Zymo Research Corporation—The Epigenetics Company—continues to expand its range of tools and services for scientists working in the field of epigenetics with the release of its new EZ RNA Methylation™ Kit. This first-of-its-kind kit is specifically designed and optimized for bisulfite conversion of RNA for 5-methylcytosine detection. Zymo Research now makes it easy for scientists to investigate RNA methylation, in addition to many other epigenetic modifications, with their comprehensive suite of products and services for epigenetic analysis, including genome-wide platforms for profiling DNA methylation and hydroxymethylation, and other services such as ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq.
The importance of RNA modification, particularly RNA methylation, in the regulation of biological processes is another quickly expanding frontier of epigenetics-based research. Until recently, the majority of epigenetic research has focused on modifications to DNA and its associated proteins. But RNA is also known to be extensively modified, and in fact, over 100 different RNA modifications have been reported. With the EZ RNA Methylation™ Kit, Zymo Research has opened the door for scientists also to look more closely at the modifications of RNA. Because RNA molecules perform many different functions in cells, ranging from protein translation to gene silencing and enzymatic activity, the potential for biologically relevant changes to RNA is significant. This information may be critical to expanding the mechanistic understanding of epigenetics in biology and in human diseases, such as cancer and dementia, as well as the aging process itself.
While sequencing the human genome was a significant step in our understanding of biology, new advancements in technology are making sequencing of human genomes now almost routine. Presently, in the post-genomic era, it is becoming increasingly clear that genetics alone cannot explain many questions. According to Seth Ruga, product manager at Zymo Research, “The study of epigenetics, including RNA methylation, is helping to clarify how the genome is expressed and how both genetic and environmental factors can contribute to who we are and what we are likely to become. Epigenetics will undoubtedly provide insight into many aspects of human health, development, disease, and aging (just to name just a few) and how experiences and behavior may impact not only ourselves, but also our progeny…” RNA methylation is only one more piece in the complex puzzle of epigenetics and the intricate events that comprise and control gene regulation.