DNA methylation profiling in cancer: From single nucleotides towards the methylome
- Cite this article as:
- Moskalyov, E.A., Eprintsev, A.T. & Hoheisel, J.D. Mol Biol (2007) 41: 723. doi:10.1134/S0026893307050068
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The genomic DNA methylation pattern (methylome) is a cell epigenetic program that controls the expression of genetic information. The methylation pattern substantially changes in early carcinogenesis. A detailed survey of the methylcytosine distribution in the genome in norm and pathology is of immense importance for a better understanding of the etiology of cancer and its early diagnosis. The techniques available make it possible to simultaneously examine many samples (high-throughput analysis) and to examine large genome loci or even the total methylome (large-scale analysis). The review considers the main trends in the development of new approaches to DNA methylation and describes the techniques most commonly used in the field, their application, and results. Emphasis is placed on the use of various DNA microarrays (oligonucleotide microarrays, BAC arrays, etc.) as a method of choice for epigenetic analysis of tumors. Alternative sequence-based techniques of methylation analysis are discussed. The use of large-scale analysis to identify new epigenetic markers and to develop an epigenetic classification of neoplasms is considered.