Recurring chromosomal translocation t(10;17)(p15;q21) present in a subset of human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients creates an aberrant fusion gene termed ZMYND11-MBTD1 (ZM); however, its function remains undetermined. Here, we show that ZM confers primary murine hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells indefinite self-renewal capability ex vivo and causes AML in vivo. Genomics profilings reveal that ZM directly binds to and maintains high expression of pro-leukemic genes including Hoxa, Meis1, Myb, Myc and Sox4. Mechanistically, ZM recruits the NuA4/Tip60 histone acetyltransferase complex to cis-regulatory elements, sustaining an active chromatin state enriched in histone acetylation and devoid of repressive histone marks. Systematic mutagenesis of ZM demonstrates essential requirements of Tip60 interaction and an H3K36me3-binding PWWP (Pro-Trp-Trp-Pro) domain for oncogenesis. Inhibitor of histone acetylation-‘reading’ bromodomain proteins, which act downstream of ZM, is efficacious in treating ZM-induced AML. Collectively, this study demonstrates AML-causing effects of ZM, examines its gene-regulatory roles, and reports an attractive mechanism-guided therapeutic strategy.