Blood Adv. 2022 Jun 14;6(11):3207-3219. doi: 10.1182/bloodadvances.2021005381.
Genome-wide DNA methylation analysis in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia.
We investigated genome-wide DNA methylation patterns in 64 pediatric patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Based on unsupervised clustering with the 567 most variably methylated cytosine guanine dinucleotide (CpG) sites, patients were categorized into 4 clusters associated with genetic alterations. Clusters 1 and 3 were characterized by the presence of known favorable prognostic factors, such as RUNX1-RUNX1T1 fusion and KMT2A rearrangement with low MECOM expression, and biallelic CEBPA mutations (all 8 patients), respectively. Clusters 2 and 4 comprised patients exhibiting molecular features associated with adverse outcomes, namely internal tandem duplication of FLT3 (FLT3-ITD), partial tandem duplication of KMT2A, and high PRDM16 expression. Depending on the methylation values of the 1243 CpG sites that were significantly different between FLT3-ITD+ and FLT3-ITD- AML, patients were categorized into 3 clusters: A, B, and C. The STAT5-binding motif was most frequently found close to the 1243 CpG sites. All 8 patients with FLT3-ITD in cluster A harbored high PRDM16 expression and experienced adverse events, whereas only 1 of 7 patients with FLT3-ITD in the other clusters experienced adverse events. PRDM16 expression levels were also related to DNA methylation patterns, which were drastically changed at the cutoff value of PRDM16/ABL1 = 0.10. The assay for transposase-accessible chromatin sequencing of AMLs supported enhanced chromatin accessibility around genomic regions, such as HOXB cluster genes, SCHIP1, and PRDM16, which were associated with DNA methylation changes in AMLs with FLT3-ITD and high PRDM16 expression. Our results suggest that DNA methylation levels at specific CpG sites are useful to support genetic alterations and gene expression patterns of patients with pediatric AML.