Methylation-Specific Droplet Digital™ PCR to Study Immune Cell Subtypes





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Published on Apr 22, 2014

See how researchers in John Wiencke's laboratory at UCSF use Droplet Digital™ PCR to investigate aberrant gene methylation in their studies of the molecular subgroups of glioma, cancer arising from glial cells -- the most common source of brain tumors. Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR™) technology enabled the Wiencke lab to analyze archival blood samples, some up to 20 years old, from cancer patients and controls to characterize differentially methylated regions of genes involved in immune responses. By accurately quantitating the numbers of methylated and unmethylated DNA molecules, they were able to form a profile of the immune state of each patient without using other biomarkers.

The QX200™ Droplet Digital PCR system enables the quantification of target DNA with unrivaled precision by partitioning samples into 20,000 nanoliter-sized droplets. After PCR on a thermal cycler, PCR-positive and PCR-negative droplets are counted to provide absolute quantification of the target DNA, without a standard curve.

John K. Wiencke, PhD
Professor, Department of Neurological Surgery
Co-Director, Division of Epidemiology
Univ. of CA, San Francisco
Prof. Wiencke's background is in cytogenetics, radiation biology, and molecular epidemiology. His research has focused on biomarkers of exposure to chemical toxins and tobacco smoke and on genetic susceptibility to exposures to environmental toxins as determinants of lung cancer.


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