A systematic comparison of quantitative high-resolution DNA methylation analysis and methylation-specific PCR
Volume 7, Issue 7
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Pages 772 - 780http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/epi.20299
, AML, MSP, MassARRAY, biomarker, pyrosequencing, quantitative DNA methylation analysis
Authors: Rainer Claus, Stefan Wilop, Thomas Hielscher, Miriam Sonnet, Edgar Dahl, Oliver Galm, Edgar Jost and Christoph Plass View affiliations
Assessment of DNA methylation has become a critical factor for the identification, development and application of methylation based biomarkers. Here we describe a systematic comparison of a quantitative high-resolution mass spectrometry-based approach (MassARRAY), pyrosequencing and the broadly used methylation-specific PCR (MSP) technique analyzing clinically relevant epigenetically silenced genes in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). By MassARRAY and pyrosequencing, we identified significant DNA methylation differences at the ID4 gene promoter and in the 5′ region of members of the SFRP gene family in 62 AML patients compared with healthy controls. We found a good correlation between data obtained by MassARRAY and pyrosequencing (correlation coefficient R2 = 0.88). MSP-based assessment of the identical samples showed less pronounced differences between AML patients and controls. By direct comparison of MSP-derived and MassARRAY-based methylation data as well as pyrosequencing, we could determine overestimation of DNA methylation data by MSP. We found sequence-context dependent highly variable cut-off values of quantitative DNA methylation values serving as discriminator for the two MSP methylation categories. Moreover, good agreements between quantitative methods and MSP could not be achieved for all investigated loci. Significant correlation of the quantitative assessment but not of MSP-derived methylation data with clinically important characteristics in our patient cohort demonstrated clinical relevance of quantitative DNA methylation assessment. Taken together, while MSP is still the most commonly applied technique for DNA methylation assessment, our data highlight advantages of quantitative approaches for precise characterization and reliable biomarker use of aberrant DNA methylation in primary patient samples, particularly.
Received: March 1, 2012; Accepted: April 9, 2012
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