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LEUKEMOGENESIS

Fusion proteins form onco-condensates

A spectrum of high-risk leukemias is caused by recurrent chromosomal translocations that result in the expression of fusion proteins. In a recent article in Nature, it has been demonstrated that the oncogenic properties of one such fusion, NUP98–HOXA9, are linked to its ability to self-associate and function through aberrantly phase-separated “onco-condensates.

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Fig. 1: Fusion proteins form transcriptional hubs or onco-condensates that drive leukemogenesis.

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Acknowledgements

We thank M. Rice for help with generating the figure. The authors acknowledge funding from the NIH (R01GM112846 and R01NS121114 to T.M and R01GM120625 and R01NS108376 to A.Z.A), the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Research Collaborative on Membrane-less Organelles in Health and Disease to T.M., and the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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Correspondence to Tanja Mittag or Aseem Z. Ansari.

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T.M. is a consultant for Faze Medicines, and A.Z.A is a cofounder of and consultant for Design Therapeutics. These affiliations have not influenced the scientific content of this piece.

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Mittag, T., Ansari, A.Z. Fusion proteins form onco-condensates. Nat Struct Mol Biol 28, 543–545 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41594-021-00608-3

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