Cancer research: key function of important leukaemia gene demystified

The oncogene EVI1 causes an aggressive type of leukaemia, but its exact function has been a mystery. A research team led by scientists from Vienna now showed that EVI1’s cancer causing effect relies on activating a single gene – the stem cell transcription factor ERG. The finding is reported in the journal Blood.

EVI1 leukemia cells before (left) and after (right) suppression of the transcription factor ERG. Leukemia cells change their morphology from stem-cell like blasts to differentiated myeloid cells that stop dividing. Digital composition for illustration.

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