Chimeric transcription factors are a hallmark of human leukemia, but the molecular mechanisms by which they block differentiation and promote aberrant self-renewal remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that the ETO2-GLIS2 fusion oncoprotein, which is found in aggressive acute megakaryoblastic leukemia, confers megakaryocytic identity via the GLIS2 moiety while both ETO2 and GLIS2 domains are required to drive increased self-renewal properties. ETO2-GLIS2 directly binds DNA to control transcription of associated genes by upregulation of expression and interaction with the ETS-related ERG protein at enhancer elements. Importantly, specific interference with ETO2-GLIS2 oligomerization reverses the transcriptional activation at enhancers and promotes megakaryocytic differentiation, providing a relevant interface to target in this poor-prognosis pediatric leukemia.
- transcription factor