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Genomic and epigenomic characterization of juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML)

Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is an aggressive myeloproliferative disorder of early childhood. While some cases show spontaneous remission, allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) remains the only curative treatment option for the majority of patients, however, the 5-year event-free survival reaches only about 50%. Hyperactive RAS signaling is assumed to be the main driving event in JMML. It is caused by genetic alterations in CBL, KRAS, NF1, NRAS, or PTPN11 in about 90% of patients. So far, there is no clear understanding of how RAS pathway mutations relate to the heterogeneous disease biology and variable clinical outcome seen in JMML patients. As a consequence, established clinical and genetic markers fail to fully represent the observed disease heterogeneity. We hypothesized that DNA methylation profiling, either alone or in combination with genetic alterations, might provide a molecular basis for disease classification. Genome wide DNA methylation analysis using the HumanMethylation450 Bead Chip array was performed in a discovery cohort of 20 patients (19 JMML, 1 Noonan syndrome). The clinical relevance of our findings was assessed in an unselected sample set consisting of 147 consecutive patients with JMML (n=129) or Noonan syndrome (n=18) associated myeloproliferative disorder (n=18) registered in the EWOG-MDS 1998 & 2006 trials. Data integration was performed in a subset of patients with available exome sequencing (n=50) and expression profiling (n=15) data. This integrated approach identified three JMML subgroups characterized by distinct clinical and biological features. This analysis further suggested a molecular mechanism by which additional genetic events, presumably further activating the RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK pathway, mediate DNA hypermethylation via up-regulation of DNMTs in more aggressive JMML cases.

Click on a Dataset ID in the table below to learn more, and to find out who to contact about access to these data

Dataset ID Description Technology Samples
EGAD00001003419 Illumina HiSeq 2000 50
EGAD00010001296 Illumina_450K -
EGAD00010001430 Illumina_HumanHT-12_V4 15
Publications Citations
RAS-pathway mutation patterns define epigenetic subclasses in juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.
Nat Commun 8: 2017 2126
International Consensus Definition of DNA Methylation Subgroups in Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia.
Clin Cancer Res 27: 2021 158-168