A newly-developed platform, the Illumina TruSeq Methyl Capture EPIC library prep (TruSeq EPIC), builds on the content of the Infinium MethylationEPIC Beadchip Microarray (EPIC-array) and leverages the power of next-generation sequencing for targeted bisulphite sequencing. We empirically examined the performance of TruSeq EPIC and EPIC-array in assessing genome-wide DNA methylation in breast tissue samples. TruSeq EPIC provided data with a much higher density in the regions when compared to EPIC-array (~2.74 million CpGs with at least 10X coverage vs ~752 K CpGs, respectively). Approximately 398 K CpGs were common and measured across the two platforms in every sample. Overall, there was high concordance in methylation levels between the two platforms (Pearson correlation r = 0.98, P < 0.0001). However, we observed that TruSeq EPIC measurements provided a wider dynamic range and likely a higher quantitative sensitivity for CpGs that were either hypo- or hyper-methylated (β close to 0 or 1, respectively). In addition, when comparing different breast tissue types TruSeq EPIC identified more differentially methylated CpGs than EPIC-array, not only out of additional sites interrogated by TruSeq EPIC alone, but also out of common sites interrogated by both platforms. Our results suggest that both platforms show high reproducibility and reliability in genome-wide DNA methylation profiling, while TruSeq EPIC had a significant improvement over EPIC-array regarding genomic resolution and coverage. The wider dynamic range and likely higher precision of the estimates by the TruSeq EPIC may lead to the identification of novel differentially methylated markers that are associated with disease risk.

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Published in Epigenetics.

© 2020 The Author(s)

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.

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This research was supported by the National Cancer Institute R01CA194030, Susan G. Komen Career Catalyst Research Grant CCR15333233, and the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource Facility of the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center [P30CA177558].

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