Opatz S, Polzer H, Herold T, Konstandin NP, Ksienzyk B, Zellmeier E, Vosberg S, Graf A, Krebs S, Blum H, Hopfner KP, Kakadia PM, Schneider S, Dufour A, Braess J, Sauerland MC, Berdel WE, Büchner T, Woermann BJ, Hiddemann W, Spiekermann K, Bohlander SK, Gr
The t(8;21) and inv(16)/t(16;16) rearrangements affecting the core-binding factors RUNX1 and CBFB, respectively, are found in 15% to 20% of adult de novo acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cases and are associated with a favorable prognosis. Since the expression of the fusion genes CBFB/MYH11 or RUNX1/RUNX1T1 alone is not sufficient to cause leukemia, we performed exome sequencing of an AML sample with an inv(16) to identify mutations, which may collaborate with the CBFB/MYH11 fusion during leukemogenesis. We discovered an N676K mutation in the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding domain (tyrosine kinase domain 1 [TKD1]) of the fms-related tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) gene. In a cohort of 84 de novo AML patients with a CBFB/MYH11 rearrangement and in 36 patients with a RUNX1/RUNX1T1 rearrangement, the FLT3 N676K mutation was identified in 5 and 1 patients, respectively (5 [6%] of 84; 1 [3%] of 36). The FLT3-N676K mutant alone leads to factor-independent growth in Ba/F3 cells and, together with a concurrent FLT3-ITD (internal tandem duplication), confers resistance to the FLT3 protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors (PTKIs) PKC412 and AC220. Gene expression analysis of AML patients with CBFB/MYH11 rearrangement and FLT3 N676K mutation showed a trend toward a specific expression profile. Ours is the first report of recurring FLT3 N676 mutations in core-binding factor (CBF) leukemias and suggests a defined subgroup of CBF leukemias. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT00266136.