Methylation of the INK4A/ARF locus in blood mononuclear cells

Deligezer U. , Erten N., Akisik E. E. , Dalay N.

ANNALS OF HEMATOLOGY, vol.85, no.2, pp.102-107, 2006 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 85 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2006
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00277-005-0041-9
  • Title of Journal : ANNALS OF HEMATOLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.102-107


In the detection of DNA hypermethylation as a tumor-specific epigenetic change in blood mononuclear cell fraction in patients with lymphoid and hematopoetic disorders, circulating tumor cells originating from the lymph nodes or bone marrow can be identified. However, it is still not clear whether methylation in mononuclear cells is disease specific. In the present study, we investigated whether methylation of the inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinase (INK) 4A/alternative reading frame (ARF) locus is present in a disease-specific manner in the blood mononuclear cell fraction of patients with lymphoma, multiple myeloma, or leukemia. To increase the sensitivity of detection, a two-step methylation-specific PCR approach was used to analyze the methylation status of the promoter/exon 1 regions of both p14ARF and p16INK4A genes. Our findings indicate that although INK4A/ARF locus methylation is present in mononuclear cells, this event is not disease-specific since normal subjects also display methylated DNA in their mononuclear cells. In 85.1% of the patients and in 89% of the controls, p16INK4A gene was methylated, while the methylation rates for the p14ARF gene was 32.6 and 36.5%, respectively. The presence of methylated CpG sites in DNA in samples from normal subjects was confirmed by bisulfite genomic sequencing. The difference in the methylation rate between p16INK4A and p14ARF genes among the patients was highly significant (p < 0.001). Our results demonstrate that methylation of the INK4A/ARF locus is not a disease-specific molecular change in mononuclear cell fraction and that the p14ARF and p16INK4A genes are differentially methylated.