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J Biol Chem. 2011 Nov 11;286(45):38989-9001. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.297952. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

Amino-terminal enhancer of split (AES) interacts with the oncoprotein NUP98-HOXA9 and enhances its transforming ability.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


NUP98-HOXA9 is the prototype of NUP98 fusion oncoproteins that cause acute myeloid leukemia. It consists of an N-terminal FG-rich portion of the nucleoporin NUP98 fused to the homeodomain region of the homeobox protein HOXA9, and acts as an aberrant transcription factor. To identify interacting partners of NUP98-HOXA9, we used a cytoplasmic yeast two-hybrid assay to avoid the nonspecific trans-activation that would occur with the traditional yeast two-hybrid assay due to the transactivating properties of NUP98-HOXA9. We identified amino-terminal enhancer of split (AES), a transcriptional regulator of the transducin-like enhancer/Groucho family as a novel interaction partner of NUP98-HOXA9. The interaction was confirmed by in vitro pulldown and co-immunoprecipitation assays and was shown to require the FG repeat region of NUP98-HOXA9. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that AES localizes primarily to the interior of the nucleus. AES also showed a strong interaction with wild-type NUP98. AES augmented the transcriptional activity of NUP98-HOXA9. In the presence of NUP98-HOXA9, AES caused an increase in long-term proliferation of primary human CD34+ cells with a marked increase in the numbers of primitive cells. These effects of AES were not observed in the absence of NUP98-HOXA9. AES knockdown diminished the transcriptional and proliferative effects of NUP98-HOXA9. AES caused a shift away from the erythroid lineage in cells expressing NUP98-HOXA9. These data establish AES as an interacting partner of NUP98-HOXA9 and show that it cooperates with NUP98-HOXA9 in transcriptional regulation and cell transformation.

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