Vegi NM et al.
Homeobox genes are known to be key factors in leukemogenesis. Although the TALE family homeodomain factor Meis1 has been linked to malignancy, a role for MEIS2 is less clear. Here, we demonstrate that MEIS2 is expressed at high levels in patients with AML1-ETO-positive acute myeloid leukemia and that growth of AML1-ETO-positive leukemia depends on MEIS2 expression. In mice, MEIS2 collaborates with AML1-ETO to induce acute myeloid leukemia. MEIS2 binds strongly to the Runt domain of AML1-ETO, indicating a direct interaction between these transcription factors. High expression of MEIS2 impairs repressive DNA binding of AML1-ETO, inducing increased expression of genes such as the druggable proto-oncogene YES1. Collectively, these data describe a pivotal role for MEIS2 in AML1-ETO-induced leukemia.