Epigenetic differences in cytogenetically normal versus abnormal acute myeloid leukemia

Elizabeth A. Griffiths, Steven David Gore, Craig M Hooker, Helai P. Mohammad, A Michael McDevitt, B. Douglas Smith, Judith E. Karp, James G. Herman, Hetty Carraway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Methylation of tumor suppression genes (TSGs) is common in myeloid malignancies. However, application of this as a molecular marker for risk stratification in patients with AML is limited. To elucidate the impact of patterns of TSG methylation on outcome in cytogenetically normal patients, 106 samples from patients with normal cytogenetic AML were evaluated for methylation of 12 genes by MSP. For sake of comparison, samples from patients with AML and abnormal cytogenetics (n = 63) were also evaluated. Methylation frequencies in the whole group (n = 169) were similar to previous reports for CDH1 (31%), ER (31%), FHIT (9%), p15INK4b (44%), p73 (25%) and SOCS1 (75%). Methylation of CTNNA1 was observed in 10%, CEBP-a in16%, CEBP-d in 2%, MLH1 in 24%, MGMT in 11% and DAPK in 2% of AML samples. We find that DNA methylation was more prevalent in patients with normal compared to karyotypically abnormal AML for most genes; CEBPa (20% vs 9%), CTNNA1 (14% vs 4%) and ER (41% vs 19%) (p < 0.05 for all comparisons). In contrast, p73 was more frequently methylated in patients with karyotypic abnormalities (17% vs 38%; p < 0.05), perhaps due to specific silencing of the proapoptotic promoter shifting p73 gene expression to the anti-apoptotic transcript. In AML patients with normal cytogenetics, TSG methylation was not associated with event free or overall survival in a multivariate analysis. In patients with AML, TSG methylation is more frequent in patients with normal karyotype than those with karyotypic abnormalities but does not confer independent prognostic information for patients with normal cytogenetics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-600
Number of pages11
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 2010


  • Cytogenetics
  • DNA methylation
  • Epigenetics
  • Leukemia
  • P73

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cancer Research


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