DNA methyltransferase 3 alpha (DNMT3A) mutation was one of the most frequent genetic alterations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), which was associated with poor prognosis and appeared to be a potential biomarker. Herein, we aimed to identify the key genes and pathways involved in adult AML with DNMT3A mutations and to find possible therapeutic targets for improving treatment.
The RNA sequencing datasets of 170 adult AML patients were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database. EdgeR of the R platform was used to identify the differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Gene Ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analyses were performed by Metascape and DAVID. And protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and clustering modules were analyzed with the STRING database and Cytoscape software.
Mutated DNMT3A resulted in a shorter overall survival (OS) in AML patients and obviously associated with age, blast percentage in peripheral blood, and FLT3 mutation. A total of 283 DEGs were detected, of which 95 were upregulated and 188 were downregulated. GO term analysis showed that DEGs were significantly enriched in neutrophil degranulation, myeloid cell differentiation, stem cell proliferation, positive regulation of neurological system process, leukocyte migration, and tissue morphogenesis. KEGG pathway enrichment analysis indicated that the pathway of cancer, PI3K-Akt signaling pathway, and transcriptional misregulation in cancer may play a crucial role in DNMT3A mutation AML. Seven hub genes (BMP4, MPO, THBS1, APP, ELANE, HOXA7, and VWF) had a significant prognostic value.