The FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT-3) is the most frequently mutated gene in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a high-risk feature, and now the target of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), which are approved and in development. The most common mutation is the internal tandem duplication (ITD). We present a novel mutation, FLT-3/Q575D, identified in a patient with AML through next-generation sequencing (NGS). This mutation is activating, drives downstream signaling comparable to FLT-3/ITD, and can be targeted using available FLT-3 TKIs. We present the results of a systematic analysis that identified Y572D, E573D, and S574D as similarly activating and targetable deletions located in the FLT-3 juxtamembrane domain (JMD). These mutations target key residues in the JMD involved in the interactions within FLT-3 that regulate its activation. Our results suggest a new class of FLT-3 mutations that may have an impact on patient care and highlight the increasing importance of a systematic understanding of FLT-3 mutations other than ITD. It is likely that, as NGS becomes more commonly used in the diagnosis of patients with AML, these and other activating mutations will be discovered with increasing frequency.
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