Journal Article

High-Speed Conversion of Cytosine to Uracil in Bisulfite Genomic Sequencing Analysis of DNA Methylation

Masahiko Shiraishi and Hikoya Hayatsu

in DNA Research

Published on behalf of Kazusa DNA Research Institute

Volume 11, issue 6, pages 409-415
Published in print January 2004 | ISSN: 1340-2838
Published online January 2004 | e-ISSN: 1756-1663 | DOI:

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Bisulfite genomic sequencing is a widely used technique for analyzing cytosine-methylation of DNA. By treating DNA with bisulfite, cytosine residues are deaminated to uracil, while leaving 5-methylcytosine largely intact. Subsequent PCR and nucleotide sequence analysis permit unequivocal determination of the methylation status at cytosine residues. A major caveat associated with the currently practiced procedure is that it takes 16–20 hr for completion of the conversion of cytosine to uracil. Here we report that a complete deamination of cytosine to uracil can be achieved in shorter periods by using a highly concentrated bisulfite solution at an elevated temperature. Time course experiments demonstrated that treating DNA with 9 M bisulfite for 20 min at 90°C or 40 min at 70°C all cytosine residues in the DNA were converted to uracil. Under these conditions, the majority of 5-methylcytosines remained intact. When a high molecular weight DNA derived from a cell line (containing a number of genes whose methylation status was known) was treated with bisulfite under the above conditions and amplified and sequenced, the results obtained were consistent with those reported in the literature. Although some degradation of DNA occurred during this process, the amount of treated DNA required for the amplification was nearly equal to that required for the conventional bisulfite genomic sequencing procedure. The increased speed of DNA methylation analysis with this novel procedure is expected to advance various aspects of DNA sciences.

Keywords: ammonium bisulfite; CpG island; epigenetics; 5-methylcytosine; sodium bisulfite

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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