Transforming growth-interacting factor (TGIF) is a homeobox transcriptional repressor that has been implicated in holoprosencephaly and various types of cancer. TGIF is expressed in hematopoietic stem cells and modulates TGF-beta and retinoic acid (RA) signaling, both of which play an important role in hematopoiesis. We recently reported that TGIF's levels correlate inversely with survival in patients with acute myelogenous leukemia. Here we present the first direct evidence of a role for TGIF in myelopoiesis. We used short hairpin RNA interference to define the effects of TGIF knockdown on proliferation and differentiation of myeloid leukemia-derived cell lines. Decreased TGIF expression resulted in reduced proliferation and differentiation and lower expression of CEBPbeta, CEBPepsilon, PU.1 and RUNX1, key myeloid transcription factors. Furthermore, TGF-beta signaling was increased and RA signaling was decreased. Further insights into the molecular basis of TGIF's effects were provided by a genome-wide chromatin immunoprecipitation-based elucidation of TGIF target genes. Together, these data suggest that TGIF has an important role myelopoiesis and may regulate the balance between proliferation and differentiation. Reduced TGIF expression could tip the balance toward quiescence thus providing progenitor as well as hematopoietic stem cells protection from anti-cycle agents.