Validation of a DNA methylation microarray for 850,000 CpG sites of the human genome enriched in enhancer sequences

Epigenomics. 2016 Mar;8(3):389-99. doi: 10.2217/epi.15.114. Epub 2015 Dec 17.


Aim: DNA methylation is the best known epigenetic mark. Cancer and other pathologies show an altered DNA methylome. However, delivering complete DNA methylation maps is compromised by the price and labor-intensive interpretation of single nucleotide methods.

Material & methods: Following the success of the HumanMethylation450 BeadChip (Infinium) methylation microarray (450K), we report the technical and biological validation of the newly developed MethylationEPIC BeadChip (Infinium) microarray that covers over 850,000 CpG methylation sites (850K). The 850K microarray contains >90% of the 450K sites, but adds 333,265 CpGs located in enhancer regions identified by the ENCODE and FANTOM5 projects.

Results & conclusion: The 850K array demonstrates high reproducibility at the 450K CpG sites, is consistent among technical replicates, is reliable in the matched study of fresh frozen versus formalin-fixed paraffin-embeded samples and is also useful for 5-hydroxymethylcytosine. These results highlight the value of the MethylationEPIC BeadChip as a useful tool for the analysis of the DNA methylation profile of the human genome.

Keywords: 5-hydroxymethylcytosine; CpG sites; DNA methylation; epigenetics; microarray; paraffin; validation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • CpG Islands*
  • Enhancer Elements, Genetic*
  • Formaldehyde
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods*
  • Paraffin Embedding
  • Tissue Fixation / methods


  • Formaldehyde