May 19, 2014

Methylation Data Processing Protocol & Comparison of Blood and Cerebral Spinal Fluid Following Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Samuel H. ChurchYvette P. Conley


One challenge in conducting DNA methylation-based epigenome-wide association studies (EWAS) is the appropriate cleaning and quality-checking of the methylation values to minimize biases and experimental artifacts, while simultaneously retaining potential biological signals. These issues are compounded in studies that include multiple tissue types, and/or tissues for which reference data are unavailable to assist in adjusting for cell-type mixture, for example cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). For our study that evaluated blood and CSF taken from aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH) patients, we developed a protocol to clean and quality-check genome-wide methylation levels and compared the methylomic profiles of the two tissues to determine whether blood is a suitable surrogate for CSF. CSF samples were collected from 279 aSAH patients longitudinally during the first 14 days of hospitalization, and a subset of 88 of these patients also provided blood samples within the first two days. Quality control (QC) procedures included identification and exclusion of poor performing samples and low-quality probes, functional normalization, and correction for cell-type heterogeneity via surrogate variable analysis (SVA). Significant differe...Continue Reading

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