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In vertebrates, DNA methylation-mediated repression of retrotransposons is essential for the maintenance of genomic integrity. In the current study, we developed a technique termed HT-TREBS (High-Throughput Targeted Repeat Element Bisulfite Sequencing). This technique is designed to measure the DNA methylation levels of individual loci of any repeat families with next-generation sequencing approaches. To test the feasibility of HT-TREBS, we analyzed the DNA methylation levels of the IAP LTR family using a set of 12 different genomic DNA isolated from the brain, liver and kidney of 4 one-weekold littermates of the mouse strain C57BL/6N. This technique has successfully generated the CpG methylation data of 5,233 loci common in all the samples, representing more than 80% of the individual loci of the five targeted subtypes of the IAP LTR family. According to the results, approximately 5% of the IAP LTR loci have less than 80% CpG methylation levels with no genomic position preference. Further analyses of the IAP LTR loci also revealed the presence of extensive DNA methylation variations between different tissues and individuals. Overall, these data demonstrate the efficiency and robustness of the new technique, HT-TREBS, and also provide new insights regarding the genome-wide DNA methylation patterns of the IAP LTR repeat elements. © 2014 Ekram, Kim.

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