HOXA9 activates transcription of the gene encoding gp91Phox during myeloid differentiation

Ling Bei, Yu Feng Lu, Elizabeth A. Eklund*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


The CYBB gene encodes gp91Phox; a component of the phagocyte respiratory burst oxidase. CYBB transcription is restricted to myeloid cells differentiated beyond the promyelocyte stage. In undifferentiated myeloid cells, the homeodomain (HD) transcription factor HoxA10 represses CYBB transcription via a cis element in the proximal promoter. During myelopoiesis, phosphorylation of conserved tyrosine residues in the HD decreases HoxA10 binding to this CYBB cis element. In the current studies, we found HoxA9 activates CYBB transcription in differentiated myeloid cells via the same cis element. We find HoxA9-mediated CYBB-transcription requires Pbx1 but is inhibited by Meis1. Additionally, phosphorylation of the conserved HD tyrosines increases HoxA9 binding to the CYBB promoter. The HOXA9 gene is involved in leukemia-associated translocations with the gene encoding Nup98, a nucleopore protein. We find expression of a Nup98-hoxA9 fusion protein blocks HoxA9-induced CYBB transcription in differentiating myeloid cells. In comparison to HoxA9, Nup98-hoxA9 has greater binding affinity for the CYBB cis element, but binding is not altered by HD tyrosine phosphorylation. Therefore, these studies identify CYBB as a common target gene repressed by HoxA10 and activated by HoxA9. These studies also suggest overexpression of Meis1 or Nup98-hoxA9 represses myeloid-specific gene transcription, thereby contributing to differentiation block in leukemogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12359-12370
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number13
StatePublished - Apr 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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