Adaptation of the CHARM DNA methylation platform for the rat genome reveals novel brain region-specific differences

Richard S. Lee, Kellie L.K. Tamashiro, Martin J. Aryee, Peter Murakami, Fayaz Seifuddin, Brian Herb, Yuqing Huo, Michael Rongione, Andrew P. Feinberg, Timothy H. Moran, James B. Potash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Comprehensive high-throughput arrays for relative methylation (CHARM) was recently developed as an experimental platform and analytic approach to assess DNA methylation (DNAm) at a genome-wide level. Its initial implementation was for human and mouse. We adapted it for rat and sought to examine DNAm differences across tissues and brain regions in this model organism. We extracted DNA from liver, spleen and three brain regions: cortex, hippocampus and hypothalamus from adult Sprague Dawley rats. DNA was digested with McrBC, and the resulting methyl-depleted fraction was hybridized to the rat CHARM array along with a mock-treated fraction. Differentially methylated regions (DMRs) between tissue types were detected using normalized methylation log-ratios. In validating 24 of the most significant DMRs by bisulfite pyrosequencing, we detected large mean differences in DNAm, ranging from 33-59%, among the most significant DMRs in the across-tissue comparisons. The comparable figures for the hippocampus vs. hypothalamus DMRs were 14-40%, for the cortex vs. hippocampus DMRs, 12-29%, and for the cortex vs. hypothalamus DMRs, 5-35%, with a correlation of r2 = 0.92 between the methylation differences in 24 DMRs predicted by CHARM and those validated by bisulfite pyrosequencing. Our adaptation of the CHARM array for the rat genome yielded highly robust results that demonstrate the value of this method in detecting substantial DNAm differences between tissues and across different brain regions. This platform should prove valuable in future studies aimed at examining DNAm differences in particular brain regions of rats exposed to environmental stimuli with potential epigenetic consequences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1378-1390
Number of pages13
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Brain
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Genome-wide
  • Methylation array
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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