HOXA9 is a homeodomain-containing transcription factor that has an important role in hematopoietic stem cell expansion and is commonly deregulated in acute leukemias. A variety of upstream genetic alterations in acute myeloid leukemia lead to overexpression of HOXA9, which is a strong predictor of poor prognosis. In many cases, HOXA9 has been shown to be necessary for maintaining leukemic transformation; however, the molecular mechanisms through which it promotes leukemogenesis remain elusive. Recent work has established that HOXA9 regulates downstream gene expression through binding at promoter distal enhancers along with a subset of cell-specific cofactor and collaborator proteins. Increasing efforts are being made to identify both the critical cofactors and target genes required for maintaining transformation in HOXA9-overexpressing leukemias. With continued advances in understanding HOXA9-mediated transformation, there is a wealth of opportunity for developing novel therapeutics that would be applicable for greater than 50% of AML with overexpression of HOXA9.