The development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is associated with a variety of genetic changes. Some of these alterations are epigenetic, wherein the sequence of the genes is unchanged, but chemical modifications to the DNA alters gene expression.
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Daniel Tenen at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that a transcriptional regulator known as C/EBPG was highly expressed in a subset of AML samples that had an epigenetically silenced C/EBPA gene.
By blocking the epigenetic modification of C/EBPA, Tenen and colleagues found that they could reduce C/EBPG and restore normal myeloid blood cells. This study suggests that targeting the balance of C/EBPG and C/EBPA could represent a new therapeutic approach in the treatment of AML.