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Br J Haematol. 2005 Mar;128(6):805-12.

Methylation status of the p15 and p16 genes in paediatric myelodysplastic syndrome and juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia.

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Department of Paediatric Haematology-Oncology, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Aberrant DNA methylation is frequently observed in adults with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), and is recognized as a critical event in the disease's pathogenesis and progression. This is the first report to investigate the methylation status of p15 and p16, cell cycle regulatory genes, in children with MDS (n = 9) and juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML; n = 18) by using a methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction. The frequency of p15 hypermethylation in paediatric MDS was 78% (7/9), which was comparable to that in adult MDS. In contrast, p15 hypermethylation in JMML was a rare event (17%; 3/18). In JMML, clinical and laboratory characteristics including PTPN11 mutations and aberrant colony formation were not different between the three patients with hypermethylated p15 and the others. Aberrant methylation of p16 was not detected in children with either MDS or JMML. Since p15 and p16 genes were unmethylated in two children with JMML, in whom the disease had progressed with an increased number of blasts, a condition referred to as blastic crisis, we infer that the aberrant methylation of these genes is not responsible for the progression of JMML. The results suggest that demethylating agents may be effective in most children with MDS and a few patients with JMML.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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