Quantifying DNA hydroxymethylation in the human brain

A new paper from our group published in Genome Biology characterizes the distribution of DNA hydroxymethylation (5hmC) in two regions of the human brain. We used oxidative bisulfite (oxBS) treatment with the Illumina Infinium 450K BeadArray to quantify genome-wide patterns of 5hmC in the prefrontal cortex and cerebellum. Distinct patterns of 5hmC were identified in each brain region, with notable differences in the genomic location of the most hydroxymethylated loci between these brain regions. This study demonstrates the utility of combining oxBS-treatment with the Illumina 450k methylation array to quantify 5hmC across the genome and the potential utility of this approach for epigenomic studies of brain disorders.