MLL-AF4 cooperates with PAF1 and FACT to drive high-density enhancer interactions in leukemia.
Crump NT., Smith AL., Godfrey L., Dopico-Fernandez AM., Denny N., Harman JR., Hamley JC., Jackson NE., Chahrour C., Riva S., Rice S., Kim J., Basrur V., Fermin D., Elenitoba-Johnson K., Roeder RG., Allis CD., Roberts I., Roy A., Geng H., Davies JOJ., Milne TA.
Aberrant enhancer activation is a key mechanism driving oncogene expression in many cancers. While much is known about the regulation of larger chromosome domains in eukaryotes, the details of enhancer-promoter interactions remain poorly understood. Recent work suggests co-activators like BRD4 and Mediator have little impact on enhancer-promoter interactions. In leukemias controlled by the MLL-AF4 fusion protein, we use the ultra-high resolution technique Micro-Capture-C (MCC) to show that MLL-AF4 binding promotes broad, high-density regions of enhancer-promoter interactions at a subset of key targets. These enhancers are enriched for transcription elongation factors like PAF1C and FACT, and the loss of these factors abolishes enhancer-promoter contact. This work not only provides an additional model for how MLL-AF4 is able to drive high levels of transcription at key genes in leukemia but also suggests a more general model linking enhancer-promoter crosstalk and transcription elongation.