allow the discovery of a region with DNA methylation changes on a genome-wide scale, the methods to rapidly validate a region of interest, the available possibilities to fine-type the CpG positions in an identified target region and finally technologies that permit the sensitive detection of specific DNA methylation patterns in biological fluids. The choice of the method mainly depends on the desired application, the required sensitivity, the biological material and many studies will require a combination of several methods read more ...