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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2007;39(7-8):1523-38. Epub 2007 Feb 14.

DNA methylation profiling of transcription factor genes in normal lymphocyte development and lymphomas.

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Epigenomics AG, Kleine Präsidentenstrasse 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany.


Transcription factors play a crucial role during hematopoiesis by orchestrating lineage commitment and determining cellular fate. Although tight regulation of transcription factor expression appears to be essential, little is known about the epigenetic mechanisms involved in transcription factor gene regulation. We have analyzed DNA methylation profiles of 13 key transcription factor genes in primary cells of the hematopoietic cascade, lymphoma cell lines and lymph node biopsies of diffuse large B-cell- and T-cell-non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients. Several of the transcription factor genes (SPI1, GATA3, TCF-7, Etv5, c-maf and TBX21) are differentially methylated in specific cell lineages and stages of the hematopoietic cascade. For some genes, such as SPI1, Etv5 and Eomes, we found an inverse correlation between the methylation of the 5' untranslated region and expression of the associated gene suggesting that these genes are regulated by DNA methylation. Differential methylation is not limited to cells of the healthy hematopoietic cascade, as we observed aberrant methylation of c-maf, TCF7, Eomes and SPI1 in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas. Our results suggest that epigenetic remodelling of transcription factor genes is a frequent mechanism during hematopoietic development. Aberrant methylation of transcription factor genes is frequently observed in diffuse large B-cell lymphomas and might have a functional role during tumorigenesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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