25 June 2019
Background/Aims: Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is a congenital overgrowth disorder predisposing to tumorigenesis caused by abnormal expression or function of imprinted genes of the chromosome 11p15.5 imprinting gene cluster. This real-time PCR-based assay determines the methylation status of a selected CpG island and has been proposed for use in high-throughput methylation analysis. Methods: Here, we use quantitative analysis of methylated alleles (QAMA) for the detection of methylation status of the KCNQ10T1 gene, in a region immediately upstream of the transcription initiation site, and the CTCF binding site 6, located approximately 2 kb upstream of the SmaI site currently used for clinical laboratory testing. We assayed a series of controls and patients diagnosed with BWS at two different loci at 11p15.5 to assess the diagnostic yield of QAMA PCR for clinical laboratory testing. Results: These results compare favorably with methylation-specific multiple ligation probe amplification (MS-MLPA) analysis at both differentially methylated region (DMR)1 and DMR2. There are several advantages of the QAMA PCR over MS-MLPA. The QAMA PCR is less labor-intensive and therefore more cost-effective and does not require dedicated analysis software. A second advantage is that the assay is amenable to high-throughput analysis. Conclusions: The small sample size reflects the rare nature of this epigenetic disorder, and the range of ages was quite wide, as was the degree of disease severity. Therefore, further validation with larger cohorts is warranted.