Mutant WT1 is associated with DNA hypermethylation of PRC2 targets in AML and responds to EZH2 inhibition

Subarna Sinha, Daniel Thomas, Linda Yu, Andrew J. Gentles, Namyoung Jung, M. Ryan Corces-Zimmerman, Steven M. Chan, Andreas Reinisch, Andrew P. Feinberg, David L. Dill, Ravindra Majeti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is associated with deregulation of DNA methylation; however, many cases do not bear mutations in known regulators of cytosine guanine dinucleotide (CpG) methylation. We found that mutations in WT1 , IDH2 , and CEBPA were strongly linked to DNA hypermethylation in AML using a novel integrative analysis of The Cancer Genome Atlas data based on Boolean implications, if-then rules that identify all individual CpG sites that are hypermethylated in the presence of a mutation. Introduction of mutant WT1 (WT1mut) into wild-type AML cells induced DNA hypermethylation, confirming mutant WT1 to be causally associated with DNA hypermethylation. Methylated genes in WT1mut primary patient samples were highly enriched for polycomb repressor complex 2 (PRC2) targets, implicating PRC2 dysregulation in WT1mut leukemogenesis. We found that PRC2 target genes were aberrantly repressed in WT1mut AML, and that expression of mutant WT1 in CD34+ cord blood cells induced myeloid differentiation block. Treatment of WT1mut AML cells with short hairpin RNA or pharmacologic PRC2/ enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) inhibitors promoted myeloid differentiation, suggesting EZH2 inhibitors may be active in this AML subtype. Our results highlight a strong association between mutant WT1 and DNA hypermethylation in AML and demonstrate that Boolean implications can be used to decipher mutation-specific methylation patterns that may lead to therapeutic insights.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-326
Number of pages11
JournalBlood
Volume125
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Sinha, S., Thomas, D., Yu, L., Gentles, A. J., Jung, N., Corces-Zimmerman, M. R., ... Majeti, R. (2015). Mutant WT1 is associated with DNA hypermethylation of PRC2 targets in AML and responds to EZH2 inhibition. Blood, 125(2), 316-326. https://doi.org/10.1182/blood-2014-03-566018