5-methylcytosine (5-mC) is the predominant epigenetic mark in mammalian genomic DNA. 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) is a newly discovered epigenetic modification that is presumably generated by oxidation of 5-mC by the TET family of cytosine oxygenases (1,2).
Techniques exist that can identify 5-mC in genomic DNA, but the most commonly used method, bisulfite sequencing, is laborious and cannot distinguish between 5-mC from 5-hmC (3).
The EpiMark® 5-hmC and 5-mC Analysis Kit can be used to analyze and quantitate 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine within a specific locus.
The kit distinguishes 5-mC from 5-hmC by the addition of glucose to the hydroxyl group of 5-hmC via an enzymatic reaction utilizing T4 β-glucosyltransferase (T4-BGT). When 5-hmC occurs in the context of CCGG, this modification converts a cleavable MspI site to a noncleavable one.