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Bisuphite Conversion of DNA

DNA methylation is a phenomenon involved in many diseases, the most frequently studied of which is cancer. In mammals, methylation occurs at cytosine bases which are followed by a guanine base (CpG), principally in the form of 5-methylcytosine :

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In order to transform this difficult to quantify epigenetic trait into a genetic variation that is more easily detectable, bisulphite treatment is applied to convert the unmethylated cytosines into uraciles :
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Bisulphite conversion produces two distinct, non-complementary DNA strands.

Bisulphite conversion produces two distinct, non-complementary DNA strands.
Following PCR amplification of one of these strands, the unmethylated cytosines are “replaced” by thyamines. The percentage of cytosines remaining represents the percentage of methylation at a given position.

The French National Research Centre for Human Genomics (CNRGH), which is part of the F Jacob Institute of Biology at the CEA in Evry (near Paris), and the Toulouse platform, both have the necessary know-how for optimal performance of this technique.


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