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Int J Cancer. 2012 Jul 15;131(2):E138-42. doi: 10.1002/ijc.26429. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

Quantitative analyses of DAPK1 methylation in AML and MDS.

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Department of Epigenomics and Cancer Risk Factors, German Cancer Research Center, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany.


Aberrant DNA methylation and concomitant transcriptional silencing of death-associated protein kinase 1 (DAPK1) have been demonstrated to be key pathogenic events in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), however, the presence of elevated DNA methylation levels has been a matter of continued controversy. Several studies demonstrated highly variable frequencies of DAPK1 promoter methylation by the use of methylation-specific PCR (MSP). By quantitative high-resolution assessment, we demonstrate that aberrant DNA methylation is an extremely rare event in this region. We observed elevated levels just in one out of 246 (0.4%) AML patients, all 42 MDS patients were unmethylated. In conclusion, we present a refined DAPK1 methylation analysis in a large representative patient cohort of AML and MDS patients proofing almost complete absence of elevated DNA methylation. Our results highlight the importance of quantitative measurements for translational research questions on primary patient specimens, particularly.

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