Identification of a nuclear matrix targeting signal in the leukemia and bone-related AML/CBF-α transcription factors

Congmei Zeng, André J. Van Wijnen, Janet L. Stein, Shari Meyers, Wuhua Sun, Lindsay Shopland, Jeanne B. Lawrence, Sheldon Penman, Jane B. Lian, Gary S. Stein, Scott W. Hiebert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

219 Scopus citations


Transcription factors of the AML (core binding factor-α/polyoma enhancer binding protein 2) class are key transactivators of tissue-specific genes of the hematopoietic and bone lineages. Alternative splicing of the AML-1 gene results in two major AML variants, AML-1 and AML-1B. We show here that the transcriptionally active AML-1B binds to the nuclear matrix, and the inactive AML-1 does not. The association of AML-1B with the nuclear matrix is independent of DNA binding and requires a nuclear matrix targeting signal (NMTS), a 31 amino acid segment near the C terminus that is distinct from nuclear localization signals. A similar NMTS is present in AML-2 and the bone-related AML-3 transcription factors. Fusion of the AML-1B NMTS to the heterologous GAL4-(1-147) protein directs GAL4 to the nuclear matrix. Thus, the NMTS is necessary and sufficient to target the transcriptionally active AML-1B to the nuclear matrix. The loss of the C-terminal domain of AML-1B is a frequent consequence of the leukemia-related t(8;21) and t(3;21) translocations. Our results suggest this loss may be functionally linked to the modified interrelationships between nuclear structure and gene expression characteristic of cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6746-6751
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jun 24 1997

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