Genome-wide signatures of differential DNA methylation in pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia
ABSTRACT: We surveyed the DNA methylation levels of 435,941 CpG sites in samples from 764 children at diagnosis of ALL and from 27 children at relapse. This survey uncovered four characteristic methylation signatures. First, compared with control blood cells, the methylomes of ALL cells shared 9,406 predominantly hypermethylated CpG sites, independent of cytogenetic background. Second, each cytogenetic subtype of ALL displayed a unique set of hyper- and hypomethylated CpG sites. The CpG sites that constituted these two signatures differed in their functional genomic enrichment to regions with marks of active or repressed chromatin. Third, we identified subtype-specific differential methylation in promoter and enhancer regions that were strongly correlated with gene expression. Fourth, a set of 6,612 CpG sites was predominantly hypermethylated in ALL cells at relapse, compared with matched samples at diagnosis. Analysis of relapse-free survival identified CpG sites with subtype-specific differential methylation that divided the patients into different risk groups, depending on their methylation status. The DNA methylation levels of primary pediatric ALL samples taken at diagnosis (n= 764), remission(n=86), first relapse (n=27), second relapse (n=5), fractionated blood cells from healthy blood donors (n=51), and methylation +/- controls (n=11) were analyzed with the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation 450k BeadChips. One ALL sample was run in duplicate (technical replicate).
Project description:BACKGROUND: Although aberrant DNA methylation has been observed previously in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the patterns of differential methylation have not been comprehensively determined in all subtypes of ALL on a genome-wide scale. The relationship between DNA methylation, cytogenetic background, drug resistance and relapse in ALL is poorly understood. RESULTS: We surveyed the DNA methylation levels of 435,941 CpG sites in samples from 764 children at diagnosis of ALL and from 27 children at relapse. This survey uncovered four characteristic methylation signatures. First, compared with control blood cells, the methylomes of ALL cells shared 9,406 predominantly hypermethylated CpG sites, independent of cytogenetic background. Second, each cytogenetic subtype of ALL displayed a unique set of hyper- and hypomethylated CpG sites. The CpG sites that constituted these two signatures differed in their functional genomic enrichment to regions with marks of active or repressed chromatin. Third, we identified subtype-specific differential methylation in promoter and enhancer regions that were strongly correlated with gene expression. Fourth, a set of 6,612 CpG sites was predominantly hypermethylated in ALL cells at relapse, compared with matched samples at diagnosis. Analysis of relapse-free survival identified CpG sites with subtype-specific differential methylation that divided the patients into different risk groups, depending on their methylation status. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest an important biological role for DNA methylation in the differences between ALL subtypes and in their clinical outcome after treatment.
Project description:Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft-tissue sarcoma in children. While cytogenetic abnormalities have been well characterized in this disease, aberrant epigenetic events such as DNA hypermethylation have not been described in genome-wide studies. We have analyzed the methylation status of 25,500 promoters in normal skeletal muscle, and in cell lines and tumor samples of embryonal and alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma from pediatric patients. We identified over 1,900 CpG islands that are hypermethylated in rhabdomyosarcomas relative to skeletal muscle. Genes involved in tissue development, differentiation, and oncogenesis such as DNAJA4, HES5, IRX1, BMP8A, GATA4, GATA6, ALX3, and P4HTM were hypermethylated in both RMS cell lines and primary samples, implicating aberrant DNA methylation in the pathogenesis of rhabdomyosarcoma. Furthermore, cluster analysis revealed embryonal and alveolar subtypes had distinct DNA methylation patterns, with the alveolar subtype being enriched in DNA hypermethylation of polycomb target genes. These results suggest that DNA methylation signatures may aid in the diagnosis and risk stratification of pediatric rhabdomyosarcoma and help identify new targets for therapy.
Project description:We present a method that utilizes DNA methylation profiling for prediction of the cytogenetic subtypes of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells from pediatric ALL patients. The primary aim of our study was to improve risk stratification of ALL patients into treatment groups using DNA methylation as a complement to current diagnostic methods. A secondary aim was to gain insight into the functional role of DNA methylation in ALL.We used the methylation status of ~450,000 CpG sites in 546 well-characterized patients with T-ALL or seven recurrent B-cell precursor ALL subtypes to design and validate sensitive and accurate DNA methylation classifiers. After repeated cross-validation, a final classifier was derived that consisted of only 246 CpG sites. The mean sensitivity and specificity of the classifier across the known subtypes was 0.90 and 0.99, respectively. We then used DNA methylation classification to screen for subtype membership of 210 patients with undefined karyotype (normal or no result) or non-recurrent cytogenetic aberrations ('other' subtype). Nearly half (n?=?106) of the patients lacking cytogenetic subgrouping displayed highly similar methylation profiles as the patients in the known recurrent groups. We verified the subtype of 20% of the newly classified patients by examination of diagnostic karyotypes, array-based copy number analysis, and detection of fusion genes by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq). Using RNA-seq data from ALL patients where cytogenetic subtype and DNA methylation classification did not agree, we discovered several novel fusion genes involving ETV6, RUNX1, and PAX5.Our findings indicate that DNA methylation profiling contributes to the clarification of the heterogeneity in cytogenetically undefined ALL patient groups and could be implemented as a complementary method for diagnosis of ALL. The results of our study provide clues to the origin and development of leukemic transformation. The methylation status of the CpG sites constituting the classifiers also highlight relevant biological characteristics in otherwise unclassified ALL patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A genome-wide study identified de novo DNA methylation alterations in leukocytes of children at paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) discharge, offering a biological basis for their impaired long-term development. Early parenteral nutrition (early-PN) in PICU, compared with omitting PN in the first week (late-PN), explained differential methylation of 23% of the affected CpG-sites. We documented the time course of altered DNA methylation in PICU and the impact hereon of early nutritional management. RESULTS:We selected 36 early-PN and 36 late-PN matched patients, and 42 matched healthy children. We quantified DNA methylation on days 3, 5 and 7 for the 147 CpG-sites of which methylation was normal upon PICU admission in this subset and altered by critical illness at PICU discharge. Methylation in patients differed from healthy children for 64.6% of the 147 CpG-sites on day 3, for 72.8% on day 5 and for 90.5% on day 7 as revealed by ANOVA at each time point. Within-patients methylation time course analyses for each CpG-site identified different patterns based on paired t test p value and direction of change. Rapid demethylation from admission to day 3 occurred for 76.2% of the CpG-sites, of which 67.9% remained equally demethylated or partially remethylated and 32.1% further demethylated beyond day 3. From admission to day 3, 19.7% of the CpG-sites became hypermethylated, of which, beyond day 3, 34.5% remained equally hypermethylated or partially demethylated again and 65.5% further hypermethylated. For 4.1% of the CpG-sites, changes only appeared beyond day 3. Finally, for the CpG-sites affected by early-PN on the last PICU day, earlier changes in DNA methylation were compared for early-PN and late-PN patients, revealing that 38.9% were already differentially methylated by day 3, another 25.0% by day 5 and another 13.9% by day 7. CONCLUSIONS:Critical illness- and early-PN-induced changes in DNA methylation occurred mainly within 3 days. Most abnormalities were at least partially maintained or got worse with longer time in PICU. Interventions targeting aberrant DNA methylation changes should be initiated early.
Project description:Alterations in DNA methylation frequently occur in hepatocellular cancer (HCC). We have previously demonstrated that hypermethylation in candidate genes can be detected in plasma DNA before HCC diagnosis. To identify, with a genome-wide approach, additional genes hypermethylated in HCC that could be used for more accurate analysis of plasma DNA for early diagnosis, we analyzed tumor and adjacent nontumor tissues from 62 Taiwanese HCC cases using Illumina methylation arrays (Illumina, Inc., San Diego, CA) that screen 26,486 autosomal CpG sites. After Bonferroni adjustment, a total of 2,324 CpG sites significantly differed in methylation level, with 684 CpG sites significantly hypermethylated and 1,640 hypomethylated in tumor, compared to nontumor tissues. Array data were validated with pyrosequencing in a subset of five of these genes; correlation coefficients ranged from 0.92 to 0.97. Analysis of plasma DNA from 38 cases demonstrated that 37%-63% of cases had detectable hypermethylated DNA (? 5% methylation) for these five genes individually. At least one of these genes was hypermethylated in 87% of the cases, suggesting that measurement of DNA methylation in plasma samples is feasible.The panel of methylated genes indentified in the current study will be further tested in a large cohort of prospectively collected samples to determine their utility as early biomarkers of HCC.
Project description:A number of specific, distinct neoplastic entities occur in the pediatric kidney, including Wilms' tumor, clear cell sarcoma of the kidney (CCSK), congenital mesoblastic nephroma (CMN), rhabdoid tumor of the kidney (RTK), and the Ewing's sarcoma family of tumors (ESFT). By employing DNA methylation profiling using Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation27, we analyzed the epigenetic characteristics of the sarcomas including CCSK, RTK, and ESFT in comparison with those of the non-neoplastic kidney (NK), and these tumors exhibited distinct DNA methylation profiles in a tumor-type-specific manner. CCSK is the most frequently hypermethylated, but least frequently hypomethylated, at CpG sites among these sarcomas, and exhibited 490 hypermethylated and 46 hypomethylated CpG sites in compared with NK. We further validated the results by MassARRAY, and revealed that a combination of four genes was sufficient for the DNA methylation profile-based differentiation of these tumors by clustering analysis. Furthermore, THBS1 CpG sites were found to be specifically hypermethylated in CCSK and, thus, the DNA methylation status of these THBS1 sites alone was sufficient for the distinction of CCSK from other pediatric renal tumors, including Wilms' tumor and CMN. Moreover, combined bisulfite restriction analysis could be applied for the detection of hypermethylation of a THBS1 CpG site. Besides the biological significance in the pathogenesis, the DNA methylation profile should be useful for the differential diagnosis of pediatric renal tumors.
Project description:A big challenge to clinical diagnosis and therapy of colorectal cancer (CRC) is its extreme heterogeneity, and thus it would be of special importance if we could find common biomarkers besides subtype-specific biomarkers for CRC. Here, with DNA methylation data produced by different laboratories, we firstly revealed that the relative methylation-level orderings (RMOs) of CpG sites within colorectal normal tissues are highly stable but widely disrupted in the CRC tissues. This finding provides the basis for using the RankComp algorithm to identify differentially methylated (DM) CpG sites in every individual CRC sample through comparing the RMOs within the individual sample with the stable RMOs predetermined in normal tissues. For 75 CRC samples, RankComp detected averagely 4,062 DM CpG sites per sample and reached an average precision of 91.34% in terms that the hypermethylation or hypomethylation states of the DM CpG sites detected for each cancer sample were consistent with the observed differences between this cancer sample and its paired adjacent normal sample. Finally, we applied RankComp to identify DM CpG sites for each of the 268 CRC samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas and found 26 and 143 genes whose promoter regions included CpG sites that were hypermethylated and hypomethylated, respectively, in more than 95% of the 268 CRC samples. Individualized pathway analysis identified six pathways that were significantly enriched with DM genes in more than 90% of the CRC tissues. These universal DNA methylation biomarkers could be important diagnostic makers and therapy targets for CRC.
Project description:Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) incidence has increased in the US and also has one of the fastest growing death rates of any cancer. The purpose of the current study was to discover novel genome-wide aberrant DNA methylation patterns in HCC tumors that are predominantly HCV-related. Infinium HumanMethylation 450K BeadChip arrays were used to examine genome-wide DNA methylation profiles in 66 pairs of HCC tumor and adjacent non-tumor tissues. After Bonferroni adjustment, a total of 130,512 CpG sites significantly differed in methylation level in tumor compared with non-tumor tissues, with 28,017 CpG sites hypermethylated and 102,495 hypomethylated in tumor tissues. Absolute tumor/non-tumor methylation differences ? 20% were found in 24.9% of the hypermethylated and 43.1% of the hypomethylated CpG sites; almost 10,000 CpG sites have ? 30% DNA methylation differences. Most (60.1%) significantly hypermethylated CpG sites are located in CpG islands, with 21.6% in CpG shores and 3.6% in shelves. In contrast, only a small proportion (8.2%) of significantly hypomethylated CpG sites are situated in islands, while most are found in open sea (60.2%), shore (17.3%) or shelf (14.3%) regions. A total of 2,568 significant CpG sites (2,441 hypermethylated and 127 hypomethylated) covering 589 genes are located within 684 differentially methylated regions defined as regions with at least two significant CpG sites displaying > 20% methylation differences in the same direction within 250-bp. The top 500 significant CpG sites can significantly distinguish HCC tumor from adjacent tissues with one misclassification. Within adjacent non-tumor tissues, we also identified 75 CpG sites significantly associated with gender, 228 with HCV infection, 17,207 with cirrhosis, and 56 with both HCV infection and cirrhosis after multiple comparisons adjustment. Aberrant DNA methylation profiles across the genome were identified in tumor tissues from US HCC cases that are predominantly related to HCV infection. These results demonstrate the significance of aberrant DNA methylation in HCC tumorigenesis.
Project description:We have developed an enhanced form of reduced representation bisulfite sequencing with extended genomic coverage, which resulted in greater capture of DNA methylation information of regions lying outside of traditional CpG islands. Applying this method to primary human bone marrow specimens from patients with Acute Myelogeneous Leukemia (AML), we demonstrated that genetically distinct AML subtypes display diametrically opposed DNA methylation patterns. As compared to normal controls, we observed widespread hypermethylation in IDH mutant AMLs, preferentially targeting promoter regions and CpG islands neighboring the transcription start sites of genes. In contrast, AMLs harboring translocations affecting the MLL gene displayed extensive loss of methylation of an almost mutually exclusive set of CpGs, which instead affected introns and distal intergenic CpG islands and shores. When analyzed in conjunction with gene expression profiles, it became apparent that these specific patterns of DNA methylation result in differing roles in gene expression regulation. However, despite this subtype-specific DNA methylation patterning, a much smaller set of CpG sites are consistently affected in both AML subtypes. Most CpG sites in this common core of aberrantly methylated CpGs were hypermethylated in both AML subtypes. Therefore, aberrant DNA methylation patterns in AML do not occur in a stereotypical manner but rather are highly specific and associated with specific driving genetic lesions.
Project description:A subset of colorectal cancers was postulated to have the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), a higher propensity for CpG island DNA methylation. The validity of CIMP, its molecular basis, and its prognostic value remain highly controversial. Using MBD-isolated genome sequencing, we mapped and compared genome-wide DNA methylation profiles of normal, non-CIMP, and CIMP colon specimens. Multidimensional scaling analysis revealed that each specimen could be clearly classified as normal, non-CIMP, and CIMP, thus signifying that these three groups have distinctly different global methylation patterns. We discovered 3780 sites in various genomic contexts that were hypermethylated in both non-CIMP and CIMP colon cancers when compared with normal colon. An additional 2026 sites were found to be hypermethylated in CIMP tumors only; and importantly, 80% of these sites were located in CpG islands. These data demonstrate on a genome-wide level that the additional hypermethylation seen in CIMP tumors occurs almost exclusively at CpG islands and support definitively that these tumors were appropriately named. When these sites were examined more closely, we found that 25% were adjacent to sites that were also hypermethylated in non-CIMP tumors. Thus, CIMP is also characterized by more extensive methylation of sites that are already prone to be hypermethylated in colon cancer. These observations indicate that CIMP tumors have specific defects in controlling both DNA methylation seeding and spreading and serve as an important first step in delineating molecular mechanisms that control these processes.