Gene Summary

Gene:ELL; elongation factor RNA polymerase II
Aliases: MEN, ELL1, PPP1R68, C19orf17
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:RNA polymerase II elongation factor ELL
Source:NCBIAccessed: 16 March, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 16 March 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 16 March, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ELL (cancer-related)

Barretto NN, Karahalios DS, You D, Hemenway CS
An AF9/ENL-targted peptide with therapeutic potential in mixed lineage leukemias.
J Exp Ther Oncol. 2014; 10(4):293-300 [PubMed] Related Publications
Misregulation of transcription elongation is proposed to underlie the pathobiology of MLL leukemia. AF4, AF9, and ENL, common MLL fusion partners, are found in complex with positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb). AF9 and its homolog ENL directly interact with AF4 within these complexes. Previously, we designed a peptide that mimics the AF9 binding domain of AF4 and reported that MLL leukemia cell lines are inhibited by it. Extending these studies, we have modified the peptide design in order to avoid recognition by proteases. The peptide is as effective as its predecessor in vitro and enhances survival in mice bearing MLL leukemia cell lines.

Shah CA, Bei L, Wang H, et al.
The leukemia-associated Mll-Ell oncoprotein induces fibroblast growth factor 2 (Fgf2)-dependent cytokine hypersensitivity in myeloid progenitor cells.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(45):32490-505 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The subset of acute myeloid leukemias (AML) with chromosomal translocations involving the MLL gene have a poor prognosis (referred to as 11q23-AML). The MLL fusion proteins that are expressed in 11q23-AML facilitate transcription of a set of HOX genes, including HOXA9 and HOXA10. Because Hox proteins are transcription factors, this suggests the possibility that Hox target genes mediate the adverse effects of MLL fusion proteins in leukemia. Identifying such Hox target genes might provide insights to the pathogenesis and treatment of 11q23-AML. In the current study we found that Mll-Ell (an MLL fusion protein) induced transcriptional activation of the FGF2 gene in a HoxA9- and HoxA10-dependent manner. FGF2 encodes fibroblast growth factor 2 (also referred to as basic fibroblast growth factor). Fgf2 influences proliferation and survival of hematopoietic stem cells and myeloid progenitor cells, and increased Fgf2-expression has been described in AMLs. We determined that expression of Mll-Ell in myeloid progenitor cells resulted in autocrine production of Fgf2 and Fgf2-dependent cytokine hypersensitivity. Therefore, our results implicated increased Fgf2 expression in progenitor proliferation and expansion in 11q23-AML. Because small molecule inhibitors of Fgf-receptors are in human clinical trials, this suggested a potential therapeutic approach to this treatment refractory leukemia.

Shen C, Jo SY, Liao C, et al.
Targeting recruitment of disruptor of telomeric silencing 1-like (DOT1L): characterizing the interactions between DOT1L and mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) fusion proteins.
J Biol Chem. 2013; 288(42):30585-96 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The MLL fusion proteins, AF9 and ENL, activate target genes in part via recruitment of the histone methyltransferase DOT1L (disruptor of telomeric silencing 1-like). Here we report biochemical, biophysical, and functional characterization of the interaction between DOT1L and MLL fusion proteins, AF9/ENL. The AF9/ENL-binding site in human DOT1L was mapped, and the interaction site was identified to a 10-amino acid region (DOT1L865-874). This region is highly conserved in DOT1L from a variety of species. Alanine scanning mutagenesis analysis shows that four conserved hydrophobic residues from the identified binding motif are essential for the interactions with AF9/ENL. Binding studies demonstrate that the entire intact C-terminal domain of AF9/ENL is required for optimal interaction with DOT1L. Functional studies show that the mapped AF9/ENL interacting site is essential for immortalization by MLL-AF9, indicating that DOT1L interaction with MLL-AF9 and its recruitment are required for transformation by MLL-AF9. These results strongly suggest that disruption of interaction between DOT1L and AF9/ENL is a promising therapeutic strategy with potentially fewer adverse effects than enzymatic inhibition of DOT1L for MLL fusion protein-associated leukemia.

Tuborgh A, Meyer C, Marschalek R, et al.
Complex three-way translocation involving MLL, ELL, RREB1, and CMAHP genes in an infant with acute myeloid leukemia and t(6;19;11)(p22.2;p13.1;q23.3).
Cytogenet Genome Res. 2013; 141(1):7-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Rearrangements affecting the MLL gene in hematological malignancies are associated with poor prognosis. Most often they are reciprocal translocations and more rarely complex forms involving at least 3 chromosomes. We describe an unusual case with cutaneous leukemic infiltrates that waxed and waned until progression to acute myeloid leukemia, AML-M5. The leukemic cells harbored a novel apparent 3-way translocation t(6;19;11)(p22.2;p13.1;q23.3). We utilized advanced molecular cytogenetic methods including 24-color karyotyping, high-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) and DNA sequencing to characterize the genomic complement in the leukemic cells from aspirated bone marrow cells at AML diagnosis. Karyotyping showed 47,XY,t(6;19;11)(p22;p13;q23),+der(6)t(6;11)(p22;q23)[17]/48,sl,+8[3]/48,sl,+8,der(12)t(1;12)(q11;p13)[3]/ 48,sdl,der(Y)t(Y;1)(q12;q11),+8[7] conferring MLL-ELL fusion. Oligo-aCGH analysis confirmed gains of 6p22qter and 11q23.3qter involving the CMAHP and MLL genes, respectively. DNA sequencing disclosed an additional breakpoint at 6p24.3 (at RREB1 gene). Retrospective fluorescence in situ hybridization revealed presence of the MLL-involving rearrangement in the initial stages of disease before clear morphological signs of bone marrow involvement. The patient responded well to therapy and remains in remission>6 years from diagnosis. This apparent 3-way translocation is remarkable because of its rarity and presentation with myeloid sarcoma, and may, as more cases are characterized, further our understanding onto how such complex translocations contribute to promote leukemogenesis and respond to therapy.

Maethner E, Garcia-Cuellar MP, Breitinger C, et al.
MLL-ENL inhibits polycomb repressive complex 1 to achieve efficient transformation of hematopoietic cells.
Cell Rep. 2013; 3(5):1553-66 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Stimulation of transcriptional elongation is a key activity of leukemogenic MLL fusion proteins. Here, we provide evidence that MLL-ENL also inhibits Polycomb-mediated silencing as a prerequisite for efficient transformation. Biochemical studies identified ENL as a scaffold that contacted the elongation machinery as well as the Polycomb repressive complex 1 (PRC1) component CBX8. These interactions were mutually exclusive in vitro, corresponding to an antagonistic behavior of MLL-ENL and CBX8 in vivo. CBX8 inhibited elongation in a specific reporter assay, and this effect was neutralized by direct association with ENL. Correspondingly, CBX8-binding-defective MLL-ENL could not fully activate gene loci necessary for transformation. Finally, we demonstrate dimerization of MLL-ENL as a neomorphic activity that may augment Polycomb inhibition and transformation.

Luo Z, Lin C, Shilatifard A
The super elongation complex (SEC) family in transcriptional control.
Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2012; 13(9):543-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
The super elongation complex (SEC) consists of the RNA polymerase II (Pol II) elongation factors eleven-nineteen Lys-rich leukaemia (ELL) proteins, positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb) and several frequent mixed lineage leukaemia (MLL) translocation partners. It is one of the most active P-TEFb-containing complexes required for rapid transcriptional induction in the presence or absence of paused Pol II. The SEC was found to regulate the transcriptional elongation checkpoint control (TECC) stage of transcription, and misregulation of this stage is associated with cancer pathogenesis. Recent studies have shown that the SEC belongs to a larger family of SEC-like complexes, which includes SEC-L2 and SEC-L3, each with distinct gene target specificities.

Krysiak R, Okopień B
[Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1].
Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2012; 32(188):116-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) type 1 exhibits an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance and results from mutation of the MEN-1 gene that is a tumor suppressor gene acting on the transcriptional level. The disease is characterized by a variety of neuroendocrine neoplasias and hormone excess syndromes. The major components of MEN-I are hyperparathyroidism due to multiple parathyroid adenomas, pancreatic or duodenal neuroendocrine tumors, and pituitary adenomas, in addition to some less common neoplastic manifestations. The development of the tumors often follows a substantially similar pattern: the initial lesion is a diffuse hyperplastic proliferation of the affected endocrine tissue with bilateral involvement of pair organs, followed by development of multiple micro- and, eventually, macronodular lesions. Its unpredictable course causes that there is controversy regarding treatment of the different manifestations and screening modalities of this disorder. This article reviews our current approach to the diagnosis, surveillance and management of these patients.

De Braekeleer E, Douet-Guilbert N, Meyer C, et al.
MLL-ELL fusion gene in two infants with acute monoblastic leukemia and myeloid sarcoma.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2012; 53(6):1222-4 [PubMed] Related Publications

Elia L, Grammatico S, Paoloni F, et al.
Clinical outcome and monitoring of minimal residual disease in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia expressing the MLL/ENL fusion gene.
Am J Hematol. 2011; 86(12):993-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
We analyzed 12 MLL/ENL positive ALL patients consecutively diagnosed between 1999 and 2009. The MLL/ENL fusion was identified in 4/150 (2.6%), 8/993 (0.8%), and 0/70 of pediatric, adult, and elderly patients, respectively. Eight patients had a WBC count >50 × 10(9) /L. Ten cases had an evaluable immunophenotyping. A B or T precursor ALL occurred in 7 and 3 patients, respectively. Eleven/12 patients (92%) achieved CR. At 48 months, overall survival and event-free survival rates were 73.3% and 67%, respectively. At CR, a parallel RT-PCR evaluation of the MLL/ENL expression was available in 5 cases. Of these latter, 2 tested MLL/ENL-negative and 3 positive. The minimal residual disease molecular monitoring showed that MLL/ENL status did not correlate with outcome. In fact, all the 2 PCR-negative and 1 of the 3 PCR-positive cases relapsed. Further, a MLL/ENL expression, not preceding a relapse, was detected several times during the follow-up of five long-survivors. In conclusion, also in adults, the MLL/ENL fusion identifies a rare leukemic entity with a favorable prognosis. The observed inconsistency between the clinical cure and the presence of detectable MLL/ENL transcript suggests the existence of a MLL/ENL-expressing "preleukemia" stem cells, similar to what demonstrated for the AML1/ETO-positive leukemia setting.

Yokoyama A
[Molecular mechanisms of leukemogenesis in MLL-leukemias].
Rinsho Ketsueki. 2011; 52(8):679-85 [PubMed] Related Publications

Marques EA, Neves L, Fonseca TC, et al.
Molecular findings in childhood leukemia in Brazil: high frequency of MLL-ENL Fusion/t(11;19) in infant leukemia.
J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2011; 33(6):470-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Translocations involving chromosome 11q23 are frequently found in pediatric leukemia, especially in infants. The mixed lineage leukemia (MLL)-AF4 fusion/t(4;11) is mostly found in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and MLL-AF9 fusion/t(9;11) in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We study 441 consecutive new cases of childhood leukemia diagnosed in Brazil. Chromosomal translocation was determined solely by conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 72 out of 265 ALL and in 43 out of 103 AML. MLL-AF4 fusion/t(4;11) was detected in 3 out of 265 ALL and MLL-AF9 fusion/t(9;11) in 4 out of 103 of AML. MLL-rearrangements were presented in 7 out of 23 infant leukemia, whose 5 were MLL-ENL fusion/t(11;19). No fusion MLL-AF4 fusion/t(4;11) was found. Other translocation frequencies differed from that reported for an American population suggesting interethnic differences on chromosomal translocations frequencies in acute leukemia.

Lin C, Smith ER, Takahashi H, et al.
AFF4, a component of the ELL/P-TEFb elongation complex and a shared subunit of MLL chimeras, can link transcription elongation to leukemia.
Mol Cell. 2010; 37(3):429-37 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chromosomal translocations involving the MLL gene are associated with infant acute lymphoblastic and mixed lineage leukemia. There are a large number of translocation partners of MLL that share very little sequence or seemingly functional similarities; however, their translocations into MLL result in the pathogenesis of leukemia. To define the molecular reason why these translocations result in the pathogenesis of leukemia, we purified several of the commonly occurring MLL chimeras. We have identified super elongation complex (SEC) associated with all chimeras purified. SEC includes ELL, P-TEFb, AFF4, and several other factors. AFF4 is required for SEC stability and proper transcription by poised RNA polymerase II in metazoans. Knockdown of AFF4 in leukemic cells shows reduction in MLL chimera target gene expression, suggesting that AFF4/SEC could be a key regulator in the pathogenesis of leukemia through many of the MLL partners.

Mueller D, García-Cuéllar MP, Bach C, et al.
Misguided transcriptional elongation causes mixed lineage leukemia.
PLoS Biol. 2009; 7(11):e1000249 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Fusion proteins composed of the histone methyltransferase mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL) and a variety of unrelated fusion partners are highly leukemogenic. Despite their prevalence, particularly in pediatric acute leukemia, many molecular details of their transforming mechanism are unknown. Here, we provide mechanistic insight into the function of MLL fusions, demonstrating that they capture a transcriptional elongation complex that has been previously found associated with the eleven-nineteen leukemia protein (ENL). We show that this complex consists of a tight core stabilized by recursive protein-protein interactions. This central part integrates histone H3 lysine 79 methylation, RNA Polymerase II (RNA Pol II) phosphorylation, and MLL fusion partners to stimulate transcriptional elongation as evidenced by RNA tethering assays. Coimmunoprecipitations indicated that MLL fusions are incorporated into this complex, causing a constitutive recruitment of elongation activity to MLL target loci. Chromatin immunoprecipitations (ChIP) of the homeobox gene A cluster confirmed a close relationship between binding of MLL fusions and transcript levels. A time-resolved ChIP utilizing a conditional MLL fusion singled out H3K79 methylation as the primary parameter correlated with target expression. The presence of MLL fusion proteins also kept RNA Pol II in an actively elongating state and prevented accumulation of inhibitory histone methylation on target chromatin. Hox loci remained open and productive in the presence of MLL fusion activity even under conditions of forced differentiation. Finally, MLL-transformed cells were particularly sensitive to pharmacological inhibition of RNA Pol II phosphorylation, pointing to a potential treatment for MLL. In summary, we show aberrant transcriptional elongation as a novel mechanism for oncogenic transformation.

Tashiro H, Mizutani-Noguchi M, Shirasaki R, Shirafuji N
Acute myelogenous leukemia cells with the MLL-ELL translocation convert morphologically and functionally into adherent myofibroblasts.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010; 391(1):592-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone marrow-myofibroblasts, a major component of bone marrow-stroma, are reported to originate from hematopoietic stem cells. We show in this paper that non-adherent leukemia blasts can change into myofibroblasts. When myeloblasts from two cases of acute myelogenous leukemia with a fusion product comprising mixed lineage leukemia and RNA polymerase II elongation factor, were cultured long term, their morphology changed to that of myofibroblasts with similar molecular characteristics to the parental myeloblasts. The original leukemia blasts, when cultured on the leukemia blast-derived myofibroblasts, grew extensively. Leukemia blasts can create their own microenvironment for proliferation.

Zhou J, Feng X, Ban B, et al.
Elongation factor ELL (Eleven-Nineteen Lysine-rich Leukemia) acts as a transcription factor for direct thrombospondin-1 regulation.
J Biol Chem. 2009; 284(28):19142-52 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The eleven-nineteen lysine-rich leukemia (ELL) gene undergoes translocation and fuses in-frame to the multiple lineage leukemia gene in a substantial proportion of patients suffering from acute forms of leukemia. Studies show that ELL indirectly modulates transcription by serving as a regulator for transcriptional elongation as well as for p53, U19/Eaf2, and steroid receptor activities. Our in vitro and in vivo data demonstrate that ELL could also serve as a transcriptional factor to directly induce transcription of the thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1) gene. Experiments using ELL deletion mutants established that full-length ELL is required for the TSP-1 up-regulation and that the transactivation domain likely resides in the carboxyl terminus. Moreover, the DNA binding domain may localize to the first 45 amino acids of ELL. Not surprisingly, multiple lineage leukemia-ELL, which lacks these amino acids, did not induce expression from the TSP-1 promoter. In addition, the ELL core-response element appears to localize in the -1426 to -1418 region of the TSP-1 promoter. Finally, studies using zebrafish confirmed that ELL regulates TSP-1 mRNA expression in vivo, and ELL could inhibit zebrafish vasculogenesis, at least in part, through up-regulating TSP-1. Given the importance of TSP-1 as an anti-angiogenic protein, our findings may have important ramifications for better understanding cancer.

Chantrain CF, Sauvage D, Brichard B, et al.
Neonatal acute myeloid leukemia in an infant whose mother was exposed to diethylstilboestrol in utero.
Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2009; 53(2):220-2 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report on an acute myeloid leukemia in a neonate whose mother was exposed to diethylstilboestrol in utero. The newborn presented with leukemia cutis, hemorrhagic skin lesions, hyperleucocytosis and disseminated intravascular coagulation. A bone marrow examination confirmed the diagnosis of acute monocytic leukemia with a t(11;19) MLL-ELL fusion transcript. Chemotherapy was initiated but the child developed a bilateral pulmonary infection that led to fatal respiratory distress. This case shows acute myeloid leukemia and the third pediatric leukemia reported after maternal diethylstilboestrol exposure.

Li Z, Luo RT, Mi S, et al.
Consistent deregulation of gene expression between human and murine MLL rearrangement leukemias.
Cancer Res. 2009; 69(3):1109-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Important biological and pathologic properties are often conserved across species. Although several mouse leukemia models have been well established, the genes deregulated in both human and murine leukemia cells have not been studied systematically. We performed a serial analysis of gene expression in both human and murine MLL-ELL or MLL-ENL leukemia cells and identified 88 genes that seemed to be significantly deregulated in both types of leukemia cells, including 57 genes not reported previously as being deregulated in MLL-associated leukemias. These changes were validated by quantitative PCR. The most up-regulated genes include several HOX genes (e.g., HOX A5, HOXA9, and HOXA10) and MEIS1, which are the typical hallmark of MLL rearrangement leukemia. The most down-regulated genes include LTF, LCN2, MMP9, S100A8, S100A9, PADI4, TGFBI, and CYBB. Notably, the up-regulated genes are enriched in gene ontology terms, such as gene expression and transcription, whereas the down-regulated genes are enriched in signal transduction and apoptosis. We showed that the CpG islands of the down-regulated genes are hypermethylated. We also showed that seven individual microRNAs (miRNA) from the mir-17-92 cluster, which are overexpressed in human MLL rearrangement leukemias, are also consistently overexpressed in mouse MLL rearrangement leukemia cells. Nineteen possible targets of these miRNAs were identified, and two of them (i.e., APP and RASSF2) were confirmed further by luciferase reporter and mutagenesis assays. The identification and validation of consistent changes of gene expression in human and murine MLL rearrangement leukemias provide important insights into the genetic base for MLL-associated leukemogenesis.

Kakihana K, Kubo F, Wakabayashi S, et al.
A novel variant form of MLL-ELL fusion transcript with t(11;19)(q23;p13.1) in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia transforming to acute myeloid leukemia.
Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2008; 184(2):109-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
MLL located at 11q23 is fused with a variety of partner genes by recurrent chromosomal translocations in acute leukemias. ELL, the MLL partner gene located on chromosome 19p13.1, encodes an RNA polymerase II transcriptional elongation factor, which also possesses the N-terminal region involved in the inhibition of transcription initiation. Here we report a case of chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) with a 46,XY,t(11;19)(q23;p13.1) karyotype that transformed to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) without showing any karyotypic evolution. Interphase fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis showed the split MLL signals in 95% of bone marrow cells when the diagnosis of CMML was made and the percentage of blasts was 1.2%. Sequence analysis of reverse-transcriptional polymerase chain reaction product revealed a novel variant form of MLL-ELL transcript in which MLL exon 10 was fused to ELL exon 3. MLL has been fused to ELL exon 2 in all the previously reported MLL-ELL transcripts, which have always been associated with AML. It is deduced that the variant form of MLL-ELL may be defective not only in inhibition of transcription initiation, but also in transcriptional elongation. Thus, a possibility is raised that the unique clinical presentation of the present case with t(11;19)(q23;p13.1) might be related to the variant form of MLL-ELL.

Cano F, Pannel R, Follows GA, Rabbitts TH
Preclinical modeling of cytosine arabinoside response in Mll-Enl translocator mouse leukemias.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2008; 7(3):730-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Mouse models of human cancer are a potential preclinical setting for drug testing and for development of methods for delivery of macromolecular drugs to tumors. We have assessed a mouse model of leukemia caused by Mll-Enl protein fusion as a preclinical situation in which myeloid-lineage leukemia results from de novo occurrence of chromosomal translocations between Mll and Enl genes. Here, we show that the mouse leukemias respond to cytosine arabinoside, a frontline treatment for human leukemia. The observations show that the myeloid cells are susceptible to the drug and the mice undergo a remission that comprises a reduction of the myeloid population of cells and recovery of the lymphoid population. This translocator model should therefore prove useful for future drug assessments against the recurrent mixed-lineage leukemia-associated translocations.

Takeuchi M, Nakaseko C, Miyagi S, et al.
Clonal expansion of non-leukemic cells expressing two novel MLL-ELL variants differing in transforming activity.
Leukemia. 2008; 22(4):861-4 [PubMed] Related Publications

Wiederschain D, Yuan ZM
Functional inactivation of P53 as a potential mechanism of MLL leukemogenesis.
Zhong Nan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2006; 31(5):617-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
In multiple types of acute leukemia,a portion of the MLL protein is fused to a variety of other unrelated proteins. The activity of leukemic MLL fusions is believed to be directly contributing to the conversion of normal bone marrow cells into leukemic cancer cells. However, the mechanism of this process has not been fully elucidated. We have recently found that the MLL leukemic fusions can abolish the activity of P53 tumor suppressor protein that actively guards against the appearance of cancer by instructing damaged cells to self-destruct. In contrast to the vast majority of cancers where p53 gene is mutated, very few p53 mutations have been found in leukemias. Our findings suggest that leukemic fusions contribute to disease progression, at least in part, by suppressing the function of P53, which,if proven,may present a novel opportunity to re-activating the P53 pathway in leukemic cells thereby identifying a rational therapeutic approach for managing leukemias where MLL fusions are detected.

Hahn J, Xiao W, Jiang F, et al.
Apoptosis induction and growth suppression by U19/Eaf2 is mediated through its ELL-binding domain.
Prostate. 2007; 67(2):146-53 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: U19/Eaf2 is an androgen-response gene and its downregulation is frequently observed in advanced human prostate cancer. U19/Eaf2 interacts with ELL, a fusion partner of MLL in the (11;19) (q23;p13.1) translocation in acute myeloid leukemia. U19/Eaf2 overexpression induces apoptosis and suppresses xenograft tumor growth.
METHODS: Transfection and colony formation were used to assay for apoptosis and growth suppression of various U19/Eaf2 mutants. Co-immunoprecipitation was performed to test the interaction between the U19/Eaf2 constructs and ELL.
RESULTS: The region of U19/Eaf2 essential for apoptosis and growth suppression was mapped to amino acids 68-113. This region was necessary and sufficient for binding ELL. Co-expression of U19/Eaf2 and ELL in 293 cells lead to significant increase in cell death and growth suppression.
CONCLUSIONS: These observations argue that the interaction with ELL is essential for the induction of apoptosis and growth suppression by U19/Eaf2.

Biggerstaff JS, Liu W, Slovak ML, et al.
A dual-color FISH assay distinguishes between ELL and MLLT1 (ENL) gene rearrangements in t(11;19)-positive acute leukemia.
Leukemia. 2006; 20(11):2046-50 [PubMed] Related Publications

House MG, Schulick RD
Endocrine tumors of the pancreas.
Curr Opin Oncol. 2006; 18(1):23-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Neoplasms of the endocrine pancreas, commonly referenced as pancreatic islet cell tumors, are rare, often well differentiated endocrine neoplasms, whose biology remains poorly characterized. This article reviews the current clinical management of pancreatic islet cell tumors and describes the molecular events that have been studied to guide future therapies of these peculiar neoplasms.
RECENT FINDINGS: While some islet cell tumors arise in association with the MEN-1 syndrome, the majority of these neoplasms are sporadic lesions whose underlying genetic and molecular events remain largely unknown. Recent work has identified changes in gene expression occurring in metastatic and non-metastatic islet cell tumors, which appear to correlate with the occurrence of lymph node and liver metastases. Epigenetic alterations of select tumor suppressor genes may influence patient survival, and the presence of gene promoter methylation may be used as a prognostic marker system. In addition, multiple molecular alterations, including changes in expression of cellular proteins with migratory, cell cycle or angiogenic functions, have been demonstrated to influence islet cell tumor growth, invasion and metastatic spread.
SUMMARY: Understanding the molecular events underlying the biology of pancreatic islet cell tumors will aid the development of accurate prognostic markers and will guide improved therapeutic modalities in the future.

He J, Chen ZX, Xue YQ, et al.
[Detection of fusion genes resulting from chromosome abnormalities in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia].
Zhonghua Yi Xue Yi Chuan Xue Za Zhi. 2005; 22(5):551-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To detect the expression of the fusion genes resulting from chromosome abnormalities in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia(ALL) and its conformity to WHO classification.
METHODS: Sixty-two children with ALL were investigated. The expression of fusion genes was determined by multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), karyotyping (R band) and immunophenotyping (by flow cytometry) were also performed.
RESULTS: Of the 62 patients, 23(37.1%) were found to carry 13 different fusion genes. The patients with immunophenotype of Pre-B-ALL were found to carry: TEL/AML1(3 cases); E2A/PBX1, E2A/HLF, TLS/ERG, MLL/AF4, MLL/AF9, MLL/AF10, MLL/AFX-MLL/AF6-MLL/ELL, MLL/AF6-MLL/ELL, dupMLL (one case for each); and HOX11 (6 cases). The patients with immunophenotype of Pre-T-ALL were found to carry: TAL1D (4 cases, one is also found to have HOX11 expression); and HOX11 (2 cases). The multiplex RT-PCR in combination with chromosome analysis revealed genetic abnormalities in 69.4%(43/62) of childhood ALL.
CONCLUSION: Multiplex RT-PCR combined with chromosome analysis and immunophenotyping can provide reliable and helpful information for the diagnosis, therapy evaluation and prognosis prediction in childhood ALL, which may also serve as a basis on which to implement the criteria of WHO classification.

Jansen MW, van der Velden VH, van Dongen JJ
Efficient and easy detection of MLL-AF4, MLL-AF9 and MLL-ENL fusion gene transcripts by multiplex real-time quantitative RT-PCR in TaqMan and LightCycler.
Leukemia. 2005; 19(11):2016-8 [PubMed] Related Publications

Mitterbauer-Hohendanner G, Mannhalter C
The biological and clinical significance of MLL abnormalities in haematological malignancies.
Eur J Clin Invest. 2004; 34 Suppl 2:12-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
The MLL (Mixed Lineage Leukaemia or Myeloid/Lymphoid Leukaemia) gene on chromosome 11q23 is frequently involved in chromosomal translocations associated with human acute leukaemias. These translocations lead to fusion genes generally resulting in novel chimeric proteins containing the amino terminus of MLL fused in-frame to one of about 30 distinct partner proteins. Abnormalities involving the MLL gene are observed in leukaemias of either lymphoid or myeloid lineage derivation, as well as in poorly differentiated or biphenotypic leukaemias. They are frequently seen in infant patients, and patients with therapy-related secondary AML following treatment with inhibitors of topoisomerase II (epipodophyllotoxins). In the majority of cases, abnormalities involving the MLL gene are associated with a very poor prognostic outcome. In this review, we will discuss some of the recent advances in MLL research resulting from biological as well as clinical studies.

Wiederschain D, Kawai H, Gu J, et al.
Molecular basis of p53 functional inactivation by the leukemic protein MLL-ELL.
Mol Cell Biol. 2003; 23(12):4230-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Eleven Lysine-rich Leukemia (ELL) gene undergoes translocation and fuses in frame to the Multiple Lineage Leukemia (MLL) gene in a substantial proportion of patients suffering from acute forms of leukemia. Molecular mechanisms of cellular transformation by the MLL-ELL fusion are not well understood. Although both MLL-ELL and wild-type ELL can reduce functional activity of p53 tumor suppressor, our data reveal that MLL-ELL is a much more efficient inhibitor of p53 than is wild-type ELL. We also demonstrate for the first time that ELL extreme C terminus [ELL(eCT)] is required for the recruitment of p53 into MLL-ELL nuclear foci and is both necessary and sufficient for the MLL-ELL inhibition of p53-mediated induction of p21 and apoptosis. Finally, our results demonstrate that MLL-ELL requires the presence of intact ELL(eCT) in order to disrupt p53 interactions with p300/CBP coactivator and thus significantly reduce p53 acetylation in vivo. Since ELL(eCT) has recently been shown to be both necessary and sufficient for MLL-ELL-mediated transformation of normal blood progenitors, our data correlate ELL(eCT) contribution to MLL-ELL transformative effects with its ability to functionally inhibit p53.

Polak PE, Simone F, Kaberlein JJ, et al.
ELL and EAF1 are Cajal body components that are disrupted in MLL-ELL leukemia.
Mol Biol Cell. 2003; 14(4):1517-28 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The (11;19)(q23;p13.1) translocation in acute leukemia results in the formation of a chimeric MLL-ELL fusion protein. ELL is an RNA Polymerase II (Pol II) transcriptional elongation factor that interacts with the recently identified EAF1 protein. Here, we show that ELL and EAF1 are components of Cajal bodies (CBs). Although ELL and EAF1 colocalize with p80 coilin, the signature protein of CBs, ELL and EAF1 do not exhibit a direct physical interaction with p80 coilin. Treatment of cells with actinomycin D, DRB, or alpha-amanitin, specific inhibitors of Pol II, disperses ELL and EAF1 from CBs, indicating that localization of ELL and EAF1 in CBs is dependent on active transcription by Pol II. The concentration of ELL and EAF1 in CBs links the transcriptional elongation activity of ELL to the RNA processing functions previously identified in CBs. Strikingly, CBs are disrupted in MLL-ELL leukemia. EAF1 and p80 coilin are delocalized from CBs in murine MLL-ELL leukemia cells and in HeLa cells transiently transfected with MLL-ELL. Nuclear and cytoplasmic fractionation revealed diminished expression of p80 coilin and EAF1 in the nuclei of MLL-ELL leukemia cells [corrected]. These studies are the first demonstration of a direct role of CB components in leukemogenesis.

Simone F, Luo RT, Polak PE, et al.
ELL-associated factor 2 (EAF2), a functional homolog of EAF1 with alternative ELL binding properties.
Blood. 2003; 101(6):2355-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
The (11;19)(q23;p13.1) translocation in acute leukemia results in the formation of an MLL-ELL fusion protein. ELL is an RNA polymerase II elongation factor that interacts with the recently identified EAF1 protein. To characterize the normal functions of ELL and its aberrant activities when fused to MLL, we isolated a second protein that interacts with ELL named EAF2 for ELL Associated Factor 2. EAF2 is highly homologous to EAF1, with 58% identity and 74% amino acid conservation. Using specific antibodies generated to EAF2, we coimmunoprecipitated ELL and EAF2 from multiple cell lines. Confocal microscopy revealed that endogenous EAF2 and ELL colocalized in a nuclear speckled pattern. Database comparisons with EAF2 identified a region with a high content of serine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid residues that is conserved with EAF1 and exhibited amino acid similarity with several translocation partner proteins of MLL, including AF4 and ENL. We found that EAF2 and EAF1 both contain transcriptional activation domains within this region. Using retroviral bone marrow transduction, we observed that a heterologous fusion of EAF2 to MLL immortalized hematopoietic progenitor cells. In contrast to EAF1, EAF2 does not bind to the carboxy-terminus of ELL. We identified a protein-protein interaction domain within the amino-terminus of ELL that binds to both EAF1 and EAF2. This amino-terminal interaction domain is disrupted in the formation of the MLL-ELL fusion protein. Thus, MLL-ELL retains an interaction domain for EAF1 but not for EAF2. Taken together, these data suggest that MLL-ELL may disrupt the normal protein-protein interactions of ELL.

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Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. ELL gene, Cancer Genetics Web: http://www.cancer-genetics.org/ELL.htm Accessed:

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