E2a-Pbx1 is a chimeric transcription factor oncoprotein produced by the t(1;19) translocation in human pre-B cell leukemia. Class I Hox proteins bind DNA cooperatively with both Pbx proteins and oncoprotein E2a-Pbx1, suggesting that leukemogenesis by E2a-Pbx1 and Hox proteins may alter transcription of cellular genes regulated by Pbx-Hox motifs. Likewise, in murine myeloid leukemia, transcriptional coactivation of Meis1 with HoxA7/A9 suggests that Meis1-HoxA7/9 heterodimers may evoke aberrant gene transcription. Here, we demonstrate that both Meis1 and its relative, pKnox1, dimerize with Pbx1 on the same TGATTGAC motif selected by dimers of Pbx proteins and unidentified partner(s) in nuclear extracts, including those from t(1;19) pre-B cells. Outside their homeodomains, Meis1 and pKnox1 were highly conserved only in two motifs required for cooperativity with Pbx1. Like the unidentified endogenous partner(s), both Meis1 and pKnox1 failed to dimerize significantly with E2a-Pbx1. The Meis1/pKnox1-interaction domain in Pbx1 resided predominantly in a conserved N-terminal Pbx domain deleted in E2a-Pbx1. Thus, the leukemic potential of E2a-Pbx1 may require abrogation of its interaction with members of the Meis and pKnox families of transcription factors, permitting selective targeting of genes regulated by Pbx-Hox complexes. In addition, because most motifs bound by Pbx-Meis1/pKnox1 were not bound by Pbx1-Hox complexes, the leukemic potential of Meis1 in myeloid leukemias may involve shifting Pbx proteins from promoters containing Pbx-Hox motifs to those containing Pbx-Meis motifs.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Dec 23 1997|
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