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PLoS One. 2019 Dec 2;14(12):e0225887. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225887. eCollection 2019.

Expression of myeloid Src-family kinases is associated with poor prognosis in AML and influences Flt3-ITD kinase inhibitor acquired resistance.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States of America.


Unregulated protein-tyrosine kinase signaling is a common feature of AML, often involving mutations in Flt3 and overexpression of myeloid Src-family kinases (Hck, Fgr, Lyn). Here we show that high-level expression of these Src kinases predicts poor survival in a large cohort of AML patients. To test the therapeutic benefit of Flt3 and Src-family kinase inhibition, we used the pyrrolopyrimidine kinase inhibitor A-419259. This compound potently inhibits Hck, Fgr, and Lyn as well as Flt3 bearing an activating internal tandem duplication (ITD). Flt3-ITD expression sensitized human TF-1 myeloid cells to growth arrest by A-419259, supporting direct action on the Flt3-ITD kinase domain. Cells transformed with the Flt3-ITD mutants D835Y and F691L were resistant to A-419259, while co-expression of Hck or Fgr restored inhibitor sensitivity to Flt3-ITD D835Y. Conversely, Hck and Fgr mutants with engineered A-419259 resistance mutations decreased sensitivity of TF-1/Flt3-ITD cells. To investigate de novo resistance mechanisms, A-419259-resistant Flt3-ITD+ AML cell populations were derived via long-term dose escalation. Whole exome sequencing identified a distinct Flt3-ITD kinase domain mutation (N676S/T) among all A-419259 target kinases in each of six independent resistant cell populations. These studies show that Hck and Fgr expression influences inhibitor sensitivity and the pathway to acquired resistance in Flt3-ITD+ AML.

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