Abstract

TET family members (TETs) encode proteins that represent crucial factors in the active DNA demethylation pathway. Evidence has proved that TET2 mutation is associated with leukemogenesis, drug response, and prognosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). However, few studies revealed the TETs expression and its clinical significance in AML. We conducted a detailed expression and prognosis analysis of TETs expression in human AML cell lines and patients by using public databases. We observed that TETs expression especially TET2 and TET3 was closely associated with AML among various human cancers. TET1 expression was significantly reduced in AML patients, whereas TET2 and TET3 expression was significantly increased. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that only TET3 expression was associated with overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) among both total AML as well as non-M3 AML, and was confirmed by another independent cohort. Moreover, Cox regression analysis revealed that TET3 expression may act as an independent prognostic factor for OS and DFS in total AML. Interestingly, patients that received hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) did not show significantly longer OS and DFS than those who did not receive HSCT in TET3 high-expressed groups; whereas, in TET3 low-expressed groups, patients that accepted HSCT showed significantly longer OS and DFS than those who did not accept HSCT. By bioinformatics analysis, TET3 expression was found positively correlated with tumor suppressor gene including CDKN2B, ZIC2, miR-196a, and negatively correlated with oncogenes such as PAX2 and IL2RA. Our study demonstrated that TETs showed significant expression differences in AML, and TET3 expression acted as a potential prognostic biomarker in AML, which may guide treatment choice between chemotherapy and HSCT.