The EpiTect procedure comprises a few simple steps, based on QIAGEN's straightforward bind, wash, and elute system (see flowchart " Conversion procedure"). After thermal denaturation and sodium bisulfite DNA conversion, the DNA is applied to an EpiTect spin column or plate where, using optimized buffers and a standard microcentrifuge or vacuum manifold, it is washed to remove all traces of sodium bisulfite and eluted. The eluted DNA can be used in all downstream applications, including methylation-specific PCR, real-time PCR analysis, bisulfite sequencing, COBRA, and Pyrosequencing.
Accessing epigenetic information is of prime importance for many areas of biological and medical research — particularly oncology, but also stem cell research and developmental biology. However, the analysis of changes in DNA methylation is challenging due to the lack of standardized methods for providing reproducible data, particularly from limited sample material. With its newly introduced EpiTect solutions, QIAGEN makes available standardized, pre-analytical and analytical solutions: from DNA sample collection, stabilization and purification, to bisulfite conversion and real-time or end-point PCR methylation analysis or sequencing (see figure " Standardized workflows in epigenetics").