OPEN Blood advances | 7 Feb 2019
AJ Arribas, A Rinaldi, G Chiodin, I Kwee, AA Mensah, L Cascione, D Rossi, M Kanduri, R Rosenquist, E Zucca, PW Johnson, G Gaidano, CC Oakes, F Bertoni and F Forconi
Classic hairy cell leukemia (HCL) is a tumor of mature clonal B cells with unique genetic, morphologic, and phenotypic features. DNA methylation profiling has provided a new tier of investigation to gain insight into the origin and behavior of B-cell malignancies; however, the methylation profile of HCL has not been specifically investigated. DNA methylation profiling was analyzed with the Infinium HumanMethylation27 array in 41 mature B-cell tumors, including 11 HCL, 7 splenic marginal zone lymphomas (SMZLs), and chronic lymphocytic leukemia with an unmutated (n = 7) or mutated (n = 6) immunoglobulin gene heavy chain variable (IGHV) region or using IGHV3-21 (n = 10). Methylation profiles of nontumor B-cell subsets and gene expression profiling data were obtained from public databases. HCL had a methylation signature distinct from each B-cell tumor entity, including the closest entity, SMZL. Comparison with normal B-cell subsets revealed the strongest similarity with postgerminal center (GC) B cells and a clear separation from pre-GC and GC cellular programs. Comparison of the integrated analysis with post-GC B cells revealed significant hypomethylation and overexpression of BCR-TLR-NF-κB and BRAF-MAPK signaling pathways and cell adhesion, as well as hypermethylation and underexpression of cell-differentiation markers and methylated genes in cancer, suggesting regulation of the transformed hairy cells through specific components of the B-cell receptor and the BRAF signaling pathways. Our data identify a specific methylation profile of HCL, which may help to distinguish it from other mature B-cell tumors.
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