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Leukemia. 2013 Nov;27(11):2177-86. doi: 10.1038/leu.2013.91. Epub 2013 Mar 29.

Global H3K4me3 genome mapping reveals alterations of innate immunity signaling and overexpression of JMJD3 in human myelodysplastic syndrome CD34+ cells.

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Department of Leukemia, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.


The molecular bases of myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are not fully understood. Trimethylated histone 3 lysine 4 (H3K4me3) is present in promoters of actively transcribed genes and has been shown to be involved in hematopoietic differentiation. We performed a genome-wide H3K4me3 CHIP-Seq (chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with whole genome sequencing) analysis of primary MDS bone marrow (BM) CD34+ cells. This resulted in the identification of 36 genes marked by distinct higher levels of promoter H3K4me3 in MDS. A majority of these genes are involved in nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation and innate immunity signaling. We then analyzed expression of histone demethylases and observed significant overexpression of the JmjC-domain histone demethylase JMJD3 (KDM6b) in MDS CD34+ cells. Furthermore, we demonstrate that JMJD3 has a positive effect on transcription of multiple CHIP-Seq identified genes involved in NF-κB activation. Inhibition of JMJD3 using shRNA in primary BM MDS CD34+ cells resulted in an increased number of erythroid colonies in samples isolated from patients with lower-risk MDS. Taken together, these data indicate the deregulation of H3K4me3 and associated abnormal activation of innate immunity signals have a role in the pathogenesis of MDS and that targeting these signals may have potential therapeutic value in MDS.

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