Most DNA methylation studies in classic Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms have been performed on a gene-by-gene basis. Therefore, a more comprehensive methylation profiling is needed to study the implications of this epigenetic marker in myeloproliferative neoplasms. Here, we have analyzed 71 chronic (24 polycythemia vera, 23 essential thrombocythemia and 24 primary myelofibrosis) and 13 transformed myeloproliferative neoplasms using genome-wide DNA methylation arrays. The three types of chronic Philadelphia-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms showed a similar aberrant DNA methylation pattern when compared to control samples. Differentially methylated regions were enriched in a gene network centered on the NF-?B pathway, indicating that they may be involved in the pathogenesis of these diseases. In the case of transformed myeloproliferative neoplasms, we detected an increased number of differentially methylated regions with respect to chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms. Interestingly, these genes were enriched in a list of differentially methylated regions in primary acute myeloid leukemia and in a gene network centered around the IFN pathway. Our results suggest that alterations in the DNA methylation landscape play an important role in the pathogenesis and leukemic transformation of myeloproliferative neoplasms. The therapeutic modulation of epigenetically-deregulated pathways may allow us to design targeted therapies for these patients.
Aberrant DNA methylation is one of the most frequent alterations in patients with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL). Using methylation bead arrays we analyzed the methylation status of 807 genes implicated in cancer in a group of ALL samples at diagnosis (n?=?48). We found that 154 genes were methylated in more than 10% of ALL samples. Interestingly, the expression of 13 genes implicated in the TP53 pathway was downregulated by hypermethylation. Direct or indirect activation of TP53 pathway with 5-aza-2-deoxycitidine, Curcumin or Nutlin-3 induced an increase in apoptosis of ALL cells. The results obtained with the initial group of 48 patients was validated retrospectively in a second cohort of 200 newly diagnosed ALL patients. Methylation of at least 1 of the 13 genes implicated in the TP53 pathway was observed in 78% of the patients, which significantly correlated with a higher relapse (p?=?0.001) and mortality (p<0.001) rate being an independent prognostic factor for disease-free survival (DFS) (p?=?0.006) and overall survival (OS) (p?=?0.005) in the multivariate analysis. All these findings indicate that TP53 pathway is altered by epigenetic mechanisms in the majority of ALL patients and correlates with prognosis. Treatments with compounds that may reverse the epigenetic abnormalities or activate directly the p53 pathway represent a new therapeutic alternative for patients with ALL.
Most carcinomas present some form of chromosome instability in combination with spindle defects. Numerical instability is likely caused by spindle aberrations, but the origin of breaks and translocations remains elusive. To determine whether one mechanism can bring about both types of instability, we studied the relationship between DNA damage and spindle defects. Although lacking apparent repair defects, primary Dido mutant cells formed micronuclei containing damaged DNA. The presence of centromeres showed that micronuclei were caused by spindle defects, and cell cycle markers showed that DNA damage was generated during mitosis. Although the micronuclei themselves persisted, the DNA damage within was repaired during S and G2 phases. DNA breaks in Dido mutant cells regularly colocalized with centromeres, which were occasionally distorted. Comparable defects were found in APC mutant cell lines, an independent system for spindle defects. On the basis of these results, we propose a model for break formation in which spindle defects lead to centromere shearing.
Malignant lymphomas are classified based on morphology, immunophenotype, genetics and clinical features. The pathological diagnosis is generally considered difficult and prone to mistakes. Since non-random chromosomal translocations are specifically involved in specific entities, their detection is an important adjunct for increasing the reliability of the diagnosis. Recently, split-signal fluorescence in situ hybridization has become available as a robust method to detect chromosomal breaks in paraffin-embedded formalin-fixed tissues. A bright field approach would bring this technology within the reach of every pathology laboratory.
Alterations in the DNA methylation pattern are a hallmark of leukemias and lymphomas. However, most epigenetic studies in hematologic neoplasms (HNs) have focused either on the analysis of few candidate genes or many genes and few HN entities, and comprehensive studies are required.
The therapeutic use of multipotent stem cells depends on their differentiation potential, which has been shown to be variable for different populations. These differences are likely to be the result of key changes in their epigenetic profiles.
Combined 1p/19q deletions are very prevalent in oligodendrogliomas (OGs) and, to a lesser extent, in oligoastrocytomas (OAs). These losses are associated with responsiveness to therapy. Using array-based comparative genomic hybridization, we screened for recurrent genomic alterations in OG and oligoastrocytoma subtypes on chromosome 19. Concomitant 1p/19q loss was detected in most of the tumors with allelic loss, but array-based comparative genomic hybridization revealed some tumors to have unrelated 1p/19q arm losses, suggesting alternative mechanisms of loss to that related to the reported t(1;19) translocation. Analyses of 1p/19q loss by fluorescence in situ hybridization and loss of heterozygosity assays and correlations of genomic data with the Ki-67 proliferation marker were also performed. Four 1q (or 19p) and 2 1p (or 19q) fluorescence in situ hybridization probe signals together with homozygosity of the 1p/19q microsatellites suggested a hypothetical mechanism of genome duplication consecutive to the loss of the derivative chromosome der(1p;19q) from the t(1;19)(1q;19p) translocation. This genome duplication was frequent in high-grade OGs and was strongly correlated with Ki-67 expression; thus, it could be related to tumor progression. Finally, in addition to the frequent 1p/19q loss, we report a novel 17q amplified region in OGs with BIRC5 as one of the possible candidate target genes of the amplicon.
The natural history of cancers associated with virus exposure is intriguing, since only a minority of human tissues infected with these viruses inevitably progress to cancer. However, the molecular reasons why the infection is controlled or instead progresses to subsequent stages of tumorigenesis are largely unknown. In this article, we provide the first complete DNA methylomes of double-stranded DNA viruses associated with human cancer that might provide important clues to help us understand the described process. Using bisulfite genomic sequencing of multiple clones, we have obtained the DNA methylation status of every CpG dinucleotide in the genome of the Human Papilloma Viruses 16 and 18 and Human Hepatitis B Virus, and in all the transcription start sites of the Epstein-Barr Virus. These viruses are associated with infectious diseases (such as hepatitis B and infectious mononucleosis) and the development of human tumors (cervical, hepatic, and nasopharyngeal cancers, and lymphoma), and are responsible for 1 million deaths worldwide every year. The DNA methylomes presented provide evidence of the dynamic nature of the epigenome in contrast to the genome. We observed that the DNA methylome of these viruses evolves from an unmethylated to a highly methylated genome in association with the progression of the disease, from asymptomatic healthy carriers, through chronically infected tissues and pre-malignant lesions, to the full-blown invasive tumor. The observed DNA methylation changes have a major functional impact on the biological behavior of the viruses.
Chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) has recently been associated with a high incidence of diverse mutations in genes such as TET2 or EZH2 that are implicated in epigenetic mechanisms. We have performed genome-wide DNA methylation arrays and mutational analysis of TET2, IDH1, IDH2, EZH2 and JAK2 in a group of 24 patients with CMML. 249 genes were differentially methylated between CMML patients and controls. Using Ingenuity pathway analysis, we identified enrichment in a gene network centered around PLC, JNK and ERK suggesting that these pathways, whose deregulation has been recently described in CMML, are affected by epigenetic mechanisms. Mutations of TET2, JAK2 and EZH2 were found in 15 patients (65%), 4 patients (17%) and 1 patient (4%) respectively while no mutations in the IDH1 and IDH2 genes were identified. Interestingly, patients with wild type TET2 clustered separately from patients with TET2 mutations, showed a higher degree of hypermethylation and were associated with higher risk karyotypes. Our results demonstrate the presence of aberrant DNA methylation in CMML and identifies TET2 mutant CMML as a biologically distinct disease subtype with a different epigenetic profile.
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