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Abstract

The direct targeting of chromatin-associated proteins is increasingly recognized as a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer. In this review, we discuss a prominent example, namely, small-molecule inhibitors that target the menin–KMT2A interaction. These molecules are currently being investigated in clinical trials and showing significant promise. We describe the unique specificity of menin–KMT2A protein complexes for the transcriptional regulation of a small subset of genes that drive developmental and leukemic gene expression. We review the chromatin-associated KMT2A complex and the protein–protein interaction between menin and KMT2A that is essential for the maintenance of different types of cancer cells, but most notably acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We also summarize the development of menin inhibitors and their effects on chromatin. Finally, we discuss the promising early results from clinical trials in patients with AML and the recent discovery of therapy-resistant menin mutants that validate menin as a therapeutic target but also may present therapeutic challenges.

Expected final online publication date for the , Volume 8 is April 2024. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-cancerbio-062822-021934
2024-01-02
2024-04-19
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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-cancerbio-062822-021934
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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