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Nat Rev Cancer. 2010 Oct;10(10):721-8. doi: 10.1038/nrc2915. Epub 2010 Sep 16.

Licensed to elongate: a molecular mechanism for MLL-based leukaemogenesis.

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Stowers Institute for Medical Research, 1000 East 50th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64110, USA.


The RNA polymerase II (Pol II) elongation factor (ELL) was the first translocation partner of mixed lineage leukaemia (MLL) for which a biochemical function was determined. It was therefore proposed that the regulation of the elongation stage of transcription could be fundamental to MLL-based leukaemogenesis. Recent studies have identified ELL complexed with several of the translocation partners of MLL in a transcriptional super elongation complex (SEC). These studies provide evidence for the importance of the regulation of Pol II elongation in disease pathogenesis and suggest that MLL chimaeras function by licensing Pol II transcription elongation without the appropriate checkpoints.

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