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varionostic increases quality and efficiency

DNA-methylation analysis is one of the main working areas of the epigenetic research group at the Biocentre of Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich. This research focuses on a great number of genomic regions in diverse cell lines. Fundamental mechanisms of genome regulation in development and in pathogenic processes can be discovered by comparing regular and genetically manipulated cells. For this work, quality is of high importance and, due to the multiplicity of necessary analytical processes, efficient working is indispensable.


The balance between quality and efficiency has been the key problem in the past. The COBRA assays and bisulphite sequencing originally used by the working group could not meet these essential requirements. COBRA assays only delivered methylation information on a single CpG within a PCR-amplified sequence. With bisulphite sequencing, although several CpGs could be analysed within one sequence, the method was labour intensive and the associated costs were very high.


Pyrosequencing offered a perfect alternative for the working group. Quantitative information about all CpG sites within a sequence can be delivered with just one PCR. Since purchasing a separate pyrosequencer for the institute was not feasible, the researchers took advantage of varionostic’s service in spring 2007 for the first time. The research group itself prepared the bisulphite and performed the PCR, and then sent the probes to varionostic for pyrosecuencing analysis.


Highly satisfied with the service and results, the working group still continues the collaboration. Even for difficult sequences, excellent results could be obtained through this team interaction. “Thanks to varionostic we were able to reduce our work load, save costs and at the same time achieve better results” a member of the research group states.