Restriction landmark genome scanning for aberrant methylation in primary refractory and relapsed acute myeloid leukemia; involvement of the WIT-1 gene

Oncogene. 1999 May 20;18(20):3159-65. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1202651.


There is substantial evidence to suggest that aberrant DNA methylation in the regulatory regions of expressed genes may play a role in hematologic malignancy. In the current report, the Restriction Landmark Genomic Scanning (RLGS) method was used to detect aberrant DNA methylation (M) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). RLGS-M profiles were initially performed using DNA from diagnostic, remission, and relapse samples from a patient with AML. Rp18, one of the eight spots found that was absent in the relapse sample, was cloned. Sequence analysis showed that the spot represented a portion of the WIT-1 gene on human chromosome 11p13. Rp18 was missing in the relapse sample due to a distinct DNA methylation pattern of the WIT-1 gene. Twenty-seven AML patients that entered CR after therapy (i.e., chemosensitive) were studied and only 10 (37%) of the diagnostic bone marrow (BM) samples showed methylation of WIT-1. However, seven of eight (87.5%) diagnostic BM samples from primary refractory AML (chemosensitive) showed methylation of WIT-1. The incidence of WIT-1 methylation in primary refractory AML was significantly higher than that noted in chemosensitive AML (P=0.018). Together, these results indicate that RLGS-M can be used to find novel epigenetic alterations in human cancer that are undetectable by standard methods. In addition, these results underline the potential importance of WIT-1 methylation in chemoresistant AML.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Bone Marrow Cells / pathology
  • DNA Methylation*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • DNA, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / genetics*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / pathology
  • Recurrence


  • DNA, Neoplasm