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Leukemia. 2014 Jan;28(1):147-54. doi: 10.1038/leu.2013.251. Epub 2013 Aug 27.

Epigenetic mechanisms of protein tyrosine phosphatase 6 suppression in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma: implications for epigenetic therapy.

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Division of Hematology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA.
Department of Molecular and Experimental Therapeutics, Mayo Clinic, College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA.
Department of Pathology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer, New York, NY, USA.


Protein tyrosine phosphatases such as PTPN6 can be downregulated in various neoplasms. PTPN6 expression by immunohistochemistry in 40 diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) tumors was lost or suppressed in 53% (21/40). To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of PTPN6 suppression, we performed a comprehensive epigenetic analysis of PTPN6 promoter 2 (P2). None of the DLBCL primary tumors (0/37) had PTPN6 hypermethylation on the CpG1 island using methylation-specific PCR, pyrosequencing, and high-resolution melting assays. However, hypermethylation in 57% (21/37) of cases was found in a novel CpG island (CpG2) in P2. PTPN6 gene suppression was reversed by 5-aza-deoxycytidine (5-Aza), a DNA methyltransferase inhibitor, and the histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDACi) LBH589. LBH589 and 5-Aza in combination inhibited DLBCL survival and PTPN6 hypermethylation at CpG2. The role of histone modifications was investigated with a chromatin-immunoprecipitation assay demonstrating that PTPN6 P2 is associated with silencing histone marks H3K27me3 and H3K9me3 in DLBCL cells but not normal B cells. 3-Deazaneplanocin A, a histone methyltransferase inhibitor, decreased the H3K27me3 mark, whereas HDACi LBH589 increased the H3K9Ac mark within P2 resulting in re-expression of PTPN6. These studies have uncovered novel epigenetic mechanisms of PTPN6 suppression and suggest that PTPN6 may be a potential target of epigenetic therapy in DLBCL.

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