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Cancer Res. 2013 Apr 15;73(8):2540-50. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-12-3425. Epub 2013 Feb 11.

Inhibition of SRC corrects GM-CSF hypersensitivity that underlies juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML) is an aggressive myeloproliferative neoplasm in children characterized by the overproduction of monocytic cells that infiltrate the spleen, lung, and liver. JMML remains a disease for which few curative therapies are available other than myeloablative hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT); however, relapse remains a major cause of treatment failure and the long-term morbidities of HSCT for survivors are substantial. A hallmark feature of JMML is acquired hypersensitivity by clonal myeloid progenitor cells to granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) via a largely unknown mechanism. Here, we identify c-Cbl (henceforth referred to as Cbl) as a GM-CSF receptor (GMR) adaptor protein that targets Src for ubiquitin-mediated destruction upon GM-CSF stimulation and show that a loss of negative regulation of Src is pivotal in the hyperactivation of GMR signaling in Cbl-mutated JMML cells. Notably, dasatinib, an U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved multikinase inhibitor that also targets Src family, dramatically attenuated the spontaneous and GM-CSF-induced hypersensitive growth phenotype of mononuclear cells from peripheral blood and bone marrow collected from JMML patients harboring Cbl or other known JMML-associated mutations. These findings reveal Src kinase as a critical oncogenic driver underlying JMML.

©2013 AACR.

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