Global DNA methylation profiling technologies and the ovarian cancer methylome

Jessica Tang, Fang Fang, Dave F. Miller, Jay M. Pilrose, Daniela Matei, Tim Hui Ming Huang, Kenneth P. Nephew

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Cytosine methylation in DNA constitutes an important epigenetic layer of transcriptional and regulatory control in many eukaryotes. Profi ling DNA methylation across the genome is critical to understanding the infl uence of epigenetics in normal biology and disease, such as cancer. Genome-wide analyses such as arrays and next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have been used to assess large fractions of the methylome at a single-base-pair resolution. However, the range of DNA methylation profi ling techniques can make selecting the appropriate protocol a challenge. This chapter discusses the advantages and disadvantages of various methylome detection approaches to assess which is appropriate for the question at hand. Here, we focus on four prominent genome-wide approaches: whole-genome bisulfi te sequencing (WGBS); methyl-binding domain capture sequencing (MBDCap-Seq); reduced-representation-bisulfi te-sequencing (RRBS); and Infi nium Methylation450 BeadChips (450 K, Illumina). We discuss some of the requirements, merits, and challenges that should be considered when choosing a methylome technology to ensure that it will be informative. In addition, we show how genome-wide methylation detection arrays and high- throughput sequencing have provided immense insight into ovarian cancer-specifi c methylation signatures that may serve as diagnostic biomarkers or predict patient response to epigenetic therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)653-675
Number of pages23
JournalMethods in Molecular Biology
StatePublished - 2015


  • Epigenetics
  • Methylation
  • Next-generation sequencing
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Whole-genome bisulfite sequencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Molecular Biology


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