Isolation and characterization of a pufferfish MLL (mixed lineage leukemia)-like gene (fMll) reveals evolutionary conservation in vertebrate genes related to Drosophila trithorax.
ABSTRACT The MLL gene is interrupted and fused to a number of partner genes as a result of chromosomal translocations in human leukemias. MLL is a very large protein with a unique domain structure and large regions of homology to Drosophila trx. To define the key structural and functional domains of the MLL protein in vertebrates, we have cloned the genomic region encoding an MLL-like gene in the compact model vertebrate genome of Fugu rubripes. While the similarity between the mouse and human MLL proteins is very high, a lower overall similarity is present between the Fugu and mammalian proteins. Several new highly conserved regions were identified in the portion of the protein included in the MLL leukemia-associated fusion proteins. The conserved nature of regions of similarity between vertebrate forms of MLL and the Drosophila TRX proteins, as well as other domains previously suggested to have a functional role in MLL (including the AT hooks and the DNA methyltransferase domain), was also observed. Therefore, strong evolutionary constraints limited sequence divergence within these domains. The information derived from this comparative analysis will form the basis for the functional study of the MLL protein, particularly as it relates to human leukemogenesis.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Rearrangements of the mixed lineage leukemia gene MLL are associated with aggressive lymphoid and myeloid leukemias. The resulting MLL fusion proteins enforce high-level expression of HOX genes and the HOX cofactor MEIS1, which is pivotal for leukemogenesis. Both wild-type MLL and MLL fusion proteins interact with the tumor suppressor menin and with the Hoxa9 locus in vivo. Here, we show that MLL sequences between amino acids 5 and 44 are required for interaction with menin and for the transformation of hematopoietic progenitors. Blocking the MLL-menin interaction by the expression of a dominant negative inhibitor composed of amino terminal MLL sequences down-regulates Meis1 expression and inhibits cell proliferation, suggesting that targeting this interaction may be an effective therapeutic strategy for leukemias with MLL rearrangements.Cancer Research 09/2007; 67(15):7275-83. · 7.86 Impact Factor
Article: Binding to nonmethylated CpG DNA is essential for target recognition, transactivation, and myeloid transformation by an MLL oncoprotein.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The MLL gene is a frequent target for leukemia-associated chromosomal translocations that generate dominant-acting chimeric oncoproteins. These invariably contain the amino-terminal 1,400 residues of MLL fused with one of a variety of over 30 distinct nuclear or cytoplasmic partner proteins. Despite the consistent inclusion of the MLL amino-terminal region in leukemia oncoproteins, little is known regarding its molecular contributions to MLL-dependent oncogenesis. Using high-resolution mutagenesis, we identified three MLL domains that are essential for in vitro myeloid transformation via mechanisms that do not compromise subnuclear localization. These include the CXXC/Basic domain and two novel domains of unknown function. Point mutations in the CXXC domain that eliminate myeloid transformation by an MLL fusion protein also abolished recognition and binding of nonmethylated CpG DNA sites in vitro and transactivation in vivo. Our results define a critical role for the CXXC DNA binding domain in MLL-associated oncogenesis, most likely via epigenetic recognition of CpG DNA sites within the regulatory elements of target genes.Molecular and Cellular Biology 01/2005; 24(23):10470-8. · 5.53 Impact Factor