JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
RESEARCH SUPPORT, U.S. GOV'T, NON-P.H.S.
REVIEW
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Methods of DNA methylation analysis.

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide guidance for investigators who are new to the field of DNA methylation analysis.

RECENT FINDINGS: Epigenetics is the study of mitotically heritable alterations in gene expression potential that are not mediated by changes in DNA sequence. Recently, it has become clear that nutrition can affect epigenetic mechanisms, causing long-term changes in gene expression. This review focuses on methods for studying the epigenetic mechanism DNA methylation. Recent advances include improvement in high-throughput methods to obtain quantitative data on locus-specific DNA methylation and development of various approaches to study DNA methylation on a genome-wide scale.

SUMMARY: No single method of DNA methylation analysis will be appropriate for every application. By understanding the type of information provided by, and the inherent potential for bias and artifact associated with, each method, investigators can select the method most appropriate for their specific research needs.

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