Vitamin C-induced epigenomic remodelling in IDH1 mutant acute myeloid leukaemia

Leukemia. 2018 Jan;32(1):11-20. doi: 10.1038/leu.2017.171. Epub 2017 Jun 2.


The genomes of myeloid malignancies are characterized by epigenomic abnormalities. Heterozygous, inactivating ten-eleven translocation 2 (TET2) mutations and neomorphic isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutations are recurrent and mutually exclusive in acute myeloid leukaemia genomes. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) has been shown to stimulate the catalytic activity of TET2 in vitro and thus we sought to explore its effect in a leukaemic model expressing IDH1R132H. Vitamin C treatment induced an IDH1R132H-dependent reduction in cell proliferation and an increase in expression of genes involved in leukocyte differentiation. Vitamin C induced differentially methylated regions that displayed a significant overlap with enhancers implicated in myeloid differentiation and were enriched in sequence elements for the haematopoietic transcription factors CEBPβ, HIF1α, RUNX1 and PU.1. Chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing of PU.1 and RUNX1 revealed a significant loss of PU.1 and increase of RUNX1-bound DNA elements accompanied by their demethylation following vitamin C treatment. In addition, vitamin C induced an increase in H3K27ac flanking sites bound by RUNX1. On the basis of these data we propose a model of vitamin C-induced epigenetic remodelling of transcription factor-binding sites driving differentiation in a leukaemic model.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / drug effects*
  • Epigenomics / methods
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Transcription Factors / genetics


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Isocitrate Dehydrogenase
  • Idh1 protein, mouse
  • Ascorbic Acid