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Histone H3 lysine 79 methyltransferase Dot1 is required for immortalization by MLL oncogenes.


ABSTRACT: Chimeric oncoproteins resulting from fusion of MLL to a wide variety of partnering proteins cause biologically distinctive and clinically aggressive acute leukemias. However, the mechanism of MLL-mediated leukemic transformation is not fully understood. Dot1, the only known histone H3 lysine 79 (H3K79) methyltransferase, has been shown to interact with multiple MLL fusion partners including AF9, ENL, AF10, and AF17. In this study, we utilize a conditional Dot1l deletion model to investigate the role of Dot1 in hematopoietic progenitor cell immortalization by MLL fusion proteins. Western blot and mass spectrometry show that Dot1-deficient cells are depleted of the global H3K79 methylation mark. We find that loss of Dot1 activity attenuates cell viability and colony formation potential of cells immortalized by MLL oncoproteins but not by the leukemic oncoprotein E2a-Pbx1. Although this effect is most pronounced for MLL-AF9, we find that Dot1 contributes to the viability of cells immortalized by other MLL oncoproteins that are not known to directly recruit Dot1. Cells immortalized by MLL fusions also show increased apoptosis, suggesting the involvement of Dot1 in survival pathways. In summary, our data point to a pivotal requirement for Dot1 in MLL fusion protein-mediated leukemogenesis and implicate Dot1 as a potential therapeutic target.

SUBMITTER: Chang MJ 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3040779 | BioStudies | 2010-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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