Methylation is a stable biomarker that can be used to identify cell types and the regulatory elements underlying cell function. When coupled with single-cell RNA expression studies, single-cell methylation can elucidate the regulatory elements, in turn controlling the unique expression profiles of individual cells and differences between cells. Additionally, recent clinical studies have uncovered methylation patterns in diseases—such as cancer—which identify tumor type, assess tumor burden in liquid biopsies, and correlate with disease progression, prognosis and drug response.
This method was recently described in the Science paper entitled "Single Cell Methylomes Identify Neuronal Subtypes and Regulatory Elements in Mammalian Cortex" by collaborators at the Salk Institute, University of California San Diego and Swift Biosciences. The workflow combines fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based isolation, bisulfite conversion and Swift's Accel-NGS Adaptase module with other commercially available components. The published results demonstrated a greater than two-fold increase in read-mapping rates as compared to other methods; thereby, significantly improving the data output per sequencing run while reducing the overall cost.
"This is one of many scientific collaboration in which Swift technologies is pushing the boundaries of science," said Timothy Harkins, president and CEO of Swift Biosciences and co-author on the paper. "We are excited about new insights into basic cellular processes, and the profound, future impact it will have on precision medicine."
"Our proprietary Adaptase technology constructs high-complexity NGS libraries from low-input, single-stranded DNA," said Laurie Kurihara, PhD, senior director of research and development and co-author on the paper. "Our single-cell workflow has fewer steps than other methods and offers multiplexed, single-cell processing to provide greater productivity for high-throughput applications."
The Accel-NGS Adaptase Module is now commercially available.
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