Quantitative Analysis of DNA Methylation by Bisulfite Sequencing
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Changes in deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation are shown to occur with aging in mammals. Besides changes that seem to be essentially stochastic, methylation levels of certain CpG sites display a strong correlation with age. Collectively, methylation of such CpG sites could be used as “epigenetic clocks” to predict biological age. Numerous versions of the epigenetic clock have been proposed, all of them based on quantitative estimation of the methylation levels of individual CpG sites. Different methods were elaborated for quantitative measurements of DNA methylation, with the most reliable of these based on bisulfite treatment of DNA. We present here a protocol for assessment of the methylation levels of individual CpG sites in target DNA sequences by the direct sequencing of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification products obtained from bisulfate-converted DNA.
Key wordsAging Epigenetics DNA methylation Bisulfite sequencing