Single-cell multi-omics of human clonal hematopoiesis reveals that DNMT3A R882 mutations perturb early progenitor states through selective hypomethylation

Nam AS, Dusaj N, Izzo F, Murali R, Myers RM, Mouhieddine T, Sotelo J, Benbarche S, Waarts M, Gaiti F, Tahri S, Levine R, Abdel-Wahab O, Godley LA, Chaligne R, Ghobrial I, Landau DA.
Preprint from
16 January 2022


Somatic mutations in cancer genes have been ubiquitously detected in clonal expansions across healthy human tissue, including in clonal hematopoiesis. However, mutated and wildtype cells are morphologically and phenotypically similar, limiting the ability to link genotypes with cellular phenotypes. To overcome this limitation, we leveraged multi-modality single-cell sequencing, capturing the mutation with transcriptomes and methylomes in stem and progenitors from individuals with DNMT3A R882 mutated clonal hematopoiesis. DNMT3A mutations resulted in myeloid over lymphoid bias, and in expansion of immature myeloid progenitors primed toward megakaryocytic-erythroid fate. We observed dysregulated expression of lineage and leukemia stem cell markers. DNMT3A R882 led to preferential hypomethylation of polycomb repressive complex 2 targets and a specific sequence motif. Notably, the hypomethylation motif is enriched in binding motifs of key hematopoietic transcription factors, serving as a potential mechanistic link between DNMT3A R882 mutations and aberrant transcriptional phenotypes. Thus, single-cell multi-omics pave the road to defining the downstream consequences of mutations that drive human clonal mosaicism.