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BCOR and its paralog BCORL1 encode subunits of the Polycomb repressive complex 1.1 (PRC1.1) and are recurrently mutated in myeloid malignancies. We show that leukemia-associated BCOR/BCORL1 mutations unlink the PRC1.1 RING-PCGF enzymatic core from the KDM2B-containing chromatin targeting auxiliary subcomplex, either by causing complete protein loss or expression of a C-terminally truncated protein lacking the PCGF Ub-like fold discriminator (PUFD) domain. By uncoupling PRC1.1 repressive function from target genes, BCOR/BCORL1 mutations activate aberrant cell signaling programs that confer acquired resistance to treatment. This study provides a mechanistic basis for Polycomb repressive dysfunction as a key oncogenic driver in myeloid malignancies and identifies a potential strategy for targeted therapy in BCOR-mutated cancer.

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