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Trisomy 8 acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the commonest numerical aberration in AML. Here we present a global analysis of trisomy 8 AML using methylated DNA immunoprecipitation-sequencing (MeDIP-seq). The study is based on three diagnostic trisomy 8 AML and their parallel relapse status in addition to nine non-trisomic AML and four normal bone marrows (NBMs). In contrast to non-trisomic DNA samples, trisomy 8 AML showed a characteristic DNA methylation distribution pattern because an increase in the frequency of the hypermethylation signals in chromosome 8 was associated with an increase in the hypomethylation signals in the rest of the chromosomes. Chromosome 8 hypermethylation signals were found mainly in the CpG island (CGI) shores and interspersed repeats. Validating the most significant differentially methylated CGI (P = 7.88 × 10⁻¹¹) identified in trisomy 8 AML demonstrated a specific core region within the gene body of HHEX, which was significantly correlated with HHEX expression in both diagnostic and relapse trisomy 8 AMLs. Overall, the existence of extra chromosome 8 was associated with a global impact on the DNA methylation distribution with identification of HHEX gene methylation as a potential diagnostic marker for trisomy 8 AML.
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