A reassessment of DNA-immunoprecipitation-based genomic profiling

Antonio Lentini, Cathrine Lagerwall, Svante Vikingsson, Heidi K Mjoseng, Karolos Douvlataniotis, Hartmut Vogt, Henrik Green, Richard R Meehan, Mikael Benson, Colm E Nestor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


DNA immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (DIP-seq) is a common enrichment method for profiling DNA modifications in mammalian genomes. However, the results of independent DIP-seq studies often show considerable variation between profiles of the same genome and between profiles obtained by alternative methods. Here we show that these differences are primarily due to the intrinsic affinity of IgG for short unmodified DNA repeats. This pervasive experimental error accounts for 50-99% of regions identified as 'enriched' for DNA modifications in DIP-seq data. Correction of this error profoundly altered DNA-modification profiles for numerous cell types, including mouse embryonic stem cells, and subsequently revealed novel associations among DNA modifications, chromatin modifications and biological processes. We conclude that both matched input and IgG controls are essential in order for the results of DIP-based assays to be interpreted correctly, and that complementary, non-antibody-based techniques should be used to validate DIP-based findings to avoid further misinterpretation of genome-wide profiling data.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Methods
Early online date25 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


  • Journal Article


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