Methylation is now established as a fundamental regulator of gene transcription. To investigate this in haematologic malignancies, we evaluated the aberrant promoter methylation of two imprinted genes (MEG3 and SNRPN) in 43 MDS and 42 AML patients. MEG3 hypermethylation occurred in 15 MDS patients (34.9%), and in 20 AML patients (47.6%). SNRPN hypermethylation was observed in 15 MDS patients (34.9%), and in 21 AML patients (50%). There were no significant correlations between WHO subtype, WPSS score, karyotype, haemoglobin levels, white blood cell count, platelet count and CpG methylation of any gene. MEG3 hypermethylation was associated with significantly reduced overall survival in individuals with AML (HR=1.98, p=0.04), while SNRPN CpG methylation was not associated with survival (HR=0.94, p=0.87). In addition, no association between survival and aberrant MEG3 (HR=2.15, p=0.072) or SNRPN methylation (HR=1.08, p=0.85) was observed in patients MDS. Our findings suggest that these genes are abnormally methylated in AML and MDS patients, and methylation of MEG3 confers worse overall prognosis. The MEG3 methylation status may serve as a useful biomarker in leukemia.
Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.