Cytosine derivative dysregulations represent important epigenetic modifications whose impact on the clinical outcome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is incompletely understood. Hence, global levels of 5-methylcytosine (5-mCyt), 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmCyt), 5-carboxylcytosine (5-CaCyt) and 5-hydroxymethyluracil were tested in purified B cells from CLL patients (n = 55) and controls (n = 17). The DNA methylation 'writers' (DNA methyltransferases [DNMT1/3A/3B]), 'readers' (methyl-CpG-binding domain [MBD2/4]), 'editors' (teneleven translocation [TET1/2/3]) and 'modulators' (SAT1) were also evaluated. Accordingly, patients were stratified into three subgroups. First, a subgroup with a global deficit in cytosine derivatives characterized by hyperlymphocytosis, reduced median progression free survival (PFS = 52 months) and shorter treatment free survival (TFS = 112 months) was identified. In this subgroup, major epigenetic modifications were highlighted including a reduction of 5-mCyt, 5-hmCyt, 5-CaCyt associated with DNMT3A, MBD2/4 and TET1/2 downregulation. Second, the cytosine derivative analysis revealed a subgroup with a partial deficit (PFS = 84, TFS = 120 months), mainly affecting DNA demethylation (5-hmCyt reduction, SAT1 induction). Third, a subgroup epigenetically similar to controls was identified (PFS and TFS > 120 months). The prognostic impact of stratifying CLL patients within three epigenetic subgroups was confirmed in a validation cohort. In conclusion, our results suggest that dysregulations of cytosine derivative regulators represent major events acquired during CLL progression and are independent from IGHV mutational status.
Bagacean, C., Tempescul, A., Le Dantec, C., Bordron, A., Mohr, A., Saad, H., … Renaudineau, Y. (2017). Alterations in DNA methylation/demethylation intermediates predict clinical outcome in chronic lymphocytic leukemia. Oncotarget, 8(39), 65699–65716. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20081