Quantitative methylation analysis of the PCDHB gene cluster

Barbara Banelli, Massimo Romani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Long Range Epigenetic Silencing (LRES) is a repressed chromatin state of large chromosomal regions caused by DNA hypermethylation and histone modifications and is commonly observed in cancer. At 5q31 a LRES region of 800 kb includes three multi-gene clusters (PCDHA@, PCDHB@, and PCDHG@, respectively). Multiple experimental evidences have led to consider the PCDHB cluster as a DNA methylation marker of aggressiveness in neuroblastoma, second most common solid tumor in childhood. Because of its potential involvement not only in neuroblastoma but also in other malignancies, an easy and fast assay to screen the DNA methylation content of the PCDHB cluster might be useful for the precise stratification of the patients into risk groups and hence for choosing the most appropriate therapeutic protocol. Accordingly, we have developed a simple and cost-effective Pyrosequencing ® assay to evaluate the methylation level of 17 genes in the protocadherin B cluster (PCDHB@). The rationale behind this Pyrosequencing assay can in principle be applied to analyze the DNA methylation level of any gene cluster with high homologies for screening purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)189-200
Number of pages12
JournalMethods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Cancer
  • DNA methylation
  • Multiplex
  • PCDHB@ cluster
  • Pyrosequencing®

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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