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Absence of NPM1 promoter hypermethylation in human myelodysplastic syndrome
  1. Yuen-Yee Cheng1,2,
  2. David Chau1,
  3. Thomas Chan1,
  4. Harinder Gill1,
  5. Raymond Liang1,
  6. Yok-Lam Kwong1,
  7. Eric Tse1
  1. 1Division of Haematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong
  2. 2Asbestos Diseases Research Institute (ADRI), Bernie Banton Centre, University of Sydney, Concord, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eric Tse, Division of Haematology and Medical Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong; ewctse{at}


Npm1+/− heterozygous mice develop a haematological disorder with features resembling human myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). Promoter hypermethylation of the NPM1 gene may lead to suppressed gene transcription and hence functional haploinsufficiency, which contributes to the development of MDS. Thirty-one patients with MDS and eight normal individuals were studied for promoter methylation and mRNA expression of NPM1. Methylation-specific PCR (MSP), COBRA and bisulfite sequencing were used to examine the NPM1 methylation status. Quantitative PCR was used to assess the expression of NPM1. NPM1 DNA methylation was rare, occurring in one of 31 cases as determined by MSP. There was no significant difference in NPM1 mRNA expression between MDS and normal blood samples. In conclusion, the finding suggests that NPM1 methylation is rare in MDS and does not play a major role in its pathogenesis.

  • Myelodysplastic syndrome
  • nucleophosmin
  • methylation
  • molecular oncology
  • myelodysplasia

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  • Y-Y C and DC contributed equally to this work.

  • Funding The project was supported by Small Project Funding (200807176120), University of Hong Kong.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.