Analysis of Toxicants-Induced Alterations in DNA Methylation by Methylation-Sensitive-Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction (MS-RAPD-PCR)
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Overwhelming evidence suggests that in addition to the genetic changes of DNA mutations, epigenetic changes of DNA methylation and histone modifications play important role in regulation of gene expression. DNA methylation is the most frequent epigenetic alteration observed in mammalian genomes, and generally it is negatively correlated with gene expression. Various methods are available for the detection of DNA methylation changes. Although the recent high-throughput methods for DNA methylation analysis have various advantages, they require high levels of technical expertise, costly equipment, and reagents. Because of these reasons, many of the global DNA methylation analysis methods are mainly performed at core facility, and laboratories with limited resources and expertise are not able to use these methods. Methylation-Sensitive-Random Amplified Polymorphic DNA-Polymerase Chain Reaction (MS-RAPD-PCR) is a restriction enzyme digestion and PCR-based method for the analysis of DNA methylation changes. This method is cost-effective, requires simple and basic instrumentation, and therefore can easily be performed in any laboratory with basic setup having a regular DNA thermal cycler and DNA gel electrophoresis system. Additional advantages of this method over other methods for DNA methylation analysis are that it requires very less amount of DNA and can screen DNA methylation changes globally at genome-wide level with high sensitivity. This method has been successfully used to detect changes in DNA methylation either occurring naturally or induced by various toxicants and environmental factors. A detail experimental protocol for MS-RAPD-PCR is described in this chapter.
Key wordsMS-RAPD-PCR Epigenetics DNA methylation MspI HpaII