Yamashita S, Hosoya K, Gyobu K, Takeshima H, Ushijima T
In DNA methylation microarray analysis, quantitative assessment of intermediate methylation levels in samples with various global methylation levels is still difficult. Here, specifically for methylated DNA immunoprecipitation-CpG island (CGI) microarray analysis, we developed a new output value. The signal log ratio reflected the global methylation levels, but had only moderate linear correlation (r = 0.72) with the fraction of DNA molecules immunoprecipitated. By multiplying the signal log ratio using a coefficient obtained from the probability value that took account of signals in neighbouring probes, its linearity was markedly improved (r = 0.94). The new output value, Me value, reflected the global methylation level, had a strong correlation also with the fraction of methylated CpG sites obtained by bisulphite sequencing (r = 0.88), and had an accuracy of 71.8 and 83.8% in detecting completely methylated and unmethylated CGIs. Analysis of gastric cancer cell lines using the Me value showed that methylation of CGIs in promoters and gene bodies was associated with low and high, respectively, gene expression. The degree of demethylation of promoter CGIs after 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment had no association with that of induction of gene expression. The Me value was considered to be useful for analysis of intermediate methylation levels of CGIs.