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A higher-order complex containing AF4 and ENL family proteins with P-TEFb facilitates oncogenic and physiologic MLL-dependent transcription.

AF4 and ENL family proteins are frequently fused with MLL, and they comprise a higher order complex (designated AEP) containing the P-TEFb transcription elongation factor. Here, we show that AEP is normally recruited to MLL-target chromatin to facilitate transcription. In contrast, MLL oncoproteins fused with AEP components constitutively form MLL/AEP hybrid complexes to cause sustained target gene expression, which leads to transformation of hematopoietic progenitors. Furthermore, MLL-AF6, an MLL fusion with a cytoplasmic protein, does not form such hybrid complexes, but nevertheless constitutively recruits AEP to target chromatin via unknown alternative mechanisms. Thus, AEP recruitment is an integral part of both physiological and pathological MLL-dependent transcriptional pathways. Bypass of its normal recruitment mechanisms is the strategy most frequently used by MLL oncoproteins.

Pubmed ID: 20153263


  • Yokoyama A
  • Lin M
  • Naresh A
  • Kitabayashi I
  • Cleary ML


Cancer cell

Publication Data

February 17, 2010

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: CA116606
  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: CA55029
  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: R01 CA055029
  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: R01 CA055029-18
  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: R01 CA116606
  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: R01 CA116606-05
  • Agency: NCI NIH HHS, Id: R01 CA116606-07

Mesh Terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Chromatin
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Leukemic
  • Humans
  • Methyltransferases
  • Mice
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Myeloid-Lymphoid Leukemia Protein
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Oncogene Proteins, Fusion
  • Positive Transcriptional Elongation Factor B
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Transcriptional Elongation Factors