IMPLICON: an ultra-deep sequencing method to uncover DNA methylation at imprinted regions

Nucleic Acids Res. 2020 Sep 18;48(16):e92. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkaa567.

Abstract

Genomic imprinting is an epigenetic phenomenon leading to parental allele-specific expression. Dosage of imprinted genes is crucial for normal development and its dysregulation accounts for several human disorders. This unusual expression pattern is mostly dictated by differences in DNA methylation between parental alleles at specific regulatory elements known as imprinting control regions (ICRs). Although several approaches can be used for methylation inspection, we lack an easy and cost-effective method to simultaneously measure DNA methylation at multiple imprinted regions. Here, we present IMPLICON, a high-throughput method measuring DNA methylation levels at imprinted regions with base-pair resolution and over 1000-fold coverage. We adapted amplicon bisulfite-sequencing protocols to design IMPLICON for ICRs in adult tissues of inbred mice, validating it in hybrid mice from reciprocal crosses for which we could discriminate methylation profiles in the two parental alleles. Lastly, we developed a human version of IMPLICON and detected imprinting errors in embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells. We also provide rules and guidelines to adapt this method for investigating the DNA methylation landscape of any set of genomic regions. In summary, IMPLICON is a rapid, cost-effective and scalable method, which could become the gold standard in both imprinting research and diagnostics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • CpG Islands*
  • DNA Methylation*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts
  • Genomic Imprinting*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing / methods*
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cells
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL