What is DNA Methylation, and Can I Use Luminex Technology to Study It?

12月 5th, 2012 / Luminex Corporation

DNA methylation is a type of epigenetic change, and epigenetic changes are modifications to genes other than the underlying sequence of DNA or RNA.

DNA methylation is essential for the normal development and functioning of many organisms and has been detected in every vertebrate examined. It is a very simple addition of a methyl group to cytosine (C) or adenine (A) bases of a nucleic acid sequence.

Methyl group tags in the DNA of humans and other mammals play an important role in determining whether some genes are or are not expressed. The number and placement of the methyl tags provides a signal that the gene should or should not be expressed.

Methylation regions are especially vulnerable to environmental influences, and abnormal DNA methylation plays an important role in developmental diseases. Increases or decreases in DNA methylation tags are found in most human cancers and contribute to the development of cancer.

DNA methylation sites also change with aging. The number of methyl groups can decrease in some genes and increase in others, causing errors in the activity/expression of the genes affected.

Recently, three publications have shown how to utilize Luminex® Technology to improve their research on methylation. Here is a brief description of each paper:

In summary, DNA methylation is one of the most common epigenetic changes in DNA and can be an important regulator of gene expression and disease progression. Yes, you can utilize Luminex to study DNA methylation in conjunction with other methods your laboratory may use.