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PLoS One. 2018 Jun 11;13(6):e0199010. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0199010. eCollection 2018.

MeDIP combined with in-solution targeted enrichment followed by NGS: Inter-individual methylation variability of fetal-specific biomarkers and their implementation in a proof of concept study for NIPT.

Author information

Translational Genetics Team, The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus.
NIPD Genetics Ltd., Nicosia, Cyprus.
Department of Cytogenetics and Genomics, The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, Nicosia, Cyprus.


DNA methylation is the most characterized epigenetic process exhibiting stochastic variation across different tissues and individuals. In non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) fetal specific methylated regions can potentially be used as biomarkers for the accurate detection of fetal aneuploidies. The aim of this study was the investigation of inter-individual methylation variability of previously reported fetal-specific markers and their implementation towards the development of a novel NIPT assay for the detection of trisomies 13, 18, and 21. Methylated DNA Immunoprecipitation (MeDIP) combined with in-solution targeted enrichment followed by NGS was performed in 29 CVS and 27 female plasma samples to assess inter-individual methylation variability of 331 fetal-specific differentially methylated regions (DMRs). The same approach was implemented for the NIPT of trisomies 13, 18 and 21 using spiked-in (n = 6) and pregnancy samples (n = 44), including one trisomy 13, one trisomy 18 and four trisomy 21. Despite the variability of DMRs, CVS samples showed statistically significant hypermethylation (p<2e-16) compared to plasma samples. Importantly, our assay correctly classified all euploid and aneuploid cases without any false positive results (n = 44). This work provides the starting point for the development of a NIPT assay based on a robust set of fetal specific biomarkers for the detection of fetal aneuploidies. Furthermore, the assay's targeted nature significantly reduces the analysis cost per sample while providing high read depth at regions of interest increasing significantly its accuracy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

I have read the journal's policy and the authors of this manuscript have the following competing interests: MI, GK, CL, PM, AA, KT, EK, PCP, SK are employed by NIPD Genetics LTD. PCP has filed a PCT patent application for the MeDIP real time qPCR based NIPD approach (PCT Patent Application No. PCT/1B2011/000217). The authors AK, MHD, MN and CS declare that they have no competing interests. This does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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