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Gene Review

Meis1  -  Meis homeobox 1

Mus musculus

Synonyms: C530044H18Rik, Evi8, Homeobox protein Meis1, Myeloid ecotropic viral integration site 1
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Disease relevance of Meis1

  • The Hoxa9 and Meis1 genes represent important oncogenic collaborators activated in a significant proportion of human leukemias with genetic alterations in the MLL gene [1].
  • The expression of Meis1 (a novel Pbx-related homeobox gene) and either Hoxa7 or Hoxa9 are coactivated by retroviral integration in BXH2 murine myeloid leukemias (T Nakamura, DA Largaespada, JD Shaughnessy Jr, NA Jenkins and NG Copeland (1996) Nature Genet. 12: 149-153) [2].
  • We inactivated the Meis1 gene in mice and found that Meis1 mutant mice die between embryonic days 11.5 and 14.5, showing internal hemorrhage, liver hypoplasia, and anemia [3].
  • Upregulation of Meis1 and HoxA9 in acute lymphocytic leukemias with the t(4 : 11) abnormality [4].
  • A preliminary DNA microarray screen indicated that the Meis1, HoxA9 and AC133 genes were overexpressed in ALLs with t(4 : 11), compared to ALLs with very similar phenotype but without the chromosomal abnormality [4].

High impact information on Meis1

  • We also show that nontransgenic DCs presenting peptides derived from the human HOX11 protein are highly efficient stimulators of autologous T cells, whereas transgenic T cells are nonresponsive to peptides derived from the HOX11 transgene and the murine Meis1 protein [5].
  • Molecular dissection of Meis1 reveals 2 domains required for leukemia induction and a key role for Hoxa gene activation [1].
  • Hypomorphic mutation of the TALE gene Prep1 (pKnox1) causes a major reduction of Pbx and Meis proteins and a pleiotropic embryonic phenotype [6].
  • In contrast, mice transplanted with bone marrow (BM) cells cotransduced with NUP98-HOXD13 and the HOX cofactor Meis1 rapidly developed lethal and transplantable acute myeloid leukemia (AML), with a median disease onset of 75 days [7].
  • Although Hoxa9 and Meis1 can bind DNA as heterodimers, both can also heterodimerize with Pbx proteins [8].

Biological context of Meis1


Anatomical context of Meis1


Physical interactions of Meis1

  • Chimeric oncoprotein E2a-Pbx1 is unable to bind DNA with Meis1, due to the deletion of amino-terminal Pbx1 sequences following fusion with E2a [9].

Regulatory relationships of Meis1

  • Therefore, Hoxa9 evokes a cytokine-selective block in differentiation by a mechanism that does not require Meis gene expression or interaction with Pbx through the PIM [8].

Other interactions of Meis1

  • Comparative genomic analysis of the striped bass Hoxb2a-b3a intergenic region to those from zebrafish, pufferfish, human, and mouse demonstrated the presence of common Meis, Hox/Pbx, Krox-20, and Box 1 elements, which are necessary for rhombomere 3, 4, and 5 expression [12].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Meis1

  • Sequence analysis revealed extensive amino acid similarity among the three Meis proteins both within and outside of the homeodomain [2].
  • Arrays identified c-Myb and a c-Myb target (Gstm1) among the genes with the strongest response to Hoxa9/Meis1. c-Myb overexpression was verified by Northern blot and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) [13].
  • Semiquantitative RT-PCR identified both transcripts for Meis 1 (Meis 1a and Meis 1b) in all regions [14].
  • Immunohistochemistry localized Meis 1 in the nuclei of interstitial cells throughout the entire organ and the vas deferens [14].


  1. Molecular dissection of Meis1 reveals 2 domains required for leukemia induction and a key role for Hoxa gene activation. Mamo, A., Krosl, J., Kroon, E., Bijl, J., Thompson, A., Mayotte, N., Girard, S., Bisaillon, R., Beslu, N., Featherstone, M., Sauvageau, G. Blood (2006) [Pubmed]
  2. Identification of a new family of Pbx-related homeobox genes. Nakamura, T., Jenkins, N.A., Copeland, N.G. Oncogene (1996) [Pubmed]
  3. The homeodomain protein Meis1 is essential for definitive hematopoiesis and vascular patterning in the mouse embryo. Azcoitia, V., Aracil, M., Martínez-A, C., Torres, M. Dev. Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  4. Upregulation of Meis1 and HoxA9 in acute lymphocytic leukemias with the t(4 : 11) abnormality. Rozovskaia, T., Feinstein, E., Mor, O., Foa, R., Blechman, J., Nakamura, T., Croce, C.M., Cimino, G., Canaani, E. Oncogene (2001) [Pubmed]
  5. Induction of tolerance to immunogenic tumor antigens associated with lymphomagenesis in HOX11 transgenic mice. Rosic-Kablar, S., Chan, K., Reis, M.D., Dubé, I.D., Hough, M.R. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2000) [Pubmed]
  6. Hypomorphic mutation of the TALE gene Prep1 (pKnox1) causes a major reduction of Pbx and Meis proteins and a pleiotropic embryonic phenotype. Ferretti, E., Villaescusa, J.C., Di Rosa, P., Fernandez-Diaz, L.C., Longobardi, E., Mazzieri, R., Miccio, A., Micali, N., Selleri, L., Ferrari, G., Blasi, F. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  7. Induction of acute myeloid leukemia in mice by the human leukemia-specific fusion gene NUP98-HOXD13 in concert with Meis1. Pineault, N., Buske, C., Feuring-Buske, M., Abramovich, C., Rosten, P., Hogge, D.E., Aplan, P.D., Humphries, R.K. Blood (2003) [Pubmed]
  8. Hoxa9 immortalizes a granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor-dependent promyelocyte capable of biphenotypic differentiation to neutrophils or macrophages, independent of enforced meis expression. Calvo, K.R., Sykes, D.B., Pasillas, M., Kamps, M.P. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  9. Meis proteins are major in vivo DNA binding partners for wild-type but not chimeric Pbx proteins. Chang, C.P., Jacobs, Y., Nakamura, T., Jenkins, N.A., Copeland, N.G., Cleary, M.L. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  10. Inhibition of myeloid differentiation by Hoxa9, Hoxb8, and Meis homeobox genes. Fujino, T., Yamazaki, Y., Largaespada, D.A., Jenkins, N.A., Copeland, N.G., Hirokawa, K., Nakamura, T. Exp. Hematol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  11. Expression of Meis and Pbx genes and their protein products in the developing telencephalon: implications for regional differentiation. Toresson, H., Parmar, M., Campbell, K. Mech. Dev. (2000) [Pubmed]
  12. Evolutionary divergence of vertebrate Hoxb2 expression patterns and transcriptional regulatory loci. Scemama, J.L., Hunter, M., McCallum, J., Prince, V., Stellwag, E. J. Exp. Zool. (2002) [Pubmed]
  13. c-Myb is an essential downstream target for homeobox-mediated transformation of hematopoietic cells. Hess, J.L., Bittner, C.B., Zeisig, D.T., Bach, C., Fuchs, U., Borkhardt, A., Frampton, J., Slany, R.K. Blood (2006) [Pubmed]
  14. 5' hox genes and meis 1, a hox-DNA binding cofactor, are expressed in the adult mouse epididymis. Bomgardner, D., Hinton, B.T., Turner, T.T. Biol. Reprod. (2003) [Pubmed]
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