July 19, 2019  |  

Going beyond five bases in DNA sequencing.

DNA sequencing has provided a wealth of information about biological systems, but thus far has focused on the four canonical bases, and 5-methylcytosine through comparison of the genomic DNA sequence to a transformed four-base sequence obtained after treatment with bisulfite. However, numerous other chemical modifications to the nucleotides are known to control fundamental life functions, influence virulence of pathogens, and are associated with many diseases. These modifications cannot be accessed with traditional sequencing methods. In this opinion, we highlight several emerging single-molecule sequencing techniques that have the potential to directly detect many types of DNA modifications as an integral part of the sequencing protocol. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

July 7, 2019  |  

Simultaneous sequencing of oxidized methylcytosines produced by TET/JBP dioxygenases in Coprinopsis cinerea.

TET/JBP enzymes oxidize 5-methylpyrimidines in DNA. In mammals, the oxidized methylcytosines (oxi-mCs) function as epigenetic marks and likely intermediates in DNA demethylation. Here we present a method based on diglucosylation of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) to simultaneously map 5hmC, 5-formylcytosine, and 5-carboxylcytosine at near-base-pair resolution. We have used the method to map the distribution of oxi-mC across the genome of Coprinopsis cinerea, a basidiomycete that encodes 47 TET/JBP paralogs in a previously unidentified class of DNA transposons. Like 5-methylcytosine residues from which they are derived, oxi-mC modifications are enriched at centromeres, TET/JBP transposons, and multicopy paralogous genes that are not expressed, but rarely mark genes whose expression changes between two developmental stages. Our study provides evidence for the emergence of an epigenetic regulatory system through recruitment of selfish elements in a eukaryotic lineage, and describes a method to map all three different species of oxi-mCs simultaneously.

July 7, 2019  |  

Sensitive and specific single-molecule sequencing of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine.

We describe strand-specific, base-resolution detection of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) in genomic DNA with single-molecule sensitivity, combining a bioorthogonal, selective chemical labeling method of 5-hmC with single-molecule, real-time (SMRT) DNA sequencing. The chemical labeling not only allows affinity enrichment of 5-hmC-containing DNA fragments but also enhances the kinetic signal of 5-hmC during SMRT sequencing. We applied the approach to sequence 5-hmC in a genomic DNA sample with high confidence.

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