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Agilent Introduces First DNA Methylation Target-Enrichment System for Disease Research

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Agilent Technologies Inc. has expanded its target-enrichment platform with the SureSelect XT Human Methyl-Seq system for epigenetic research into DNA methylation sites.

It is the first comprehensive DNA methylation discovery system using target enrichment. Agilent will unveil the product at the Advances in Genome Biology and Technology meeting here tomorrow.

Agilent SureSelect XT Methyl-Seq is a unique in-solution tool for analyzing under- and over-methylated cytosine sites on the human genome.

The assay combines SureSelect, the leading target-enrichment platform, with bisulfite sequencing, the gold standard for DNA methylation research and the first comprehensive discovery system.

This enables unprecedented sequence coverage of only the most relevant regions for epigenetic studies, including those associated with a wide range of disorders such as cancer, imprinting disorders, behavioral and mental disorders, and many others.

"DNA methylation is a key epigenetic feature," said John Stamatoyannopoulos, director of the Northwest Reference Epigenome Mapping Center at the University of Washington.

Stamatoyannopoulos continued, "The availability of a cost-effective platform that intelligently targets millions of CpGs for bisulfite sequencing will greatly reduce the cost and expand the scope and utility of genome-scale DNA methylation analysis."

"The kit covers all interesting methyl-cytosine sites for cancer research in the genome at an excellent effort-to-output ratio," said Michal-Ruth Schweider, MD, Ph.D., Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics.

"We're very pleased to offer this new tool to meet growing interest from the medical research community," said Robert Schueren, Agilent vice president and general manager, Genomics. "Because abnormal methylation is reversible, this type of analysis holds great promise for the discovery of therapies."

Agilent SureSelect XT Methyl-Seq allows researchers to analyze over 3.7 million individual CpG dinucleotide sequences for their methylation state.

The system targets promoters, canonical CpG islands, and the more recently described "shores" and "shelves" found up to 4 kilobase pairs on either side of CpG islands.

Studies have indicated that many methylation alterations are not in promoters or CpG islands, but most are within 2kb, the CpG island shore. The kit also targets known differentially methylated regions.

Agilent SureSelect XT Methyl-Seq delivers higher throughput and lower costs than whole genome bisulfite sequencing. It identifies regions that are not detected by restriction enzyme-based or immunoprecipitation-based methods.

Because this product is a SureSelect XT offering, Agilent provides the complete workflow solution. This includes all reagents needed for library prep and target enrichment.