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Somatic DNMT3A mutations at R882 are frequently observed in AML patients including the very abundant R882H, but also R882C, R882P and R882S. Using deep enzymology, we show here that DNMT3A-R882H has more than 70-fold altered flanking sequence preferences when compared with wildtype DNMT3A. The R882H flanking sequence preferences mainly differ on the 3' side of the CpG site, where they resemble DNMT3B, while 5' flanking sequence preferences resemble wildtype DNMT3A, indicating that R882H behaves like a DNMT3A/DNMT3B chimera. Investigation of the activity and flanking sequence preferences of other mutations of R882 revealed that they cause similar effects. Bioinformatic analyses of genomic methylation patterns focusing on flanking sequence effects after expression of wildtype DNMT3A and R882H in human cells revealed that genomic methylation patterns reflect the details of the altered flanking sequence preferences of R882H. Concordantly, R882H specific hypermethylation in AML patients was strongly correlated with the R882H flanking sequence preferences. R882H specific DNA hypermethylation events in AML patients were accompanied by R882H specific mis-regulation of several genes with strong cancer connection, which are potential downstream targets of R882H. In conclusion, our data provide novel and detailed mechanistic understanding of the pathogenic mechanism of the DNMT3A R882H somatic cancer mutation.
PMID: 31620784 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]