DNA Methylation Overview
DNA can be modified by methylation of cytosine bases, particularly cytosines preceding guanines (CpG dinucleotides), by enzymes called DNA methyltransferases. This epigenetic modification generally functions to repress gene expression and is important for the regulation of cellular differentiation and development. DNA methylation can also serve as an epigenetic biomarker for many human diseases.
Bisulfite conversion (i.e., bisulfite treatment) is widely considered to be the "gold standard" for analysis of DNA methylation. Bisulfite conversion induces deamination of unmethylated cytosine to produce uracil in DNA, while 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) is protected from this conversion, therefore allowing the use of direct sequencing to determine the genomic locations 5-mC. The bisulfite conversion reagents designed by Zymo Research are the most cited and trusted products in the industry for investigating DNA methylation. In addition to the standard bisulfite conversion methodology, Zymo Research has also pioneered bisulfite-independent technologies to investigate 5-methylcytosine. Specifically, we have developed streamlined, methylation-specific enzymatic approaches that substantially reduce processing time to provide locus-specific resolution of methylation status in a single step. Zymo Research also offers many other products to facilitate DNA methylation experiments, such as methylated DNA standards, DNA methyltransferase enzymes, antibodies, and products and services for genome-wide DNA methylation analyses.