[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activating FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) mutations have been identified in approximately 30% of patients with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), and recently in a smaller subset of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). To explore the in vivo consequences of an activating FLT3 internal tandem duplication mutation (FLT3-ITD), we created a transgenic mouse model in which FLT3-ITD was expressed under the control of the vav hematopoietic promoter. Five independent lines of vav-FLT3-ITD transgenic mice developed a myeloproliferative disease with high penetrance and a disease latency of 6-12 months. The phenotype was characterized by splenomegaly, megakaryocytic hyperplasia, and marked thrombocythemia, but without leukocytosis, polycythemia, or marrow fibrosis, displaying features reminiscent of the human disease essential thrombocythemia (ET). Clonal immature B- or T-lymphoid disease was observed in two additional founder mice, respectively, that could be secondarily transplanted to recipient mice that rapidly developed lymphoid disease. Treatment of these mice with the FLT3 tyrosine kinase inhibitor, PKC412, resulted in suppression of disease and a statistically significant prolongation of survival. These results demonstrate that FLT3-ITD is capable of inducing myeloproliferative as well as lymphoid disease, and indicate that small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors may be an effective treatment for lymphoid malignancies in humans that are associated with activating mutations in FLT3.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Homozygous loss of function of Runx1 (Runt-related transcription factor 1 gene) during murine development results in an embryonic lethal phenotype characterized by a complete lack of definitive hematopoiesis. In light of recent reports of disparate requirements for hematopoietic transcription factors during development as opposed to adult hematopoiesis, we used a conditional gene-targeting strategy to effect the loss of Runx1 function in adult mice. In contrast with the critical role of Runx1 during development, Runx1 was not essential for hematopoiesis in the adult hematopoietic compartment, though a number of significant hematopoietic abnormalities were observed. Runx1 excision had lineage-specific effects on B- and T-cell maturation and pronounced inhibition of common lymphocyte progenitor production. Runx1 excision also resulted in inefficient platelet production. Of note, Runx1-deficient mice developed a mild myeloproliferative phenotype characterized by an increase in peripheral blood neutrophils, an increase in myeloid progenitor populations, and extramedullary hematopoiesis composed of maturing myeloid and erythroid elements. These findings indicate that Runx1 deficiency has markedly different consequences during development compared with adult hematopoiesis, and they provide insight into the phenotypic manifestations of Runx1 deficiency in hematopoietic malignancies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To better understand the origin of leukemic stem cells, we tested the hypothesis that all leukemia oncogenes could transform committed myeloid progenitor cells lacking the capacity for self-renewal, as has recently been reported for MLL-ENL. Flow-sorted populations of common myeloid progenitors and granulocyte-monocyte progenitors were transduced with the oncogenes MOZ-TIF2 and BCR-ABL, respectively. MOZ-TIF2-transduced progenitors could be serially replated in methylcellulose cultures and continuously propagated in liquid culture, and resulted in an acute myeloid leukemia in vivo that could be serially transplanted. In contrast, BCR-ABL transduction conferred none of these properties to hematopoietic progenitors. These data demonstrate that some, but not all, leukemia oncogenes can confer properties of leukemic stem cells to hematopoietic progenitors destined to undergo apoptotic cell death.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: FLT3 is constitutively activated by internal tandem duplications (ITDs) in the juxtamembrane domain or by activation loop mutations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). We tested the sensitivity of 8 activation loop mutations to the small molecule FLT3 inhibitor, MLN518. Each FLT3 activation loop mutant, including D835Y, D835A, D835E, D835H, D835N, D835V, D835del, and I836del, transformed Ba/F3 cells to factor-independent proliferation and had constitutive tyrosine kinase activation, as assessed by FLT3 autophosphorylation and activation of downstream effectors, including STAT5 and ERK. MLN518 inhibited FLT3 autophosphorylation and phosphorylation of STAT5 and ERK in FLT3-ITD-transformed Ba/F3 cells with an IC(50) (50% inhibition of cell viability) of approximately 500 nM. However, there was a broad spectrum of sensitivity among the 8 activation loop mutants, with IC(50) ranging from approximately 500 nM to more than 10 microM for the inhibition of phosphorylation of FLT3, STAT5, and ERK. The relative sensitivity of the mutants to MLN518 in biochemical assays correlated with the cellular IC(50) for cytokine-independent proliferation of FLT3-transformed Ba/F3 cells in the presence of MLN518. Thus, certain activation loop mutations in FLT3 simultaneously confer resistance to small molecule inhibitors. These findings have implications for the evaluation of responses in clinical trials with FLT3 inhibitors and provide a strategy to screen for compounds that can overcome resistance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: FIP1L1-PDGFRalpha causes hypereosinophilic syndrome (HES) and is inhibited by the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib (Gleevec). Imatinib is a potent inhibitor of ABL, ARG, PDGFRalpha, PDGFRbeta, and KIT and induces durable hematologic responses in HES patients. However, we observed relapse with resistance to imatinib as consequence of a T674I mutation in FIP1L1-PDGFRalpha, analogous to the imatinib-resistant T315I mutation in BCR-ABL. We developed a murine bone marrow transplant model of FIP1L1-PDGFRalpha-induced myeloproliferative disease to evaluate the efficacy of PKC412, an alternative inhibitor of PDGFRalpha, for the treatment of HES. PKC412 is effective for treatment of FIP1L1-PDGFRalpha-induced disease and of imatinib-induced resistance due to the T674I mutation. Our data establish PKC412 as molecularly targeted therapy for HES and other diseases expressing activated PDGFRalpha and demonstrate the potential of alternative kinase inhibitors to overcome resistance in target tyrosine kinases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Up to 30% of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) patients harbor an activating internal tandem duplication (ITD) within the juxtamembrane domain of the FLT3 receptor, suggesting that it may be a target for kinase inhibitor therapy. For this purpose we have developed CT53518, a potent antagonist that inhibits FLT3, platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), and c-Kit (IC(50) approximately 200 nM), while other tyrosine or serine/threonine kinases were not significantly inhibited. In Ba/F3 cells expressing different FLT3-ITD mutants, CT53518 inhibited IL-3-independent cell growth and FLT3-ITD autophosphorylation with an IC(50) of 10-100 nM. In human FLT3-ITD-positive AML cell lines, CT53518 induced apoptosis and inhibited FLT3-ITD phosphorylation, cellular proliferation, and signaling through the MAP kinase and PI3 kinase pathways. Therapeutic efficacy of CT53518 was demonstrated both in a nude mouse model and in a murine bone marrow transplant model of FLT3-ITD-induced disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) cells invariably express aberrant fusion proteins involving the retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARalpha). The most common fusion partner is promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML), which is fused to RARalpha in the balanced reciprocal chromosomal translocation, t(15;17)(q22:q11). Expression of PML/RARalpha from the cathepsin G promoter in transgenic mice causes a nonfatal myeloproliferative syndrome in all mice; about 15% go on to develop APL after a long latent period, suggesting that additional mutations are required for the development of APL. A candidate target gene for a second mutation is FLT3, because it is mutated in approximately 40% of human APL cases. Activating mutations in FLT3, including internal tandem duplication (ITD) in the juxtamembrane domain, transform hematopoietic cell lines to factor independent growth. FLT3-ITDs also induce a myeloproliferative disease in a murine bone marrow transplant model, but are not sufficient to cause AML. Here, we test the hypothesis that PML/RARalpha can cooperate with FLT3-ITD to induce an APL-like disease in the mouse. Retroviral transduction of FLT3-ITD into bone marrow cells obtained from PML/RARalpha transgenic mice results in a short latency APL-like disease with complete penetrance. This disease resembles the APL-like disease that occurs with long latency in the PML/RARalpha transgenics, suggesting that activating mutations in FLT3 can functionally substitute for the additional mutations that occur during mouse APL progression. The leukemia is transplantable to secondary recipients and is ATRA responsive. These observations document cooperation between PML/RARalpha and FLT3-ITD in development of the murine APL phenotype.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2002 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The TEL/PDGFbetaR gene, which encodes a fusion protein containing the ETS-family member TEL fused to the protein-tyrosine kinase domain of the platelet-derived growth factor receptor-beta (PDGFbetaR), confers interleukin 3 (IL-3)-independent growth on Ba/F3 hematopoietic cells. TEL/PDGFbetaR mutants have been generated that contain tyrosine-to-phenylalanine (Tyr-->Phe) substitutions at phosphorylation sites present in the native PDGFbetaR to assess the role of these sites in cell transformation by TEL/PDGFbetaR. Similar to previous findings in a murine bone marrow transplantation model, full transformation of Ba/F3 cells to IL-3-independent survival and proliferation required the TEL/PDGFbetaR juxtamembrane and carboxy terminal phosphorylation sites. In contrast to previous reports concerning comparable mutants in the native PDGFbetaR, each of the TEL/PDGFbetaR mutants is fully active as a protein-tyrosine kinase. Expression of the TEL/PDGFbetaR fusion protein causes hyperphosphorylation and activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT5), and this activation of STAT5 requires the juxtamembrane Tyr579 and Tyr581 in the TEL/PDGFbetaR fusion. Hyperphosphosphorylation of phospholipase Cgamma (PLCgamma) and the p85 subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) requires the carboxy terminal tyrosine residues of TEL/PDGFbetaR. Thus, full transformation of Ba/F3 cells by TEL/PDGFbetaR requires engagement of PI3K and PLCgamma and activation of STAT5. Taken together with the growth properties of cells transformed by the TEL/PDGFbetaR variants, these findings indicate that a minimal combination of these signaling intermediates contributes to hematopoietic transformation by the wild-type TEL/PDGFbetaR fusion. (Blood. 2001;98:3390-3397)