Methodology for Accurate Detection of Mitochondrial DNA Methylation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Quantification of DNA methylation can be achieved using bisulfite sequencing, which takes advantage of the property of sodium bisulfite to convert unmethylated cytosine into uracil, in a single-stranded DNA context. Bisulfite sequencing can be targeted (using PCR) or performed on the whole genome and provides absolute quantification of cytosine methylation at the single base-resolution. Given the distinct nature of nuclear- and mitochondrial DNA, notably in the secondary structure, adaptions of bisulfite sequencing methods for investigating cytosine methylation in mtDNA should be made. Secondary and tertiary structure of mtDNA can indeed lead to bisulfite sequencing artifacts leading to false-positives due to incomplete denaturation poor access of bisulfite to single-stranded DNA. Here, we describe a protocol using an enzymatic digestion of DNA with BamHI coupled with bioinformatic analysis pipeline to allow accurate quantification of cytosine methylation levels in mtDNA. In addition, we provide guidelines for designing the bisulfite sequencing primers specific to mtDNA, in order to avoid targeting undesirable NUclear MiTochondrial segments (NUMTs) inserted into the nuclear genome.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere57772
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Bisulfite sequencing, DNA methylation, Epigenetics, Genetics, Issue 135, Mitochondria, Mitochondrial DNA, Mitochondrial DNA methylation, Mitoepigenetics

ID: 201301101