Analyst. 2023 Nov 21. doi: 10.1039/d3an01300f. Online ahead of print.
Extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) was discovered several decades ago, but little is known about its function. With the development of sequencing technology, several library preparation methods have been developed to elucidate the biogenesis and function of eccDNA. However, different treatment methods have certain biases that can lead to their erroneous interpretation. To address these issues, we compared the performance of different library preparation methods. Our investigation revealed that the utilization of rolling-circle amplification (RCA) and restriction enzyme linearization of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) significantly enhanced the efficiency of enriching extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA). However, it also introduced certain biases, such as an unclear peak in ∼160-200 bp periodicity and the absence of a typical motif pattern. Furthermore, given that RCA can lead to a disproportionate change in copy numbers, eccDNA quantification using split and discordant reads should be avoided. Analysis of the genomic and elements distribution of the overall population of eccDNA molecules revealed a high correlation between the replicates, and provided a possible stability signature for eccDNA, which could potentially reflect different cell lines or cell states. However, we found only a few eccDNA with identical junction sites in each replicate, showing a high degree of heterogeneity of eccDNA. The emergence of different motif patterns flanking junctional sites in eccDNAs of varying sizes suggests the involvement of multiple potential mechanisms in eccDNA generation. This study comprehensively compares and discusses various essential approaches for eccDNA library preparation, offering valuable insights and practical advice to researchers involved in characterizing eccDNA.