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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Increased methylation of the c-fms protooncogene in acute myelomonocytic leukemias.

DNA methylation provides an epigenetic information possibly involved in differentiation processes and gene regulation. In this study we investigated the methylation state of the c-fms/M-CSF receptor gene in normal human blood cells and leukemias. The methylation pattern of the c-fms gene as detected by isoschizomeric restriction analysis with MspI/HpaII showed only slight interindividual variations in normal donors, but there were constant differences between granulocytes and monocytes from the same donor. Of 21 acute myelomonocytic leukemias investigated, 85% revealed a methylation pattern different from that of normal monocytes. One or more restriction sites which were at least partly unmethylated in normal monocytes proved to be methylated in leukemic cells. In contrast, leukemias of lymphocytic origin showed hypomethylation of the c-fms gene. There was no correlation between the methylation state of the c-fms gene and its expression at the RNA level, but an increase in monocyte/macrophage-specific differentiation markers could be observed in those samples which exhibited a methylation pattern similar to that of normal monocytes. The increased DNA methylation within the c-fms gene might reflect the inactivation of differentiation genes in leukemic cell clones, contributing to their maturation arrest. Furthermore, neoplastic hematopoietic cells seem to exhibit lineage-specific differences in c-fms gene methylation.[1]


  1. Increased methylation of the c-fms protooncogene in acute myelomonocytic leukemias. Felgner, J., Kreipe, H., Heidorn, K., Jaquet, K., Zschunke, F., Radzun, H.J., Parwaresch, M.R. Pathobiology (1991) [Pubmed]
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