The TALE-class homeoprotein MEIS1 specifically collaborates with HOXA9 to drive myeloid leukemogenesis. Although MEIS1 alone has only a moderate effect on cell proliferation in vitro, it is essential for the development of HOXA9-induced leukemia in vivo. Here, using murine models of leukemogenesis, we have shown that MEIS1 promotes leukemic cell homing and engraftment in bone marrow and enhances cell-cell interactions and cytokine-mediated cell migration. We analyzed global DNA binding of MEIS1 in leukemic cells as well as gene expression alterations in MEIS1-deficent cells and identified synaptotagmin-like 1 (Sytl1, also known as Slp1) as the MEIS1 target gene that cooperates with Hoxa9 in leukemogenesis. Replacement of SYTL1 in MEIS1-deficent cells restored both cell migration and engraftment. Further analysis revealed that SYTL1 promotes cell migration via activation of the CXCL12/CXCR4 axis, as SYTL1 determines intracellular trafficking of CXCR4. Together, our results reveal that MEIS1, through induction of SYTL1, promotes leukemogenesis and supports leukemic cell homing and engraftment, facilitating interactions between leukemic cells and bone marrow stroma.,
Journal of Clinical Investigation
Department of Hematology

Yokoyama, T. (Takashi), Nakatake, M. (Mayuka), Kuwata, T. (Takeshi), Couzinet, A. (Arnaud), Goitsuka, R. (Ryo), Tsutsumi, S. (Shuichi), … Nakamura, T. (Takuro). (2016). MEIS1-mediated transactivation of synaptotagmin-like 1 promotes CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling and leukemogenesis. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 126(5), 1664–1678. doi:10.1172/JCI81516