FLT3 is a receptor tyrosine kinase that is expressed on early hematopoietic progenitor cells and plays an important role in stem cell survival and differentiation. Two different types of functionally important FLT3 mutations have been identified. Internal tandem duplication mutations arise from duplications of the juxtamembrane portion of the gene and result in constitutive activation of the FLT3 protein. This alteration has been identified in ∼20% to 30% of patients with acute myelogenous leukemia and appears to be associated with a worse prognosis. The second type of FLT3 mutation, missense mutations at aspartic acid residue 835, occurs in ∼7.0% of acute myelogenous leukemia cases. These mutations also appear to be activating and to portend a worse prognosis. Identification of FLT3 mutations is important because it provides prognostic information and may play a pivotal role in determining appropriate treatment options. We have developed an assay to identify both internal tandem duplication and D835 FLT3 mutations in a single multiplex polymerase chain reaction. After amplification, the polymerase chain reaction products are analyzed by capillary electrophoresis for length mutations and resistance to EcoRV digestion. Here we describe the performance characteristics of the assay, assay validation, and our clinical experience using this assay to analyze 147 clinical specimens.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Molecular Medicine