Constitutive activation of FLT3 by internal tandem duplication (ITD) is one of the most common molecular alterations in acute myeloid leukemia (AML). FLT3/ITD mutations have also been observed in myelodysplastic syndrome patients both before and during progression to AML. Previous work has shown that insertion of an FLT3/ITD mutation into the murine Flt3 gene induces a myeloproliferative neoplasm, but not progression to acute leukemia, suggesting that additional cooperating events are required. We therefore combined the FLT3/ITD mutation with a model of myelodysplastic syndrome involving transgenic expression of the Nup98-HoxD13 (NHD13) fusion gene. Mice expressing both the FLT3/ITD and NHD13 transgene developedAML with 100% penetrance and short latency. These leukemias were driven by mutant FLT3 expression and were susceptible to treatment with FLT3 tyrosine kinase inhibitors. We also observed a spontaneous loss of the wild-type Flt3 allele in these AMLs, further modeling the loss of the heterozygosity phenomenon that is seen in human AML with FLT3-activating mutations. Because resistance to FLT3 inhibitors remains an important clinical issue, this model may help identify new molecular targets in collaborative signaling pathways.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology