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Mol Cell Biol. 1995 Jul;15(7):3786-95.

Both Pbx1 and E2A-Pbx1 bind the DNA motif ATCAATCAA cooperatively with the products of multiple murine Hox genes, some of which are themselves oncogenes.

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Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093, USA.


E2A-PBX1 is the oncogene produced at the t(1;19) chromosomal breakpoint of pediatric pre-B-cell leukemia. Expression of E2A-Pbx1 induces fibroblast transformation and myeloid and T-cell leukemia in mice and arrests differentiation of granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor-dependent myeloblasts in cultured marrow. Recently, the Drosophila melanogaster protein Exd, which is highly related to Pbx1, was shown to bind DNA cooperatively with the Drosophila homeodomain proteins Ubx and Abd-A. Here, we demonstrate that the normal Pbx1 homeodomain protein, as well as its oncogenic derivative, E2A-Pbx1, binds the DNA sequence ATCAATCAA cooperatively with the murine Hox-A5, Hox-B7, Hox-B8, and Hox-C8 homeodomain proteins, which are themselves known oncoproteins, as well as with the Hox-D4 homeodomain protein. Cooperative binding to ATCAATCAA required the homeodomain-dependent DNA-binding activities of both Pbx1 and the Hox partner. In cotransfection assays, Hox-B8 suppressed transactivation by E2A-Pbx1. These results suggest that (i) Pbx1 may participate in the normal regulation of Hox target gene transcription in vivo and therein contribute to aspects of anterior-posterior patterning and structural development in vertebrates, (ii) that E2A-Pbx1 could abrogate normal differentiation by altering the transcriptional regulation of Hox target genes in conjunction with Hox proteins, and (iii) that the oncogenic mechanism of certain Hox proteins may require their physical interaction with Pbx1 as a cooperating, DNA-binding partner.

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