Critical evaluation of the Illumina MethylationEPIC BeadChip microarray for whole-genome DNA methylation profiling

Genome Biology
Ruth PidsleySusan J Clark

Abstract

In recent years the Illumina HumanMethylation450 (HM450) BeadChip has provided a user-friendly platform to profile DNA methylation in human samples. However, HM450 lacked coverage of distal regulatory elements. Illumina have now released the MethylationEPIC (EPIC) BeadChip, with new content specifically designed to target these regions. We have used HM450 and whole-genome bisulphite sequencing (WGBS) to perform a critical evaluation of the new EPIC array platform. EPIC covers over 850,000 CpG sites, including >90 % of the CpGs from the HM450 and an additional 413,743 CpGs. Even though the additional probes improve the coverage of regulatory elements, including 58 % of FANTOM5 enhancers, only 7 % distal and 27 % proximal ENCODE regulatory elements are represented. Detailed comparisons of regulatory elements from EPIC and WGBS show that a single EPIC probe is not always informative for those distal regulatory elements showing variable methylation across the region. However, overall data from the EPIC array at single loci are highly reproducible across technical and biological replicates and demonstrate high correlation with HM450 and WGBS data. We show that the HM450 and EPIC arrays distinguish differentially methylated probes, b...Continue Reading

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Related Concepts

Enhancer Elements, Genetic
Genome, Human
Sequence Determinations, DNA
CpG Clusters
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Cdna Microarrays
High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
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Methylation

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