Understanding the role of KMT2D in MLL-AF9 acute myeloid leukemia

Damon Runyon - Mark Foundation Physician-Scientist (2023-Present)

Nicole Cruz, MD, The Rockefeller University

Nicole Cruz, MD

About 70% of pediatric leukemias and up to 10% of adult leukemias are caused by a genetic disruption in which the mixed lineage leukemia (MLL) 1 gene breaks off and attaches to a different chromosome. This event, known as a chromosomal translocation, gives rise to a distinct subset of leukemias called MLL-rearranged acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Studies have shown that a protein called KMT2D plays a critical role in the development of MLL-rearranged AML. However, the potential of KMT2D as a novel therapeutic target remains underexplored. Dr. Cruz will use molecular biology, epigenetic, and biochemistry approaches to describe the precise molecular mechanism by which KMT2D regulates gene expression in MLL-rearranged AML. Her work will provide insight into potentially targetable proteins for this aggressive blood cancer.

Content courtesy of Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation