S-Space College of Medicine/School of Medicine (의과대학/대학원) Pathology (병리학전공) Journal Papers (저널논문_병리학전공)
Improved results of LINE-1 methylation analysis in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues with the application of a heating step during the DNA extraction process
- Wen, Xianyu; Jeong, Seorin; Kim, Younghoon; Bae, Jeong Mo; Cho, Nam Yun; Kim, Jung Ho; Kang, Gyeong Hoon
- Issue Date
- BioMed Central
- Clinical Epigenetics, 9(1):1
- Archival tissue; CpG island methylator phenotype; DNA methylation; Formalin; Heat treatment; LINE-1
Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues are important resources for profiling DNA methylation changes and for studying a variety of diseases. However, formalin fixation introduces inter-strand crosslinking, which might cause incomplete bisulfite conversion of unmethylated cytosines, which might lead to falsely elevated measurements of methylation levels in pyrosequencing assays. Long interspersed nucleotide element-1 (LINE-1) is a major constituent of repetitive transposable DNA elements, and its methylation is referred to correlates with global DNA methylation. To identify whether formalin fixation might impact the measured values of methylation in LINE-1 repetitive elements and whether prolonged heat-induced denaturation of DNA might reduce the artificial increases in measured values caused by formalin fixation, we analyzed paired fresh-frozen (FF) and FFPE xenograft tissue samples for their methylation levels in LINE-1 using a pyrosequencing assay. To further confirm the effect of a heating step in the measurement of LINE-1 or single gene methylation levels, we analyzed FFPE tissue samples of gastric cancer and colorectal cancer for their methylation status in LINE-1 and eight single genes, respectively.
Formalin fixation led to an increase in the measured values of LINE-1 methylation regardless of the duration of fixation. Prolonged heating of the DNA at 95 °C for 30 min before bisulfite conversion was found (1) to decrease the discrepancy in the measured values between the paired FF and FFPE tissue samples, (2) to decrease the standard deviation of the measured value of LINE-1 methylation levels in FFPE tissue samples of gastric cancer, and (3) to improve the performance in the measurement of single gene methylation levels in FFPE tissue samples of colorectal cancer.
Formalin fixation leads to artificial increases in the measured values of LINE-1 methylation, and the application of prolonged heating of DNA samples decreases the discrepancy in the measured values of LINE-1 methylation between paired FF and FFPE tissue samples. The application of prolonged heating of DNA samples improves bisulfite conversion-based measurement of LINE-1 or single gene methylation levels in FFPE tissue samples.