Mutations in the gene encoding DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) are the most common cause of clonal hematopoiesis and are among the most common initiating events of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Studies in germline and somatic Dnmt3a knockout mice have identified focal, canonical hypomethylation phenotypes in hematopoietic cells; however, the kinetics of methylation loss following acquired DNMT3A inactivation in hematopoietic cells is essentially unknown. Therefore, we evaluated a somatic, inducible model of hematopoietic Dnmt3a loss, and show that inactivation of Dnmt3a in murine hematopoietic cells results in a relatively slow loss of methylation at canonical sites throughout the genome; in contrast, remethylation of Dnmt3a deficient genomes in hematopoietic cells occurs much more quickly. This data suggests that slow methylation loss may contribute, at least in part, to the long latent period that characterizes clonal expansion and leukemia development in individuals with acquired DNMT3A mutations in hematopoietic stem cells.
- Biological sciences
- Molecular biology