An insertional mutagenesis screen identifies genes that cooperate with Mll-AF9 in a murine leukemogenesis model

Rachel J. Bergerson, Lara S. Collier, Aaron L. Sarver, Raha A. Been, Sanne Lugthart, Miechaleen D. Diers, Johannes Zuber, Amy R. Rappaport, Molly J. Nixon, Kevin A.T. Silverstein, Danhua Fan, Anne Francoise J. Lamblin, Linda Wolff, John H. Kersey, Ruud Delwel, Scott W. Lowe, M. Gerard O'Sullivan, Scott C. Kogan, David J. Adams, David A. Largaespada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Patients with a t(9;11) translocation (MLL-AF9) develop acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and while in mice the expression of this fusion oncogene also results in the development of myeloid leukemia, it is with long latency. To identify mutations that cooperate with Mll-AF9, we infected neonatal wild-type (WT) or Mll- AF9 mice with a murine leukemia virus (MuLV). MuLV-infected Mll-AF9 mice succumbed to disease significantly faster than controls presenting predominantly with myeloid leukemia while infected WT animals developed predominantly lymphoid leukemia. We identified 88 candidate cancer genes near common sites of proviral insertion. Analysis of transcript levels revealed significantly elevated expression of Mn1, and a trend toward increased expression of Bcl11a and Fosb in Mll-AF9 murine leukemia samples with proviral insertions proximal to these genes. Accordingly, FOSB and BCL11A were also overexpressed in human AML harboring MLL gene translocations. FOSB was revealed to be essential for growth in mouse and human myeloid leukemia cells using shRNA lentiviral vectors in vitro. Importantly, MN1 cooperated with Mll-AF9 in leukemogenesis in an in vivo BM viral transduction and transplantation assay. Together, our data identified genes that define transcription factor networks and important genetic pathways acting during progression of leukemia induced by MLL fusion oncogenes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4512-4523
Number of pages12
Issue number19
StatePublished - May 10 2012


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