Dysregulation of the cell cycle is important in oncogenesis. We analyzed the potential inactivation of the CIP/KIP family of the cyclin E/CDK/RB pathway by gene promoter hypermethylation in leukemias. The methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) with primers for methylated (M-MSP) and unmethylated (U-MSP) alleles of the p21, p27, and p57 genes was used to study five leukemic cell lines, 50 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples, and 25 acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) samples. p21 was hemizygously methylated in Raji and Jurkat but remained unmethylated in U937, HL60, and NB4. p27 was hemizygously methylated in Raji but unmethylated in the other cell lines. p57 was completely methylated in Raji and NB4, hemizygously methylated in U937, and unmethylated in HL60 and Jurkat. At diagnosis, p21 methylation was not detected in any case of AML or ALL. p27 methylation occurred in 2 (4%) AML patients and in 1 (4%) ALL patient. p57 methylation occurred in 1 (2%) AML patient and in 1 (4%) ALL patient. Therefore, methylation inactivation of the INK4/CDK/RB pathway in leukemia is infrequent. A review of the literature showed a marked variation in the frequencies of methylation of these genes, which might be attributable to difference in methodologies used to detect gene methylation.
(c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.