DNA hypermethylation is a common finding in malignant cells and has been explored as a therapeutic target for hypomethylating agents (e.g., decitabine). Detection of changes in DNA methylation might serve as a pharmacodynamic endpoint to establish the biological activity of these agents and predict clinical response. We developed and validated a rapid, sensitive and specific LC-MS/MS method for determination of global DNA methylation (GDM) in vitro and in vivo. Ratios of 5-methyl-2′-deoxycytidine (5mdC) to the internal standard 2-deoxyguanosine (2dG) in mass signal were used to quantify GDM levels. The assay was validated in a linear range from 40 fmol to 200 pmol 5mdC. The intra-day precision values ranged from 2.8 to 9.9% and the inter-day values from 1.1 to 15.0%. The accuracy of the assay varied between 96.7 and 109.5%. This method was initially applied for characterization of decitabine-induced GDM changes in in-vitro -treated leukemia cells. Following exposure to 2.5 μ M decitabine, GDM decreased to ∼50% of the baseline value. The clinical applicability of this method was then demonstrated in bone marrow samples from patients with acute myeloid leukemia treated with decitabine. Our data support the use of our LC-MS/MS method for clinical pharmacodynamic determination of changes in GDM in vivo.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported in part by the National Cancer Research Institute, Bethesda, MD, grants CA102031. Funding to pay the Open Access publication charge was