DNA methylation topology: potential of a chromatin landmark for epigenetic drug toxicology

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Targeting chromatin and its basic components through epigenetic drug therapy has become an increased focus in the treatment of complex diseases. This boost calls for the implementation of high-throughput cell-based assays that exploit the increasing knowledge about epigenetic mechanisms and their interventions for genotoxicity testing of epigenetic drugs. 3D quantitative DNA methylation imaging is a novel approach for detecting drug-induced DNA demethylation and concurrent heterochromatin decondensation/reorganization in cells through the analysis of differential nuclear distribution patterns of methylcytosine and gDNA visualized by fluorescence and processed by machine-learning algorithms. Utilizing 3D DNA methylation patterns is a powerful precursor to a series of fully automatable assays that employ chromatin structure and higher organization as novel pharmacodynamic biomarkers for various epigenetic drug actions.

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