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Keywords:

  • Ash2L;
  • CXXC;
  • H3K4;
  • methylation;
  • MLL;
  • RbBP5;
  • SET;
  • TAD;
  • WDR5;
  • Win motif

Several acute lymphoblastic and myelogenous leukemias are correlated with alterations in the human mixed lineage leukemia protein-1 (MLL1) gene. MLL1 is a member of the evolutionarily conserved SET1 family of histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4) methyltransferases, which are required for the regulation of distinct groups of developmentally regulated genes in metazoans. Despite the important biological role of SET1 family enzymes and their involvement in human leukemias, relatively little is understood about how these enzymes work. Here we review several recent structural and biochemical studies that are beginning to shed light on the molecular mechanisms for the regulation of H3K4 methylation by the human MLL1 enzyme.