Reduced BRCA1 expression due to promoter hypermethylation in therapy-related acute myeloid leukaemia

Alessandra Scardocci, Francesco Guidi, Francesco D'Alo', Daniela Gumiero, Emiliano Fabiani, Annalisa Diruscio, Maurizio Martini, Luigi Maria Larocca, Marcella Zollino, Stefan Hohaus, Giuseppe Leone, Maria Teresa Voso

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

54 Citazioni (Scopus)


BRCA1 plays a pivotal role in the repair of DNA damage, especially following chemotherapy and ionising radiation. We were interested in the regulation of BRCA1 expression in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), in particular in therapy-related forms (t-AML). Using real-time PCR and Western blot, we found that BRCA1 mRNA was expressed at barely detectable levels by normal peripheral blood granulocytes, monocytes and lymphocytes, whereas control BM-mononuclear cells and selected CD34+ progenitor cells displayed significantly higher BRCA1 expression (P=0.0003). Acute myeloid leukaemia samples showed heterogeneous BRCA1 mRNA levels, which were lower than those of normal bone marrows (P=0.0001). We found a high frequency of hypermethylation of the BRCA1 promoter region in AML (51/133 samples, 38%), in particular in patients with karyotypic aberrations (P=0.026), and in t-AML, as compared to de novo AML (76 vs 31%, P=0.0002). Examining eight primary tumour samples from hypermethylated t-AML patients, BRCA1 was hypermethylated in three of four breast cancer samples, whereas it was unmethylated in the other four tumours. BRCA1 hypermethylation correlated to reduced BRCA1 mRNA (P=0.0004), and to increased DNA methyltransferase DNMT3A (P=0.003) expression. Our data show that reduced BRCA1 expression owing to promoter hypermethylation is frequent in t-AML and that this could contribute to secondary leukaemogenesis.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1108-1113
Numero di pagine6
RivistaBritish Journal of Cancer
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2006


  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • BRCA1 Protein
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • CpG Islands
  • DNA (Cytosine-5-)-Methyltransferase
  • DNA Methylation
  • Down-Regulation
  • Drug Therapy
  • Female
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Humans
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Leukemia, Myeloid
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Radiotherapy


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