Identification of Differentially Methylated Markers among Cytogenetic Risk Groups of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Epigenetics : official journal of the DNA Methylation Society, Volume 10, Issue 6, p.526-35 (2015)


Bioinformatics Core Facility, Flow Cytometry Core Facility, Genomics Core Facility


Aberrant DNA methylation is known to occur in cancer, including hematological malignancies such as acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, less is known about whether specific methylation profiles characterize specific subcategories of AML. We examined this issue by using comprehensive high-throughput array-based relative methylation analysis (CHARM) to compare methylation profiles among patients in different AML cytogenetic risk groups. We found distinct profiles in each group, with the high-risk group showing overall increased methylation compared with low- and mid-risk groups. The differentially methylated regions (DMRs) distinguishing cytogenetic risk groups of AML were enriched in the CpG island shores. Specific risk-group associated DMRs were located near genes previously known to play a role in AML or other malignancies, such as MN1, UHRF1, HOXB3, and HOXB4, as well as TRIM71, the function of which in cancer is not well characterized. These findings were verified by quantitative bisulfite pyrosequencing and by comparison with results available at the TCGA cancer genome browser. To explore the potential biological significance of the observed methylation changes, we correlated our findings with gene expression data available through the TCGA database. The results showed that decreased methylation at HOXB3 and HOXB4 was associated with increased gene expression of both HOXB genes specific to the mid-risk AML, while increased DNA methylation at DCC distinctive to the high-risk AML was associated with increased gene expression. Our results suggest that the differential impact of cytogenetic changes on AML prognosis may, in part, be mediated by changes in methylation.