TET2 mutations in acute myeloid leukemia: a comprehensive study in patients of Sindh, Pakistan

PeerJ. 2021 Feb 9;9:e10678. doi: 10.7717/peerj.10678. eCollection 2021.


Background: The tet oncogene family member 2 (TET2) gene has been reported to be involved in DNA methylation and epigenetic regulation in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Various studies have proven functional role of TET2 mutations in AML. We herein studied the frequency and genotype-phenotype correlation of TET2 gene in AML patients in Sindh, Pakistan.

Patients and methods: The current study was carried out at Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Pakistan, in collaboration with National Institute of Blood Disease & Bone Marrow Transplant, Karachi, Pakistan, during the period from June 2019 to June 2020. A total of 130 patients diagnosed with AML were screened for TET2 mutations. Whole exome sequencing of 14 individuals was carried out to find the genetic variants in TET2 gene. The pathogenicity of the variants was predicted by SIFT, PolyPhen2, Mutation Taster and CADD Phred scores. The allele frequency of the variants was compared with global population using 1000 genomes project and Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC). Furthermore, exon 3 and exon 5 of the TET2 gene were sequenced by using Sanger sequencing. The findings were correlated with subtypes of AML and corresponding karyotypes.

Results: Through the exome sequencing, 17 genetic variants (13 SNPs and four indels) were identified in 14 individuals. Of these, four variants that is, one frameshift deletion, one frameshift insertion and two nonsense variants were novel and not present in dbSNP151 database. Three novel variants were found in exon 3 including two frameshift variants that is, p.T395fs and G494fs, predicted as deleterious by CADD Phred scores, and one stop-gain variant (p.G898X) predicted as deleterious by Mutation Taster and CADD Phred scores. One novel non sense variant (p.Q1191X) was found in the exon 5 predicted as deleterious by SIFT, Mutation Taster and CADD Phred scores. Sanger sequencing analysis revealed one novel deletion at g105233851: del.TAGATAGA, and one novel SNP g;105233861 T>G identified in the TET2 gene. Majority of the exon 3 mutations were seen in the patients diagnosed with AML with maturation, and had a normal karyotype.

Conclusion: TET2 mutations were identified in around 16% of the total patients of our study indicating other mechanisms being involved in pathophysiology of AML in this cohort. The TET2 mutations provide a prognostic value in determining AML classification.

Keywords: AML; Cancer genetics; Coding exons; DNA methylation; Frameshift mutations; PCR; TET2.

Grant support

The authors received no funding for this work.