Runx1/AML1, a chromosome 21q22 hematopoietic regulator, is frequently translocated in leukemia. Its protein product, a relatively weak transcriptional activator, becomes an effective transcriptional enhancer or repressor, when co-operating with transcriptional co-activators or co-repressors. Runx1/AML1 association with its partners is disrupted in leukemia. For example, Runx1/AML1 mutations and translocations (e.g. t(8;21), t(12;21) and t(3;21)) impair binding of Runx1/AML1-CBFbeta complexes to Runt motifs in myelopoietically active promoters, preventing normal hematopoiesis. However, Runx1/AML1-associated translocations are not leukemogenic in animal models, suggesting the involvement of yet unidentified regulatory proteins. New candidates are cholinesterases, inhibition of which increases leukemic risk in a manner potentially associated with Runx1/AML1.