Scientific Report: Testing DNA Methylation with Novel Assay
According to the Scientific Report, researchers have developed a new, single molecule test for detecting methylated DNA.
DNA Methylation is a biochemical process that involves the addition of a methyl group to the cytosine or adenine DNA nucleotides. Through this way, it regulates gene expression in cells as cells divide and differentiate from embryonic stem cells into specific tissues. It also suppresses the expression of endogenous retroviral genes and other harmful stretches of DNA that have been incorporated into the genome of the host over time.
Forming the basis of chromatin structure, DNA methylation allows a single cell to grow into multiple organs or perform multiple functions. It is critical in the development of cancers.
The assay involves using a synthetic solid-state nanopore, and researchers say it has great potential in speeding disease-specific analyses of genetic samples. The nanopore is a very small hole in an artificial membrane, which has been studied for genomic sequencing and screening analysis. On the nanopore, only a molecule can be located or identified. It can eliminate the need for bisulfite conversion of DNA, fluorescent labeling, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Then increase the spatial resolution by incorporating thinner membranes and by integrating the same preparation steps.
Researchers said this finding was valuable since methylation can be a proper biomarker than many of others. Scientists are now able to differentiate methylated from non-methylated DNA by attaching a protein on the methylated nucleotides measuring ionic electrical current via a solid-state nanopore.