Abstract Multiple myeloma (MM) and its precursors monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and smoldering myeloma (SMM) are 2–3 times more common in African Americans (AA) than European Americans (EA). Although epigenetic changes are well recognized in the context of myeloma cell biology, the contribution of 5-hydroxymethylcytosines (5hmC) to racial disparities in MM is unknown. Using the 5hmC-Seal and next-generation sequencing, we profiled genome-wide 5hmC in circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) from 342 newly diagnosed patients with MM (n = 294), SMM (n = 18), and MGUS (n = 30). We compared differential 5hmC modifications between MM and its precursors among 227 EA and 115 AA patients. The captured 5hmC modifications in cfDNA were found to be enriched in B-cell and T-cell-derived histone modifications marking enhancers. Of the top 500 gene bodies with differential 5hmC levels between MM and SMM/MGUS, the majority (94.8%) were distinct between EA and AA and enriched with population-specific pathways, including amino acid metabolism in AA and mainly cancer-related signaling pathways in EA. These findings improved our understanding of the epigenetic contribution to racial disparities in MM and suggest epigenetic pathways that could be exploited as novel preventive strategies in high-risk populations.
|Date made available||2022|