Performance of Different Analytical Software Packages in Quantification of DNA Methylation by Pyrosequencing.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Pyrosequencing has emerged as an alternative method of nucleic acid sequencing, well suited for many applications which aim to characterize single nucleotide polymorphisms, mutations, microbial types and CpG methylation in the target DNA. The commercially available pyrosequencing systems can harbor two different types of software which allow analysis in AQ or CpG mode, respectively, both widely employed for DNA methylation analysis. OBJECTIVE:Aim of the study was to assess the performance for DNA methylation analysis at CpG sites of the two pyrosequencing software which allow analysis in AQ or CpG mode, respectively. Despite CpG mode having been specifically generated for CpG methylation quantification, many investigations on this topic have been carried out with AQ mode. As proof of equivalent performance of the two software for this type of analysis is not available, the focus of this paper was to evaluate if the two modes currently used for CpG methylation assessment by pyrosequencing may give overlapping results. METHODS:We compared the performance of the two software in quantifying DNA methylation in the promoter of selected genes (GSTP1, MGMT, LINE-1) by testing two case series which include DNA from paraffin embedded prostate cancer tissues (PC study, N = 36) and DNA from blood fractions of healthy people (DD study, N = 28), respectively. RESULTS:We found discrepancy in the two pyrosequencing software-based quality assignment of DNA methylation assays. Compared to the software for analysis in the AQ mode, less permissive criteria are supported by the Pyro Q-CpG software, which enables analysis in CpG mode. CpG mode warns the operators about potential unsatisfactory performance of the assay and ensures a more accurate quantitative evaluation of DNA methylation at CpG sites. CONCLUSION:The implementation of CpG mode is strongly advisable in order to improve the reliability of the methylation analysis results achievable by pyrosequencing.
Project description:Heterogeneous DNA methylation leads to difficulties in accurate detection and quantification of methylation. Methylation-sensitive high resolution melting (MS-HRM) is unique among regularly used methods for DNA methylation analysis in that heterogeneous methylation can be readily identified, although not quantified, by inspection of the melting curves. Bisulfite pyrosequencing has been used to estimate the level of heterogeneous methylation by quantifying methylation levels present at individual CpG dinucleotides. Sequentially combining the two methodologies using MS-HRM to screen the amplification products prior to bisulfite pyrosequencing would be advantageous. This would not only replace the quality control step using agarose gel analysis prior to the pyrosequencing step but would also provide important qualitative information in its own right. We chose to analyze DAPK1 as it is an important tumor suppressor gene frequently heterogeneously methylated in a number of malignancies, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). A region of the DAPK1 promoter was analyzed in ten CLL samples by MS-HRM. By using a biotinylated primer, bisulfite pyrosequencing could be used to directly analyze the samples. MS-HRM revealed the presence of various extents of heterogeneous DAPK1 methylation in all CLL samples. Further analysis of the biotinylated MS-HRM products by bisulfite pyrosequencing provided quantitative information for each CpG dinucleotide analyzed, and confirmed the presence of heterogeneous DNA methylation. Whereas each method could be used individually, MS-HRM and bisulfite pyrosequencing provided complementary information for the assessment of heterogeneous methylation.
Project description:Understanding epigenetic differences that distinguish neurons and glia is of fundamental importance to the nascent field of neuroepigenetics. A recent study used genome-wide bisulfite sequencing to survey differences in DNA methylation between these two cell types, in both humans and mice. That study minimized the importance of cell type-specific differences in CpG methylation, claiming these are restricted to localized genomic regions, and instead emphasized that widespread and highly conserved differences in non-CpG methylation distinguish neurons and glia. We reanalyzed the data from that study and came to markedly different conclusions. In particular, we found widespread cell type-specific differences in CpG methylation, with a genome-wide tendency for neuronal CpG-hypermethylation punctuated by regions of glia-specific hypermethylation. Alarmingly, our analysis indicated that the majority of genes identified by the primary study as exhibiting cell type-specific CpG methylation differences were misclassified. To verify the accuracy of our analysis, we isolated neuronal and glial DNA from mouse cortex and performed quantitative bisulfite pyrosequencing at nine loci. The pyrosequencing results corroborated our analysis, without exception. Most interestingly, we found that gene-associated neuron vs. glia CpG methylation differences are highly conserved across human and mouse, and are very likely to be functional. In addition to underscoring the importance of independent verification to confirm the conclusions of genome-wide epigenetic analyses, our data indicate that CpG methylation plays a major role in neuroepigenetics, and that the mouse is likely an excellent model in which to study the role of DNA methylation in human neurodevelopment and disease.
Project description:DNA methylation of CpGs located in two types of repetitive elements-LINE1 (L1) and Alu-is used to assess "global" changes in DNA methylation in studies of human disease and environmental exposure. L1 and Alu contribute close to 30% of all base pairs in the human genome and transposition of repetitive elements is repressed through DNA methylation. Few studies have investigated whether repetitive element DNA methylation is associated with DNA methylation at other genomic regions, or the biological and technical factors that influence potential associations. Here, we assess L1 and Alu DNA methylation by Pyrosequencing of consensus sequences and using subsets of probes included in the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27 BeadChip array. We show that evolutionary age and assay method affect the assessment of repetitive element DNA methylation. Additionally, we compare Pyrosequencing results for repetitive elements to average DNA methylation of CpG islands, as assessed by array probes classified into strong, weak and non-islands. We demonstrate that each of these dispersed sequences exhibits different patterns of tissue-specific DNA methylation. Correlation of DNA methylation suggests an association between L1 and weak CpG island DNA methylation in some of the tissues examined. We caution, however, that L1, Alu and CpG island DNA methylation are distinct measures of dispersed DNA methylation and one should not be used in lieu of another. Analysis of DNA methylation data is complex and assays may be influenced by environment and pathology in different or complementary ways.
Project description:The existence of cytosine methylation in mammalian mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is a controversial subject. Because detection of DNA methylation depends on resistance of 5'-modified cytosines to bisulfite-catalyzed conversion to uracil, examined parameters that affect technical adequacy of mtDNA methylation analysis. Negative control amplicons (NCAs) devoid of cytosine methylation were amplified to cover the entire human or mouse mtDNA by long-range PCR. When the pyrosequencing template amplicons were gel-purified after bisulfite conversion, bisulfite pyrosequencing of NCAs did not detect significant levels of bisulfite-resistant cytosines (brCs) at ND1 (7 CpG sites) or CYTB (8 CpG sites) genes (CI95 = 0%-0.94%); without gel-purification, significant false-positive brCs were detected from NCAs (CI95 = 4.2%-6.8%). Bisulfite pyrosequencing of highly purified, linearized mtDNA isolated from human iPS cells or mouse liver detected significant brCs (~30%) in human ND1 gene when the sequencing primer was not selective in bisulfite-converted and unconverted templates. However, repeated experiments using a sequencing primer selective in bisulfite-converted templates almost completely (< 0.8%) suppressed brC detection, supporting the false-positive nature of brCs detected using the non-selective primer. Bisulfite-seq deep sequencing of linearized, gel-purified human mtDNA detected 9.4%-14.8% brCs for 9 CpG sites in ND1 gene. However, because all these brCs were associated with adjacent non-CpG brCs showing the same degrees of bisulfite resistance, DNA methylation in this mtDNA-encoded gene was not confirmed. Without linearization, data generated by bisulfite pyrosequencing or deep sequencing of purified mtDNA templates did not pass the quality control criteria. Shotgun bisulfite sequencing of human mtDNA detected extremely low levels of CpG methylation (<0.65%) over non-CpG methylation (<0.55%). Taken together, our study demonstrates that adequacy of mtDNA methylation analysis using methods dependent on bisulfite conversion needs to be established for each experiment, taking effects of incomplete bisulfite conversion and template impurity or topology into consideration.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Epigenetics, particularly DNA methylation, has recently been elucidated as important in gastric cancer (GC) initiation and progression. We investigated the clinical and prognostic importance of whole blood global and site-specific DNA methylation in GC. METHODS: Genomic DNA was extracted from the peripheral blood of 105 Omani GC patients at diagnosis. DNA methylation was quantified by pyrosequencing of global DNA and specific gene promoter regions at 5 CpG sites for CDH1, 7 CpG sites for p16, 4 CpG sites for p53, and 3 CpG sites for RUNX3. DNA methylation levels in patients were categorized into low, medium, and high tertiles. Associations between methylation level category and clinicopathological features were evaluated using ?(2) tests. Survival analyses were carried out using the Kaplan-Meier method and log rank test. A backward conditional Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to identify independent predictors of survival. RESULTS: Older GC patients had increased methylation levels at specific CpG sites within the CDH1, p53, and RUNX-3 promoters. Male gender was significantly associated with reduced global and increased site-specific DNA methylation levels in CDH1, p16, and p53 promoters. Global DNA low methylation level was associated with better survival on univariate analysis. Patients with high and medium methylation vs. low methylation levels across p16 promoter CpG sites, site 2 in particular, had better survival. Multivariate analysis showed that global DNA hypermethylation was a significant independent predictor of worse survival (hazard ratio (HR)?= 2.0, 95% CI: 1.1-3.8; p = 0.02) and high methylation mean values across p16 promoter sites 1-7 were associated with better survival with HR of 0.3 (95% CI, 0.1-0.8; p = 0.02) respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Analysis of global and site-specific DNA methylation in peripheral blood by pyrosequencing provides quantitative DNA methylation values that may serve as important prognostic indicators.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The newly released 450k DNA methylation array from Illumina, Inc. offers the possibility to analyze more than 480,000 individual CpG sites in a user friendly standardized format. In this study the relationship between the ?-values provided by the Illumina, Inc. array for each individual CpG dinucleotide and the quantitative methylation levels obtained by pyrosequencing were analyzed. In addition, the representation of microRNA genes and imprinted loci on the Illumina, Inc. array was assessed in detail. Genomic DNA from 4 human breast cancer cell lines (IPH-926, HCC1937, MDA-MB-134, PMC42) and 18 human breast cancer specimens as well as 4 normal mammary epithelial fractions was analyzed on 450k DNA methylation arrays. The ?-values for 692 individual CpG sites from 62 different genes were cross-validated using conventional quantitative pyrosequencing. FINDINGS: The newly released 450k methylation array from Illumina, Inc. shows a high concordance with quantitative pyrosequencing if identical CpG sites are analyzed in cell lines (Spearman r?=?0.88, p???0.0001), which is somewhat reduced in primary tumor specimens (Spearman r?=?0.86, p???0.0001). 80.7% of the CpG sites show an absolute difference in methylation level of less than 15 percentage points. If different CpG sites in the same CpG islands are targeted the concordance is lower (r?=?0.83 in cell lines and r?=?0.7 in primary tumors). The number of CpG sites representing microRNA genes and imprinted loci is very heterogeneous (range: 1 - 70 CpG sites for microRNAs and 1 - 288 for imprinted loci). CONCLUSIONS: The newly released 450k methylation array from Illumina, Inc. provides a genome-wide quantitative representation of DNA methylation aberrations in a convenient format. Overall, the congruence with pyrosequencing data is very good. However, for individual loci one should be careful to translate the ?-values directly into percent methylation levels.
Project description:BACKGROUND: New high-throughput sequencing technologies promise a very sensitive and high-resolution analysis of DNA methylation patterns in quantitative terms. However, a detailed and comprehensive comparison with existing validated DNA methylation analysis methods is not yet available. Therefore, a systematic cross-validation of 454 sequencing and conventional pyrosequencing, both of which offer exact quantification of methylation levels with a single CpG dinucleotide resolution, was performed. RESULTS: To this end the methylation patterns of 12 loci (GST?1, p16INK4a, RASSF1A, SOCS1, MAL, hsa-mir-1-1, hsa-mir-9-3, hsa-mir-34a, hsa-mir-596, hsa-mir-663, MINT31, and LINE-1) were analyzed in ten primary hepatocellular carcinoma specimens. After applying stringent quality control criteria, 35749 sequences entered further analysis. The methylation level of individual CpG dinucleotides obtained by 454 sequencing was systematically compared with the corresponding values obtained by conventional pyrosequencing. Statistical analyses revealed an excellent concordance of methylation levels for all individual CpG dinucleotides under study (r2 = 0.927). CONCLUSIONS: Our results confirm that 454 sequencing of bisulfite treated genomic DNA provides reliable high quality quantitative methylation data and identify MAL, hsa-mir-9-3, hsa-mir-596, and hsa-mir-663 as new targets of aberrant DNA methylation in human hepatocellular carcinoma. In addition, the single molecule resolution of 454 sequencing provides unprecedented information about the details of DNA methylation pattern heterogeneity in clinical samples.
Project description:Transitions in developmental mode are common evolutionarily, but how and why they occur is not understood. Developmental mode describes larval phenotypes, including morphology, ecology and behavior of larvae, which typically are generalized across different species. The polychaete worm Pygospio elegans is one of few species polymorphic in developmental mode, with multiple larval phenotypes, providing a possibility to examine the potential mechanisms allowing transitions in developmental mode. We investigated the presence of DNA methylation in P. elegans, and, since maternal provisioning is a key factor determining eventual larval phenotype, we compared patterns of DNA methylation in females during oogenesis in this species. We demonstrate that intragenic CpG site DNA methylation and many relevant genes necessary for DNA methylation occur in P. elegans. Methylation-sensitive AFLP analysis showed that gravid females with offspring differing in larval developmental mode have significantly different methylation profiles and that the females with benthic larvae and non-reproductive females from the same location also differ in their epigenetic profiles. Analysis of CpG sites in transcriptome data supported our findings of DNA methylation in this species and showed that CpG observed/expected ratios differ among females gravid with embryos destined to different developmental modes. The differences in CpG site DNA methylation patterns seen among the samples suggest a potential for epigenetic regulation of gene expression (through DNA methylation) in this species.
Project description:DNA methylation of CpG sites is commonly measured using Illumina Infinium BeadChip platforms. The Infinium MethylationEPIC array has replaced the Infinium Methylation450K array. The two arrays use the same technology, with the EPIC array assaying almost double the number of sites than the 450K array. In this study, we compare DNA methylation values of shared CpGs of the same human cartilage samples assayed using both platforms. DNA methylation was measured in 21 human cartilage samples using the both 450K and EPIC arrays. Additional matched 450K and EPIC data in whole tumour and whole blood were downloaded from GEO GSE92580 and GSE86833, respectively. Data were processed using the Bioconductor package Minfi. DNA methylation of six CpG sites was validated for the same 21 cartilage samples by pyrosequencing. In cartilage samples, overall sample correlations of methylation values between arrays were high (Pearson's r > 0.96). However, 50.5% of CpG sites showed poor correlation (r < 0.2) between arrays. Sites with limited variance and with either very high or very low methylation levels in cartilage exhibited lower correlation values, corroborating prior studies in whole blood. Bisulphite pyrosequencing did not highlight one array as generating more accurate methylation values. For a specific CpG site, the array methylation correlation coefficient differed between cartilage, tumour, and whole blood, reflecting the difference in methylation variance between cell types. Researchers should be cautious when analysing methylation of CpG sites that show low methylation variance within the cell type of interest, regardless of the method used to assay methylation.
Project description:Resistance to chemotherapy is a major complication during treatment of cancer patients. Hypermethylation of the MGMT gene alters DNA repair and is associated with longer survival of glioblastoma patients treated with alkylating agents. Therefore, MGMT promoter methylation plays an important role as a predictive biomarker for chemotherapy resistance. To adopt this established correlation into a molecular diagnosis procedure, we compared and optimized three experimental techniques [combined bisulfite restriction analysis, a primer extension- and denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography-based method named SIRPH (SNuPE ion pair-reverse phase high-performance liquid chromatography), and pyrosequencing] with regard to their accuracy of detecting MGMT promoter methylation. Initially, bisulfite sequencing was used to obtain a comprehensive methylation profile of the MGMT promoter region in 22 glioblastoma samples and in three normal brain controls. Next, we statistically identified CpG sites that best discriminate between methylated and unmethylated MGMT promoters. These results were then used to design optimal combined bisulfite restriction analysis, SIRPH, and pyrosequencing assays for accurate and cost-efficient assessment of MGMT promoter methylation. We compared all three techniques with regard to their reliability and reproducibility on well-characterized tumor samples. The optimized pyrosequencing assay performed best and provides a sensitive, robust, and easy-to-use method for quantitative assessment of MGMT methylation, for both snap-frozen and paraffin-embedded specimens.