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Leukemia. 2015 Apr;29(4):895-900. doi: 10.1038/leu.2014.263. Epub 2014 Sep 5.

Functional characterization of BTK(C481S) mutation that confers ibrutinib resistance: exploration of alternative kinase inhibitors.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA.
Department of Pathology, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
Department of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY, USA.


The Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor, ibrutinib, has produced remarkable clinical response in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and mantle cell lymphoma. We previously reported the identification of BTK(C481S) mutation in a CLL patient who progressed following 21-month ibrutinib therapy. Initial characterization at structural and biochemical levels revealed that the mutation disrupts the covalent binding of ibrutinib to BTK, reduces its binding affinity and diminishes its ability to inhibit the BTK enzymatic activity. Herein, we further characterized the functional consequences of BTK(C481S) in terms of molecular signaling, gene expression and cellular behavior in the patient, as well as in lymphoma cells transfected with either the wild-type or the mutant BTK constructs. Further, using an in vitro CLL proliferation model, alternative kinase inhibitors that have the potential to overcome ibrutinib resistance were explored.

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