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Leukemia. 1997 Dec;11(12):2022-31.

The EVI1 gene in myeloid leukemia.

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Oncology Institute and Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153, USA.


Leukemia is an acquired genetic disease caused by the accumulation of chromosomal abnormalities which modify either the biochemical property or the level of expression of proteins. Frequent genetic abnormalities identified in human leukemia are chromosomal rearrangements such as chromosomal translocations and inversions. Chromosome band 3q26 is the site of the breakpoint of recurring translocations and inversions observed in patients with myeloid leukemias. Two genes located at 3q26 have been implicated in development or progression of myeloid leukemia. They are MDS1 and EVI1. MDS1, first identified as part of a fusion transcript resulting from the t(3;21)(q26;q22), encodes a small protein of unknown function. EVI1 encodes a zinc finger protein inappropriately overexpressed by chromosomal rearrangements (in man) or by retroviral insertion (in the mouse). Both genes are rearranged by the t(3;21)(q26;q22) and by the t(3;12)(p13;q22). As a result of the translocation, they are expressed as fusion genes either with AML1 or with TEL. EVI1 and MDS1 are unusual in that they can either encode separate proteins, or they can be expressed as one protein which we named MDS1/EVI1. EVI1 and MDS1/EVI1 have opposite functions as transcription factors. In this report, we review the current information on the two genes, and on their involvement in myeloid leukemia.

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