ERG amplification is a secondary recurrent driver event in myeloid malignancy with complex karyotype and TP53 mutations

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 2022 Jul;61(7):399-411. doi: 10.1002/gcc.23027. Epub 2022 Feb 8.


ERG is a transcription factor encoded on chromosome 21q22.2 with important roles in hematopoiesis and oncogenesis of prostate cancer. ERG amplification has been identified as one of the most common recurrent events in acute myeloid leukemia with complex karyotype (AML-CK). In this study, we uncover three different modes of ERG amplification in AML-CK. Importantly, we present evidence to show that ERG amplification is distinct from intrachromosomal amplification of chromosome 21 (iAMP21), a hallmark segmental amplification frequently encompassing RUNX1 and ERG in a subset of high-risk B-lymphoblastic leukemia. We also characterize the association with TP53 aberrations and other chromosomal aberrations, including chromothripsis. Lastly, we show that ERG amplification can initially emerge as subclonal events in low-grade myeloid neoplasms. These findings demonstrate that ERG amplification is a recurrent secondary driver event in AML and raise the tantalizing possibility of ERG as a therapeutic target.

Keywords: ERG; TP53 mutation; acute myeloid leukemia; amplification; complex karyotype; iAMP21.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormal Karyotype
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Humans
  • Karyotype
  • Leukemia, Myeloid, Acute* / pathology
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Myeloproliferative Disorders*
  • Transcriptional Regulator ERG / genetics
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 / genetics


  • ERG protein, human
  • TP53 protein, human
  • Transcriptional Regulator ERG
  • Tumor Suppressor Protein p53