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Clin Cancer Res. 2008 Jul 15;14(14):4437-45. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-07-1873.

Transformation by oncogenic mutants and ligand-dependent activation of FLT3 wild-type requires the tyrosine residues 589 and 591.

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  • 1GSF-National Research Center for Environment, University of Munich-Grosshadern, Munich, Germany.



Mutations in the receptor tyrosine kinase FLT3 are found in up to 30% of acute myelogenous leukemia patients and are associated with an inferior prognosis. In this study, we characterized critical tyrosine residues responsible for the transforming potential of active FLT3-receptor mutants and ligand-dependent activation of FLT3-WT.


We performed a detailed structure-function analysis of putative autophosphorylation tyrosine residues in the FLT3-D835Y tyrosine kinase domain (TKD) mutant. All tyrosine residues in the juxtamembrane domain (Y566, Y572, Y589, Y591, Y597, and Y599), interkinase domain (Y726 and Y768), and COOH-terminal domain (Y955 and Y969) of the FLT3-D835Y construct were successively mutated to phenylalanine and the transforming activity of these mutants was analyzed in interleukin-3-dependent Ba/F3 cells. Tyrosine residues critical for the transforming potential of FLT3-D835Y were also analyzed in FLT3 internal tandem duplication mutants (FLT3-ITD)and the FLT3 wild-type (FLT3-WT) receptor.


The substitution of the tyrosine residues by phenylalanine in the juxtamembrane, interkinase, and COOH-terminal domains resulted in a complete loss of the transforming potential of FLT3-D835Y-expressing cells which can be attributed to a significant reduction of signal tranducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) phosphorylation at the molecular level. Reintroduction of single tyrosine residues revealed the critical role of Y589 and Y591 in reconstituting interleukin-3-independent growth of FLT3-TKD-expressing cells. Combined mutation of Y589 and Y591 to phenylalanine also abrogated ligand-dependent proliferation of FLT3-WT and the transforming potential of FLT3-ITD-with a subsequent abrogation of STAT5 phosphorylation.


We identified two tyrosine residues, Y589 and Y591, in the juxtamembrane domain that are critical for the ligand-dependent activation of FLT3-WT and the transforming potential of oncogenic FLT3 mutants.

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