Base resolution methylome profiling: considerations in platform selection, data preprocessing and analysis.

Bisulfite treatment-based methylation microarray (mainly Illumina 450K Infinium array) and next-generation sequencing (reduced representation bisulfite sequencing, Agilent SureSelect Human Methyl-Seq, NimbleGen SeqCap Epi CpGiant or whole-genome bisulfite sequencing) are commonly used for base resolution DNA methylome research. Although multiple tools and methods have been developed and used for the data preprocessing and analysis, confusions remains for these platforms including how and whether the 450k array should be normalized; which platform should be used to better fit researchers’ needs; and which statistical models would be more appropriate for differential methylation analysis. This review presents the commonly used platforms and compares the pros and cons of each in methylome profiling. We then discuss approaches to study design, data normalization, bias correction and model selection for differentially methylated individual CpGs and regions.

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