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Epigentek Creates New Way to Detect "Seventh Base" 5-Formylcytosine

Scientists at Epigentek have developed a new microplate-based method to measure 5-formylcytosine (5-fC), the "seventh" base in DNA.


NEW YORK, March 19 - Scientists at Epigentek have developed a new microplate-based method to measure 5-formylcytosine (5-fC), the “seventh” base in DNA. This method has been incorporated into a commercially available product, the MethylFlash(TM) 5-Formylcytosine (5-fC) DNA Quantification Kit, for detection of 5-fC in DNA samples obtained from any species.

5-fC, formed by oxidation of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine through TET hydroxylase, was recently found in mammalian cells and tissues and has been demonstrated to be an intermediate of the DNA demethylation process. The function of 5-fC in gene regulation is not entirely clear yet, but evidence suggests that 5-fC exhibits replication-dependent dilution during mouse preimplantation development and thus could be functional in regulating preimplantation development. The detection of 5-fC in various tissues and cells is important, not only because 5-fC would be a marker to indicate active DNA demethylation, but also because 5-fC can be directly excised by thymine DNA glycosylase (TDG) to allow subsequent base excision repair (BER) processing which converts modified cytosine back to its unmodified state.

With the proprietary MethylFlash(TM) method, Epigentek makes a remarkable improvement over currently used 5-fC detection methods. Techniques such as LC-MS/MS are time consuming, need large amount of DNA, and have low throughput with high costs. In contrast, the MethylFlash™ 5-Formylcytosine (5-fC) DNA Quantification Kit is able to rapidly quantify 5-fC in a 96-well microplate format with high detection accuracy that could be comparable to results obtained by LC-MS/MS analysis.

Utilizing this method, scientists at Epigentek found that 5-fC, like 5-hmC, is significantly decreased in rectal cancer tissues when compared to normal rectal tissues, indicating that abnormal active demethylation process may exist in the cancer.

About Epigentek Group Inc.Epigentek is a leading biotechnology company that focuses on developing and providing innovative technologies and products as a complete and systematic solution for epigenetic related research and drug discovery. Visit our informative website at


 dna methylation
 dna demethylation

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