Promoter Hypomethylation and Expression Is Conserved in Mouse Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Induced by Decreased or Inactivated Dnmt3a

Staci L. Haney, G. Michael Upchurch, Jana Opavska, David Klinkebiel, Ryan A. Hlady, Abhinav Suresh, Samuel J. Pirruccello, Vipul Shukla, Runqing Lu, Stefan Costinean, Angie Rizzino, Adam R. Karpf, Shantaram Joshi, Patrick Swanson, Rene Opavsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


DNA methyltransferase 3a (DNMT3A) catalyzes the formation of 5-methyl-cytosine in mammalian genomic DNA, and it is frequently mutated in human hematologic malignancies. Bi-allelic loss of Dnmt3a in mice results in leukemia and lymphoma, including chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Here, we investigate whether mono-allelic loss of Dnmt3a is sufficient to induce disease. We show that, by 16 months of age, 65% of Dnmt3a+/- mice develop a CLL-like disease, and 15% of mice develop non-malignant myeloproliferation. Genome-wide methylation analysis reveals that reduced Dnmt3a levels induce promoter hypomethylation at similar loci in Dnmt3a+/- and Dnmt3aδ/δ CLL, suggesting that promoters are particularly sensitive to Dnmt3a levels. Gene expression analysis identified 26 hypomethylated and overexpressed genes common to both Dnmt3a+/- and Dnmt3aδ/δ CLL as putative oncogenic drivers. Our data provide evidence that Dnmt3a is a haplo-insufficient tumor suppressor in CLL and highlights the importance of deregulated molecular events in disease pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1190-1201
Number of pages12
JournalCell Reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 10 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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