Dnmt3a haploinsufficiency cooperates with oncogenic Kras to promote an early-onset T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Yuan I. Chang, Guangyao Kong, Erik A. Ranheim, Po Shu Tu, Yi Shan Yu, Jing Zhang

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3 Scopus citations


Mutations in DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) are prevalent in various myeloid and lymphoid malignancies. The most common DNMT3A R882 mutations inhibit methyltransferase activity of the remaining wild-type DNMT3A proteins at a heterozygous state due to their dominant-negative activity. Reports and COSMIC database analysis reveal significantly different frequencies of R882 mutations in myeloid versus T-cell malignancies, inspiring us to investigate whether downregulation of DNMT3A regulates malignancies of different lineages in a dose-dependent manner. In a competitive transplant setting, the survival of recipients with KrasG12D/+; Dnmt3a+/- bone marrow (BM) cells was significantly shortened than that of recipients with KrasG12D/+ cells. Moreover, all of the recipients with KrasG12D/+; Dnmt3a+/- cells developed a lethal T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) without significant myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) phenotypes, while ~20% of recipients with KrasG12D/+ cells developed MPN with or without T-ALL. This is in sharp contrast to the recipients with KrasG12D/+; Dnmt3a-/- cells, in which ~60% developed a lethal myeloid malignancy (MPN or acute myeloid leukemia [AML]). Our data suggest that in the context of oncogenic Kras, loss of Dnmt3a promotes myeloid malignancies, while Dnmt3a haploinsufficiency induces T-ALL. This dose-dependent phenotype is highly consistent with the prevalence of DNMT3A R882 mutations in AML versus T-ALL in human.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberAJTR0042995
Pages (from-to)1326-1334
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Translational Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • DNA methylation
  • DNMT3A
  • KRAS
  • MPN
  • T-ALL


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