Nature Reviews Genetics 11, 191-203 | doi:10.1038/nrg2732

Article series: Applications of next-generation sequencing

Principles and challenges of genome-wide DNA methylation analysis

Peter W. Laird1  About the author


Methylation of cytosine bases in DNA provides a layer of epigenetic control in many eukaryotes that has important implications for normal biology and disease. Therefore, profiling DNA methylation across the genome is vital to understanding the influence of epigenetics. There has been a revolution in DNA methylation analysis technology over the past decade: analyses that previously were restricted to specific loci can now be performed on a genome-scale and entire methylomes can be characterized at single-base-pair resolution. However, there is such a diversity of DNA methylation profiling techniques that it can be challenging to select one. This Review discusses the different approaches and their relative merits and introduces considerations for data analysis.

Author affiliations

  1. USC Epigenome Center, University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine, 1450 Biggy Street, Room G511B, Los Angeles, California 90089-9601, USA.

Published online 2 February 2010


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