C/EBPA gene mutation and C/EBPA promoter hypermethylation in acute myeloid leukemia with normal cytogenetics


In the current study, we investigated C/EBPA gene mutations and promoter hypermethylation in a series of 53 patients with CN-AML. In addition, we also analyzed two other frequent mutations (FLT3/ITD and NPM1) in these patients and correlated them with C/EBPA gene alterations. 13/53 patients were FLT3/ITD1/NPM1-, 11/53 patients were FLT3/ITD1/NPM11, 9/53 patients were FLT3/ITD-/NPM11, and 20/53 patients were FLT3/ITD-/NPM1-. Four of 53 cases displayed C/EBPA mutations, whereas 49 cases had only C/EBPA wild-type alleles. Of the four positive cases, three patients had N-terminal mutations only, whereas one patient had mutations in both the N- and C-terminal region. Two of the four positive cases also harbored both FLT3/ITD and NPM1 mutation simultaneously, whereas the other two patients had neither FLT3/ITD nor NPM1 mutations. Furthermore, 7/53 cases displayed C/EBPA promoter hypermethylation. Interestingly, they were all in CN-AML cases without FLT3/ITD or NPM1 mutations. None of the seven patients with C/EBPA promoter hypermethylation showed C/EBPA mutation. In conclusion, C/EBPA mutation and promoter hypermethylation can be detected at a relatively low frequency in de novo CN-AML patients, suggesting they may contribute to leukemogenesis. C/EBPA mutation appears to be seen in "high-risk" AML (FLT3/ITD1/NPM11; FLT3/ITD1/NPM1- or FLT3/ITD-/NPM1-), while C/EBPA hypermethylation appears to be more common in AML with FLT3/ITD- /NPM1- and is not associated with C/EBPA mutation. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Publication Title

American Journal of Hematology