Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 2000; 24(Supplement 1).

The role of the leukemia protein ELL in cellular regulation and development of human leukemia

A Shilatifard PhD

Dept Biochemistry, St Louis University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO,

AIMS: To understand the role of the ELL and MLL proteins in the development of human leukemia. METHODS: We have used a variety of modern biochemical, enzymological and molecular biological tools to achieve the above aim. RESULTS: and CONCLUSIONS: The ELL protein undergoes frequent translocations with the MLL gene leading to the development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in human. We have recently cloned and expressed another member of the ELL family of proteins , ELL3. In addition to sharing the transcriptional regulatory domain, ELLs (ELL, ELL2 and ELL3) share a conserved C-terminal domain. We have demonstrated that the conserved C-terminal domain of ELL is required and sufficient for the immortalization of primitive hematopoietic precursors. Moreover, we have also demonstrated that ELL is involved in the regulation of cell growth and survival. We will discuss our recent findings regarding the ELL protein and its role in the regulation of cell growth and its involvement in the development of human Leukemia.

KEY WORDS: Transcription, Cancer, Leukemia, RNA Polymerase.

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Paper presented at the International Symposium on Impact of Biotechnology on Cancer Diagnostic & Prognostic Indicators; Geneva, Switzerland; October 28 - 31, 2000; in the section on genetic risk assessment.