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Hum Mutat. 2002 Oct;20(4):305-11.

An analytical method for the detection of methylation differences at specific chromosomal loci using primer extension and ion pair reverse phase HPLC.

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Transgenomic Research Laboratory, Krebs Institute, Department of Molecular Biology, Western Bank, Sheffield, UK.


We have developed a rapid, accurate, and quantitative method for the detection of methylation differences at specific CpG sites based on bisulfite treatment of DNA followed by primer extension and ion-pair reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (IP RP HPLC). The application of the method is illustrated by analysis of differentially imprinted alleles arising from Prader-Willi and Angelman syndromes. In order to convert unmethylated cytosines to uracil, plasmid and genomic DNA samples were treated with sodium bisulfite and the targeted sequence was then amplified using oligodeoxynucleotide primers specific for the bisulfite-deaminated DNA. The PCR product(s) from this step was used as a template for a primer extension reaction and the products were subsequently analyzed chromatographically using IP RP HPLC. This method eliminates the need to use restriction enzymes to determine the methylation status of the amplicon and circumvents the need for radio labeling for the quantitative measurements. Finally, this method removes the need for nucleotide sequencing because it is not solely reliant on the presence or absence of one or more PCR products, as is the case with related methods.

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