Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling is able to identify prefibrotic PMF cases at risk for progression to myelofibrosis

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BACKGROUND: Patients suffering from the BCR-ABL1-negative myeloproliferative disease prefibrotic primary myelofibrosis (pre-PMF) have a certain risk for progression to myelofibrosis. Accurate risk estimation for this fibrotic progression is of prognostic importance and clinically relevant. Commonly applied risk scores are based on clinical, cytogenetic, and genetic data but do not include epigenetic modifications. Therefore, we evaluated the assessment of genome-wide DNA methylation patterns for their ability to predict fibrotic progression in PMF patients. RESULTS: For this purpose, the DNA methylation profile was analyzed genome-wide in a training set of 22 bone marrow trephines from patients with either fibrotic progression (n = 12) or stable disease over several years (n = 10) using the 850 k EPIC array from Illumina. The DNA methylation classifier constructed from this data set was validated in an independently measured test set of additional 11 bone marrow trephines (7 with stable disease, 4 with fibrotic progress). Hierarchical clustering of methylation β-values and linear discriminant classification yielded very good discrimination between both patient groups. By gene ontology analysis, the most differentially methylated CpG sites are primarily associated with genes involved in cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, we could show that genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of bone marrow trephines is feasible under routine diagnostic conditions and, more importantly, is able to predict fibrotic progression in pre-fibrotic primary myelofibrosis with high accuracy.




Lehmann, U., Stark, H., Bartels, S., Schlue, J., Büsche, G., & Kreipe, H. (2021). Genome-wide DNA methylation profiling is able to identify prefibrotic PMF cases at risk for progression to myelofibrosis. Clinical Epigenetics, 13(1), 28.

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