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EVI1 expression is associated with poor prognosis in myeloid leukaemia, which can result from Chr.3q alterations that juxtapose enhancers to induce EVI1 expression via long-range chromatin interactions. More often, however, EVI1 expression occurs unrelated to 3q alterations, and it remained unclear if, in these cases, EVI1 expression is similarly caused by aberrant enhancer activation. Here, we report that, in EVI1+3q- myeloid leukaemia cells, the EVI1 promoter interacts via long-range chromatin interactions with promoters of distally located, active genes, rather than with enhancer elements. Unlike in 3q+ cells, EVI1 expression and long-range interactions appear to not depend on CTCF/cohesin, though EVI1+3q- cells utilise an EVI1 promoter-proximal site to enhance its expression that is also involved in CTCF-mediated looping in 3q+ cells. Long-range interactions in 3q- cells connect EVI1 to promoters of multiple genes, whose transcription correlates with EVI1 in EVI1+3q- cell lines, suggesting a shared mechanism of transcriptional regulation. In line with this, CRISPR interference-induced silencing of two of these sites minimally, but consistently reduced EVI1 expression. Together, we provide novel evidence of features associated with EVI1 expression in 3q- leukaemia and consolidate the view that EVI1 in 3q- leukaemia is largely promoter-driven, potentially involving long-distance promoter clustering.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Haematol

Publication Date



EVI1, MECOM, chromatin interaction, enhancer, oncogene regulation