MLL-based chromosomal translocations in the pathogenesis of childhood leukemia.
The fundamental understanding of the mechanisms of development of human malignancies is of central importance to our comprehension of human cancers, and ultimately, essential to the design of effective treatments. Dr. Ali Shilatifard's laboratory has discovered the ELL (eleven nineteen lymphoid leukemia) family of proteins. The gene encoding ELL recombines with another gene, MLL, and is involved in the development of acute human leukemia. The goal of the research in Shilatifard's laboratory is to decipher the molecular role of both ELL and MLL proteins in both normal cellular regulation and during the development of acute leukemia. The clinical treatments of malignancies associated with MLL are still very primitive. A thorough understanding of the basic biochemical role of these factors, which is a major goal of this research project, will contribute significantly to the development of target-specific treatments.