Immunohistochemical loss of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine expression in acute myeloid leukaemia: relationship to somatic gene mutations affecting epigenetic pathways.

Histopathology

PubMedID: 27458708

Magotra M, Sakhdari A, Lee PJ, Tomaszewicz K, Dresser K, Hutchinson LM, Woda BA, Chen BJ. Immunohistochemical loss of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine expression in acute myeloid leukaemia: relationship to somatic gene mutations affecting epigenetic pathways. Histopathology. 2016;.
AIMS
Genes affecting epigenetic pathways are frequently mutated in myeloid malignancies, including acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). The genes encoding TET2, IDH1 and IDH2 are among the most commonly mutated genes, and cause defective conversion of 5-methylcytosine into 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), impairing demethylation of DNA, and presumably serving as driver mutations in leukaemogenesis. The aim of this study was to correlate 5hmC immunohistochemical loss with the mutation status of genes involved in epigenetic pathways in AML.

METHODS AND RESULTS
Immunohistochemical staining with an anti-5hmC antibody was performed on 41 decalcified, formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) bone marrow biopsies from patients with AML. Archived DNA was subjected to next-generation sequencing for analysis of a panel of genes, including TET2, IDH1, IDH2, WT1 and DNMT3A. TET2, IDH1, IDH2, WT1 and DNMT3A mutations were found in 46% (19/41) of the cases. Ten of 15 cases (67%) with TET2, IDH1, IDH2 or WT1 mutations showed deficient 5hmC staining, whereas nine of 26 cases (35%) without a mutation in these genes showed loss of 5hmC. It is of note that all four cases with TET2 mutations showed deficient 5hmC staining.

CONCLUSIONS
Overall, somatic mutations in TET2, IDH1, IDH2, WT1 and DNMT3A were common in our cohort of AML cases. Immunohistochemical staining for 5hmC was lost in the majority of cases harbouring mutations in these genes, reflecting the proposed relationship between dysfunctional epigenetic pathways and leukaemogenesis.