Quantitation of site-specific HPV 16 DNA methylation by pyrosequencing.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a necessary but insufficient cause of cervical cancer. Factors influencing transcription, such as epigenetic silencing through viral DNA methylation, may impact neoplastic progression. Pyrosequencing technology was applied to quantify methylation at 19 cytosine guanine dinucleotide (CpG) sites in the L1 3' and long control region (LCR) of HPV 16 DNA using cell lines, CaSki ( approximately 400 integrated copies of HPV 16) and SiHa (1-2 integrated copies of HPV 16) that differ in their transcriptional activity. Methylation levels ranged from 20 to 100% in CaSki and from 0 to 85% in SiHa over the entire 19 CpG sites, with a >40-fold difference in the methylation levels of their promoter and enhancer regions (SiHa<2% and CaSki 79%). The method was successful at a limiting dilution of 1-4 HPV 16 DNA copies/3000 cells, a level compatible with most clinical samples. The results were not affected by fixation in methanol-based liquid cytology collection fluid or method of extraction. Conditions optimized with cell lines were applicable to fixed exfoliated cervical cells. Pyrosequencing provides a quantitative site-specific assessment of methylation at multiple CpG sites without cloning, and is thus suited to large-scale molecular epidemiologic studies.

Duncan K, Lee DR, Limor JR, Rajeevan MS, Swan DC, Unger ER


J. Virol. Methods, 2006, 138 (1-2)

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