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To make a multicellular organism, genes need to be transcribed at the right developmental stages and in the right tissues. DNA sequences termed 'enhancers' are crucial to achieve this. Despite concerted efforts, the exact mechanisms of enhancer activity remain elusive. Mixed lineage leukemia (MLL or KMT2A) rearrangements (MLLr), commonly observed in cases of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia, produce novel in-frame fusion proteins. Recent work has shown that the MLL-AF4 fusion protein drives aberrant enhancer activity at key oncogenes in ALL, dependent on the continued presence of MLL-AF4 complex components. As well as providing some general insights into enhancer function, these observations may also provide an explanation for transcriptional heterogeneity observed in MLLr patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Curr Opin Genet Dev

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