Background: In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of DNA methyltransferase 1 gene (DNMT1) expression on leukemia cell proliferation.
Methods: Following stimulation with interferon-α (IFN-α) or methylation inhibitor for three days, we evaluated changes in the DNMT1 expression levels, cell proliferation activity, and Bcl-2-Associated X Protein (BAX) expression levels in the chronic myelogenous leukemia cell line K562 and the acute monocytic leukemia cell line THP-1. Results: DNMT1 expression levels and cell proliferation activity decreased in K562 and THP-1 cells, whereas BAX expression levels increased.
Conclusions: These results suggest that the enzymatic activity of DNMT1 promotes the proliferation of tumor cells and that tumor cell proliferation can be suppressed by inhibiting DNMT1 enzymatic activity. Furthermore, because DNA methylation is associated with apoptosis, a process critical to cell growth and injury in leukemia, assessing DNMT1expression levels might help in treatment decisions for leukemia patients.