Hoxa9, Meis1 and Pbx1 encode homeodomaincontaining proteins implicated in leukemic transformation in both mice and humans. Hoxa9, Meis1 and Pbx1 proteins have been shown to physically interact with each other, as Hoxa9 cooperatively binds consensus DNA sequences with Meis1 and with Pbx1, while Meis1 and Pbx1 form heterodimers in both the presence and absence of DNA. In this study, we sought to determine if Hoxa9 could transform hemopoietic cells in collaboration with either Pbx1 or Meis1. Primary bone marrow cells, retrovirally engineered to overexpress Hoxa9 and Meis1a simultaneously, induced growth factor-dependent oligoclonal acute myeloid leukemia in <3 months when transplanted into syngenic mice. In contrast, overexpression of Hoxa9, Meis1a or Pbx1b alone, or the combination of Hoxa9 and Pbx1b failed to transform these cells acutely within 6 months post-transplantation. Similar results were obtained when FDC-P1 cells, engineered to overexpress these genes, were transplanted to syngenic recipients. Thus, these studies demonstrate a selective collaboration between a member of the Hox family and one of its DNA-binding partners in transformation of hemopoietic cells.