Inventors: Michelle M. Hanna and David McCarthy
The present invention provides a simple and sensitive technology for the detection of CpG methylation in DNA without chemical modification of sample DNA by bisulfite treatment or PCR amplification. Signal generation is based on an Abscription (Abortive Transcription) technology in which DNA signal generators called Abortive Promoter Cassettes (APCs) are bound to target mCpG sites via mCpG target specific probes based on methyl binding polypeptides or methyl binding domains thereof. RNA polymerase produces uniform, short RNA molecules from synthetic promoters in APCs as signals of the presence of methylated CpGs. Detection of CpG methylation and hypermethylation of DNA targets such as CpG islands provides a convenient means for detecting and monitoring cancer in a subject.