Internal tandem duplication mutations in the tyrosine kinase domain of FLT3 display a higher oncogenic potential than the activation loop D835Y mutation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) remains the most common form of acute leukemia among adults and accounts for a large number of leukemia-related deaths. Mutations in FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) is one of the most prevalent findings in this heterogeneous disease. The major types of mutations in FLT3 can be categorized as internal tandem duplications (ITD) and point mutations. Recent studies suggest that ITDs not only occur in the juxtamembrane region as originally described, but also in the kinase domain. Although the juxtamembrane ITDs have been well characterized, the tyrosine kinase domain ITDs have not yet been thoroughly studied due to their recent discovery. For this reason, we compared ITD mutations in the juxtamembrane domain with those in the tyrosine kinase domain, as well as with the most common activating point mutation in the tyrosine kinase domain, D835Y. The purpose of this study was to understand whether it is the nature of the mutation or the location of the mutation that plays the main role in leukemogenesis. The various FLT3 mutants were expressed in the murine pro-B cell line Ba/F3 and examined for their capacity to form colonies in semisolid medium. The size and number of colonies formed by Ba/F3 cells expressing either the internal tandem duplication within juxtamembrane domain of the receptor (JMD-ITD) or the tyrosine kinase domain (TKD)-ITD were indistinguishable, while Ba/F3 cells expressing D835Y/FLT3 failed to form colonies. Cell proliferation and cell survival was also significantly higher in TKD-ITD expressing cells, compared to cells expressing D835Y/FLT3. Furthermore, TKD-ITD is capable of inducing phosphorylation of STAT5, while D835Y/FLT3 fails to induce tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT5. Other signal transduction pathways such as the RAS/ERK and the PI3K/AKT pathways were activated to the same level in TKD-ITD cells as compared to D835Y/FLT3 expressing cells. Taken together, our data suggest that TKD-ITD displays similar oncogenic potential to the JMD-ITD but a higher oncogenic potential than the D835Y point mutation.


External organisations
  • Universitätsklinikum Jena
  • Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Hematology
  • Medical Genetics


  • Acute myeloid leukemia, FLT3, Internal tandem duplication, ITD, Receptor tyrosine kinase
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)773-780
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch

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