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Blood. 2001 Aug 15;98(4):1195-9.

The Kit-activating mutation D816V enhances stem cell factor--dependent chemotaxis.

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Laboratory of Allergic Diseases and Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1881, USA.


The D816V mutation of c-kit has been detected in patients with mastocytosis. This mutation leads to constitutive tyrosine kinase activation of Kit. Because stem cell factor (SCF), the ligand for Kit (CD117(+)), is a chemoattractant for CD117(+) cells and one feature of mastocytosis is an abnormal collection of mast cells in tissues derived from CD34(+)CD117(+) mast cell precursors, the hypothesis was considered that the D816V mutation would enhance chemotaxis of these precursor cells. Constructs encoding wild-type Kit or Kit bearing the D816V mutation were transfected into Jurkat cells, labeled with Calcein-AM, and migration to SCF assessed in the presence or absence of tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Chemotaxis to SCF was enhanced in D816V transfectants compared to wild-type Kit transfectants (P <.002). Migration of both transfectants was inhibited by tyrosine kinase inhibitors, although D816V transfectants were more sensitive. Chemotaxis was next performed on CD34(+)CD117(+) circulating mast cell precursors obtained from patients with mastocytosis. Analysis of prechemotaxis and migrated cells showed that whereas less than 10% in the prechemotaxis sample had the D816V mutation, 40% to 80% of migrated cells had this mutation. These results demonstrate that the D816V Kit mutation enhances chemotaxis of CD117(+) cells, offering one explanation for increased mast cells observed in tissues of patients with mastocytosis. (Blood. 2001;98:1195-1199)

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