Childhood and adult ALL a: differences in epigenetic lesions associated with cell cycle genes

Document Type



Centre for Regenerative Medicine


The impact of silencing tumor suppressor genes involved in cell proliferation in adult and pediatric ALL is still unknown. We analyzed methylation of the master regulators (p73, p53, Rb), CDKIs (p27, p57), and the INK4 locus (p15) in childhood ALLs and describe a relatively low frequency. Comparisons with adult ALL showed that p57 clearly differed in children (7% methylation) and adults (50% methylation). While >20% of adult ALL Ph1 chromosome-negative undergo methylation of p73, p57, and p15, only 3% of childhood ALL carried such anomalies, which is very significant when a higher fraction of pediatric patients has non-Ph1 ALL than do the adult patients. We have studied a large p57 CpG island and expression by real-time RT-PCR. We observed that 53% of childhood leukemias lacked p57 transcripts, and the overall level was 8-fold lower than in normal lymphocytes (P < 0.0001). However, no correlation with methylation was found. Thus, loss of p57 expression in the absence of methylation may be frequent in childhood ALL, suggesting that methylation is not the sole mechanism of p57 downregulation. Methylation differences in ALL may be age-related or, alternatively, reflect different pathogenesis. Am. J. Hematol. 80:158–160, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

American Journal of Hematology