Understanding the impact of DNA methylation within different disease contexts often requires accurate assessment of these modifications in a genome-wide fashion. Frequently, patient-derived tissues stored in long-term hospital tissue banks have been preserved using formalin-fixation paraffin-embedding (FFPE). While these samples can comprise valuable resources for studying disease, the fixation process ultimately compromises the DNA’s integrity and leads to degradation. Degraded DNA can complicate CpG methylome profiling using traditional techniques, particularly when performing methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme sequencing (MRE-seq), yielding high backgrounds and resulting in lowered library complexity. Here, we describe Capture MRE-seq, a new MRE-seq protocol tailored to preserving unmethylated CpG information when using samples with highly degraded DNA. The results using Capture MRE-seq correlate well (0.92) with traditional MRE-seq calls when profiling non-degraded samples, and can recover unmethylated regions in highly degraded samples when traditional MRE-seq fails, which we validate using bisulfite sequencing-based data (WGBS) as well as methylated DNA immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (MeDIP-seq).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMethods in Molecular Biology
PublisherHumana Press Inc.
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6029


  • Capture MRE-seq
  • CG-overhang
  • FFPE
  • Highly degraded DNA
  • Methylation
  • Restriction enzyme


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